One step forward, two steps back

Alternative title: “In which Michelle talks about her butt”

Sometimes it’s like any progress is immediately followed by regression (it isn’t, but I still feel that way sometimes). If I have one good day, the next day will be crap. If I make a new friend, I’ll lose an old one. If I find something about myself to like, I’ll find something new to hate.

And that’s today’s story. My self esteem and body image are not good. Some days, I think I’m pretty okay, but most days…not so much. I have made some progression. As a teenager, I had far worse body image. This is fairly ironic, since I was in much better shape then (though perhaps slightly more funny-looking [I had distinct ideas about what makeup looked good on me, and those ideas were not necessarily correct]).

But for a long time, I hated my body shape. I’m not the ‘ideal’ hourglass, but rather, am distinctly pear-shaped. This means I carry much of my weight on my hips, butt, and thighs. This was horrific when I was a teenager; I desperately wanted to be one of those waifishly thin girls whose thighs did not touch (‘thigh gap’). It just wasn’t going to happen for me. I don’t think it will ever happen for me without drastic and unhealthy weight-loss. Drastic weight-loss is fairly unlikely to happen for me, since I really love carbs.

And that’s okay. I’ve come to accept my body type. It probably helps that we live in a time that fawns over being ‘bootylicious’. So, thanks, Hollywood, porn directors, and ‘ass men’ for making my body type desirable. I appreciate it.

Except once I stopped worrying about my body shape, I found other things to worry about! One step forward, two steps back. Even though I’d decided it was okay that my butt is kinda big, I started considering that it wasn’t quite the right shape, and was maybe not quite firm enough, and, god, look at that cellulite!

So, I work on these new things. I remind myself that nearly all women have cellulite. I tell myself to exercise if I’m that concerned about shape and firmness (I should be exercising anyway!). Maybe once I get over one of these things, I’ll find something else to worry myself over. Then, I’ll work on those new things.

It’s a long journey. I’m getting somewhere, just not very quickly. But that’s okay…all these steps should help tone my butt, right? 😀

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Working hard or hardly working

Have you ever heard of those studies that say you shouldn’t tell your kid that they’re smart, and that you should tell them they’re a hard worker, or else they might end up with a poor work ethic and a twisted view of themselves and their value? Yeah, hi. That’s essentially me. I was a very smart child. I knew I was smart. I didn’t have to work very hard in school because I was smart. I’m not trying to brag about this. If it makes anybody feel any better, it all caught up with me. I didn’t learn how to be a hard worker as a child. I thought my value was in being smart (and that alone).

Eventually I found people smarter than me, and tasks that I couldn’t excel at without hard work. It was a sort of sink or swim moment. I could have just stewed in my misery – I’m good at that sort of thing. Or I could learn to be better. That on its own is hard work.

I say that I’m lazy. I’m not sure if that’s quite true. I always get necessary work done. I’m just reluctant to do things that don’t need doing. I say that I’m a procrastinator. This is true. But I’ve become better about not procrastinating while doing my online program. I have to create my own schedule; I’m the master of my own time, so I have to master my time.

I’m not good at working for prolonged periods of time. I worked all of yesterday and much of this morning. Even just writing this feels like a burden at the moment. I’m burning out. Yet, in the right circumstances, I can endure a lot of hard work for a long time. In helping with my friends’ wedding, I spent a few days working into the wee hours of the morning. Now I’m having to spend long hours getting back on top of my school work. I don’t enjoy it, but I power through the best I can. Maybe at the end of it all, I can call it evidence of being a hard worker.

I try to rearrange my values so that they line up with hard work rather than intelligence. I still notice an underlying current of ‘I’m smart. I’m smart. Please notice I’m smart and think well of me for it.’ in my behaviour. Sometimes other people notice it too. I feel like that probably doesn’t reflect all that well on me. And I don’t want to be that person. I’d like to have some value beyond being clever. I’d rather somebody find value in my achievements than my intelligence. Of all things, changing this pattern of thinking is probably the hardest task for me. Guess it’s a good thing I don’t shy away from hard work.


Please accept this post as my explanation and apology for being absent recently. I’ve been busy. I’m ready for a nice vacation now…if only I had time!

Exercise! -or- Oh God, Every Part of Me Aches

I’m pretty good at lying to myself. One lie I have convinced myself of in the past: I’m in decent shape.

I’m not.

I don’t look like I’m unhealthy at first glance. My BMI is right in the ‘normal’ range. However, my body fat percentage is a bit higher than it should be, as is my heart rate. I’m not unhealthy, but I’m healthy either.

I work on this sometimes.

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Body Image: Normal Isn’t Enough?

I have body image issues. Who doesn’t these days? Do I really, truly, and honestly have any real reasons to dislike my body? No, not really. I’m a healthy weight. I have acceptable curves. I am not deformed or anything. I’m normal. So why do I feel like I’m not?

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First Impressions

I was eating dinner with a friend recently, and we were talking about dating, meeting people, etc.. I commented that I just automatically assume that people don’t like me (because why would they?!). He was taken aback by this. He told me ‘That’s so interesting. It seems like many girls think everybody wants them.’. I know those people exist, though I don’t personally know anyone that acts that way (that I’ve noticed), but I’m not one of them. Still, it made me think about my own assumption upon meeting people. Why do I think everyone is going to hate me? Yes, the obvious reasons: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.. The question is more about how I got that idea in my head.

I am pretty modest most of the time, but I’m going to say that, objectively, I think I’m pretty cool. (more…)

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty : Rambling on Beauty, Self-Esteem, and Makeup

I’m going to be honest with you: I can be pretty shallow. I think we all can be. Isn’t everyone guilty of having at least once looked and somebody and thought ‘Urgh, what is {s}he wearing?!’, or ‘That’s a face only a mother could love!’, or something to that effect? Perhaps there are some saintly people out there that do not do this, but I am not one of them. I try not to let my aesthetic taste change how I act around people, but it happens…often. I admit to judging people for how they look (I’m lookin’ at you, hipsters!). The problem is, this leaves me with an awareness and wariness of others judging me for how I look.

I look quite average, I think. (more…)

Mini update

So the depression got worse; for me, it would be called “double depression”, which is when your dysthymia slips into major depression. Joy, oh joy. So we upped the drugs. I’m currently at 300 mg of bupropion hydrochloride (Wellbutrin XL), and 125 mg sertraline (Zoloft). Additionally, I have been taking omega supplements (note: Dr. approved), I don’t know if they make a difference, but I figure my body could use it anyway…but I digress. The increased dosage has made a difference. I still feel the effects of the depression, but it is easier to get through the day, and that’s good enough for me, for now.

When I’m feeling a bit better, I’m hoping to get working of self-esteem, because mine is at an all-time low!

Ciao,
Michelle

Let’s try some narcissism on for size…

I have a few (read: many) issues with feeling unwanted and worthless. I have gone through more than my fair share of friends in my life, because eventually, they leave my life. I have always taken this to be a sign that they don’t want me, that I’m not good enough for them, etc.. However, I came across a thought today, which seems rather narcissistic to me, yet still makes me feel the slightest bit better: they don’t deserve me.

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Compliment Yourself!

I believe that I have received more criticism in my life than I have praise. So if nobody else is going to praise me, I might as well! It really lifted my mood to write this list, and I highly recommend this activity to others.

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