What is it like to not have body image issues? I found myself wondering this recently. Sure, it had been at the back of my mind for a while, but let’s bring it up front for a minute.
Last week I was ordering work uniforms and went a size up, because I knew there would be added stress at work if my scrubs were tight. Similarly, I tie my apron slightly higher than several of my coworkers do. I plan vacations outfits doubly: One set that’s cute, and one set that’s for if I feel too fat for cute on the same day.
Every now and then I don’t go out because it’s too much effort to pick an outfit that doesn’t make me look *ridiculous. I’ll cancel appointments with doctors, shopping dates, and other social stuff. It took me over a year to become slightly less obsessed about my restaurant uniform. I’m awaiting the day when I won’t hate my pharmacy one anymore.
Alongside the social mess that comes with body image is just a lack of sense. You know when you close one eye, and you can’t exactly feel comfortable knowing how far away something is? I’d like to relate that to not knowing how much space I take up in the world. When I try to fit on a bench with Matt I’ll say, “My butt won’t fit there,” not to be pathetic or funny, but because I truly don’t think I’ll fit. I have to carefully judge the spaces between people in grocery store aisles to tell if I can fit, or I move over as close to the counter/wall/table as I can to allow someone passage because I feel I’m taking up the whole space.
Also, (as part of the self-consciousness) I find myself comparing myself to people but get so mad because I can’t tell if I’m actually bigger or smaller than someone. I’ll try to judge it by purses, chair imprints, the coats left lying around, but any accurate judging that could be made is overshadowed by I’M BIGGER in the back of my mind, and then I’m not sure what I’ve determined about the difference anymore.
Does anyone have a good sense of their space in the world (In the most shallow sense; no deep thinking for me today)? Because I’m quite envious of them if that’s the case. How big are my thighs compared to the other thighs?
These are the important questions.
*I couldn’t think of a less pathetic/cliche way to say “like a humpback whale.”