I have a really negative self-image of myself. I don't even know where to begin.
I've always been a big girl. I've always been aware of it, as far as I can remember. And sometimes, now, I don't mind my size. I'm about 5'7" and a size 14. Then there are times when I feel truly disgusted with myself. It doesn't help that within the year (since January, not since a year ago) I've gained about six pounds and I have a new, purplish-red set of stretch marks on my lower abdomen. It's really upsetting me, because they land right where I like to wear my pants. I feel like my weight gain, even if it's from 167 to 173, is completely unwarranted and unacceptable of me--I haven't had a new stretch mark since I went through a huge weight gain when I was eleven. Also, I really don't think this new weight is due to where my menstrual cycle is--it's stuck for a while, regardless of where my period was.
Looking in the mirror, I just feel really icky sometimes. And I TRY to eat right, and I really don't think I do that badly, but my weaknesses lie in chips and chocolate, both of which we keep in the house now. We usually don't have chips, but my grandmother and great-grandmother are staying with us for six weeks, and they like them. Having sour cream and onion Lays (not even baked) in the house has led to multiple 11 PM chip binges when my willpower is at its worst. I'll just be doing so well, having carrots and salsa at lunch instead of chips, or loading up my dinner plate with four+ servings of vegetables, and then I get tired and cranky and any shred of willpower I had is lost. I'm trying to get in the habit of exercising--which, before winter break, I hardly, hardly did--but my drive is just so fickle. I dance for an hour and a half once a week (it used to be three hours a week, but I injured myself and had to cut back) and even that's a battle of the wills for me to not dread, and it's the only guaranteed exercise I get. I have about five nights a week I can go out walking, but I'll only physically go maybe twice. I toss the idea back and forth in my head for about an hour and I just decide against it. Or I'll go out and feel so awesome and inspirational and tell myself I'll do it as often as possible, but of course that changes the second I get home and sit down.
To make me feel worse, I recently had my yearly physical with my GP, and it was the first time in...forever that she didn't even mention my weight. I told her I danced weekly, and for some reason that made her think I was 'fit,' as she put it. :/
I know that this is something that's in my head, that if I can't make positive lifestyle habits it must mean I don't want it bad enough and aren't committed to it, but it's such an incredible battle between myself. I want to be healthier, but I can't seem to stick with anything long enough for it to work. Sometimes when I'm thinking rationally, I'll think that maybe this is an OK weight for me. I'll think that it's not that bad. And then even an hour later I'll look at my thighs and hips (they're my most self-concious and big part of my body) and be utterly disgusted.
I just can't seem to find it in myself to put a 100% around-the-clock effort in.
Second, I'm so disgusted with my social life. I've sat at home every single Friday and Saturday night since forever unless I have a show that night, which is only two weeks every three months or so. I feel like I'm wasting my teenage years. I don't have that many friends that live near me. I used to have a group and we'd go out nearly every weekend or at least have a game night at each other's houses, but the friendship turned toxic. It's my second thread, and I'd link to it, but I feel so disgusted and angered even reading what's there that I don't feel up to going there tonight. I don't really have anyone now, save for one friend, but I really only see her between classes on Tuesday and Thursday. (It's all the more depressing when I see that my fourteen-year-old sister has more of a social life than I do with her friends.) I do talk to people and hang out with them at rehearsal, but it's kind of hard to explain. I really only click with the people about three years younger than me--I think it's because I'm so much less intimidated by them. We'll talk, goof off, and have fun, but I'd also like to have a friendship with the people my age there. There's a particular group that I think I could get along really well with, and I do talk to them, I've known them for two years, and I'd love to hang out with them outside of rehearsal but I don't think they like me that much. I'm a very quiet and reserved person--I'll be loud and crazy with people I know well, or am 100% comfortable with, but if I'm not I'll be very drawn back. Don't get me worng, I'll carry on a conversation and all, but it's very hard for me to initiate one/walk up to someone and start talking. I feel that this hinders me from making friends sometimes, but I don't know what to do about it. :/
Third, I really, really want a boyfriend. So badly. I've heard it a million times from so many people, that they didn't even have their first kiss until they were in their twenties, but I can't help but feel that by being sixteen and having had no relationships with guys at all that I'm missing out. I like guys, I have crushes, but I would never dream of making my feelings known. I also tend to fall hard for jerks, and of course I'd never want to act on those feelings, if it makes any sense (but at the same time I would).
I guess what I'm asking is how do I improve how I think of myself? I don't know what anyone would see in me as a friend or more, and I don't see a heck of a lot in myself. I can't seem to commit to being healthier, which I so desperately want, and I can't seem to make healthy, lasting friendships, another thing I want.
I've been feeling pretty down about this lately and I'd appreciate all the input that there's to offer.
Posts: 26 | From: U.S.A. | Registered: Jan 2010
| IP: Logged |
Hey! For body image stuff, I recommend checking out Michelle's blog "Fat Nutrionist". She's amazing, really focused on helping people have a healthy relationship with food and being proud of whatever body type they have. Part of the whole fat feminist movement.
Posts: 219 | From: Indiana | Registered: Mar 2010
| IP: Logged |
Thank you for the link, Lilerse! It was really interesting and she definitely seems like an amazing woman.
I was having a kind of bad day yesterday when I wrote this--my self-image ebbs and flows a lot, and today I felt pretty good about myself. It's annoying how one minute I'm really down about myself, but the next day I feel on top of the world. :/
Posts: 26 | From: U.S.A. | Registered: Jan 2010
| IP: Logged |
I totally get that! This is related to personality rather than body image, but the past few days it seems like the world has decided to try to crush my self-esteem. I hate it when that happens! And I've had similar experiences feel up and down about my body in my life as well.
As for the social life (sorry I didn't respond to that part earlier)- I completely understand. I felt the EXACT same way when I was 16. EXACT same way. I had my school friends, who I almost never hung out with outside of school (I also felt like they didn't like me..and seeing as none of them bothered to stay in touch after high school, I think I may have been right), and I had loots of crushes, many of whom I would also describe as jerks, that never went anywhere. (Though later I found out a couple of them Did like me and I had no idea! So maybe it'd be worth trying to find out? Just in case? ) A lot of my friends were younger too, because I too felt less intimidated.
Honestly, I don't have a whole lot of advice because I was depressed then too, but let's just say that things change. I'm 20 now, and (besides the past few days) I have far more confidence than 4 years ago..And am very social, feel much more well-adjusted, have had boyfriends and a sex life, etc. etc.
Unfortunately, none of that really happened until I was 18 and started college, so you may have a couple more years to go..
But the point is, it really does get better!!
It also really sounds like the bad body image and social insecurities are very much tied together. Try your hardest to appreciate your body, not focus on what the scale says, and feel attractive (and keep reading that blog!), and more people will notice you. It's not a lie when people say it's All About Confidence.
But also be patient. I certainly hope you can enjoy your last few years of high school, but if your life doesn't Totally Kick *** until post-high school, that's ok too. I honestly don't regret a single thing about high school. I'm glad I didn't have boyfriends; there woulda been a lot more drama. I'm glad I didn't go out to parties on weekends and instead saved my drinking & partying experiences for freshman year of college.
Anyway, done rambling about my own thing..I would recommend the classic "write down the things you like about yourself and what's great about you, and look at that list when you're feeling down." I'd also keep hanging out and appreciating those younger kids you're close to; if you guys get along well like you say you do, don't worry too much or feel embarrassed about how old they are!
Good luck!! You are a beautiful and fantastic person, believe it
(oh, and some levels of confidence took more than a couple years to gain..it was only yesterday that I asked out a boy I just met, for the first time in my life! And he said yes btw. Crazy things can happen)
Copyright 1998, 2013 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.