Body Image

I went clothes shopping with a friend this week since it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten any new clothes and my wardrobe has been looking a little bare and stagnant. It was a weird experience. I think I might have talked about over the past 2 years since I left my abusive marriage, my body has been changing. I dropped some weight and my body shape has become much more lean. Since the marathon training and the past couple months, my body has yet again shed some pounds and gotten even more lean. But, my mind has not exactly caught up with this. My shopping experience testified to this.

A sales lady was helping me in one of the stores and asks, “What size are looking for?” I was looking at toothpick cords and toothpick dress pants, something I would have never thought would work on me but wanted to try. I say a size 30 aka an 8. She looks me up and down and goes, “No way! You are not a size 8. You are more like a size 4.” I look at her in disbelief. Really? So I compromise with her and take size 6’s back to the fitting room and try them on and show her, and she’s like, “See! I’m right, you’re a size 4” and proceeds to go get me the right size. She was right. They fit and looked so much better.

The thing is I still don’t see myself as a smaller person. I still look in the mirror some days and think I’m huge. And then other days some girl sits next to me on the bus who I think is so tiny and fit, and then I realize, holy cow, I look just like her.

I was getting dressed for work yesterday, and I had noted the last time I wore this pair of pants they were starting to swim on me. But, I put them on and was like there’s no way I can wear these. They’re too big. So the other unfortunate side effect to shrinking is having to buy new clothes. But, talking about it therapy, I’d like to think the reason I’m shrinking in body fat percentage is because I am getting better from trauma. Stress increases cortisol which signals your fat cells to hold onto their fat stores. There are several scientific studies and articles conducted about this. I’d like to think that’s what’s happening. But, part of me still feels my body image is still not right. Maybe I am really fat? Maybe I’m not? Who knows? I know having hard facts like weight and body fat percentage helps me verify whether my perception is right or not. And right now they’re telling me I’m very healthy and pretty lean. I could use some yoga to tone up and build other muscle. But, otherwise I think I’m pretty happy with myself.

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