i have no idea what i look like.
it all started when i was looking into some studies on body perception. according to some research compiled by the u.s. center for national health statistics, about 50% of women who are not overweight think they are.
that’s A LOT. that’s half! half the population of women who look in the mirror everyday and see something completely different than their actual reflection.
it seemed a bit absurd to me so i decided to do a little test.
i look at myself everyday. i’m a personal trainer, so you would hope i’m pretty familiar with the body. i have my flaws, but i know i’m not overweight. i should be able to roughly sketch out my body shape, right?
so i put up some paper and got to work.
for about five minutes i just stood there.
it was kind of pathetic actually.
i had no idea where to start. what size is my head? i have no idea what size my head is. how long are my arms? i know my hips don’t lie, but where exactly do they lie????
eventually, i got going . . . .
i finished with a flourish, and put my marker down. i stood back and looked at my masterpiece. it didn’t look quite right. to be honest, it looked like the outline of an oompa-loompa. but i am no ar-teest, and i was sure it was more accurate than not.
i enlisted my husband in tracing the actual me in red, so i could compare. this is what we came up with.
suffice it to say, i have NO FREAKING CLUE.
with the areas that i tend to be most sensitive about – waist, hips, thighs – i lavished on the extra inches with a heavy hand. but even with the areas i appreciate, like my arms, i was surprised to see that glaring red line a substantial distance away from my original sketch. apparently, i should be playing for green bay with those shoulders.
i sat on the foam interlocking floor, a bit stunned, and took it in. i took me in.
i kind of wanted to cry.
how could i be so skewed in my perception?
am i that hard on myself? am i so cruel that i’ve created this false image in my mind that i project whenever i look in the mirror?
am i that insecure?
i found it so difficult to accept these ugly truths about myself that i accused my husband of ‘cheating’ when he traced me.
i don’t have some profound wisdom to wrap this up with. to be honest, i’m still asking myself the hard questions.
but i will tell you one thing: more women need to do this.
so if you’ve got a minute today, throw some paper up on the wall.
do you really see yourself as you are? or have you, like me, created a false image? a lie that you hold over yourself. that you abuse yourself with.
there is freedom in confronting these lies. there is a breaking of chains. a casting down of strongholds.
so give me a call when you’re sitting on your floor, feeling a bit stunned.
i’ll bring over some cupcakes.