There are certain pieces of clothing that I hate—jeans, “trousers” (ugh, the worst!), turtlenecks, bras, anything with sleeves (I will never understand the people who like Fall) and itchy fabrics. I do everything in my power to stick to wearing shorts, leggings, sports bras and tank tops. I probably should have been a basketball coach if it weren’t for the fact that I’m Smurfette-sized and my head works better as a magnet for balls than my hands.
When I put on jeans or “trousers” (even writing that is making me want to gag), I feel really uncomfortable—I hate the way my body feels.
It’s the same kind of feeling I get when I’ve been sitting on an airplane for more than 10 minutes, have slept in an uncomfortable bed or haven’t been able to stretch sore muscles.
This is a stark contrast to the times when “I hated the way my body felt,” and what I really meant was “I feel inferior, I’m afraid of being judged and I do not like feeling out of control.”
An important part of body image work and eating “normally” – a.k.a like a grown-ass woman – is being able to differentiate between physical and emotional discomfort.
Hating physical discomfort, such as actual pain, ickiness or feeling your body (like feeling rolls or things rubbing and squishing together like normal human bodies do) is different than hating the way you feel about your body.
Often when we say, “I hate the way my body feels,” it’s not the physical discomfort we’re referring to—it’s the emotional discomfort brought on by a fear of weight gain (fatphobic beliefs), negative associations between weight and your value as a human, and our tendency to deflect any kind of “negative” emotion (i.e. anxiety, sadness, stress) onto our bodies as a way to avoid feeling them.
Knowing the difference between “I hate the way my body feels” and “I hate the way I feel about myself” and acknowledging when it’s actually emotional discomfort will help to address the real issue.
It will help you stop blaming the way you feel on your physical body and thinking that dieting is the answer—which it never is (in case you needed a reminder!).
This post is very interesting and totally relevant to me at the moment. I will try and catch the talk in FB later.
Lately I have completely stopped wearing a bra especially at work because I find them so uncomfortable, how the wire digs into my belly and the waistband rolls up and digs into my ribcage. Show me a rule that says I have to wear one and I will but until then I feel much more calmer and happier letting my boobs hang free, and yes its noticeable that I don’t wear one because I have a big bust. I also thinks it makes me look “fatter” when I don’t wear one but that isn’t going to make me put one on unless I WANT TO and if I want to wear one I will but it will be my decision if and when I do not because I feel insecure about my body. Same goes for jeans and how they dig into my belly and now the colder weather is here I trying to get some nice bootcut jeggings that have actual functional pockets for when I walk the dog. I have days that I want to change my body, that if I just try that diet program or exercise machine I saw on telly then I would have a “nice” flat tummy and could conform to the way the media and society wants me to look but those days are getting less and getting replaced by looking at bopo images and posts of women who love their big, what I call Buddha belly’s.
That’s so great to hear Sarah! And yes, you can wear (or not wear) whatever you want. Comfort is always something I value in my clothing choices too. By the way, all of my recorded FB videos are available in my FB community (“Break The Rules with Summer Innanen”) in the “files” section under “BoPo School Recordings.”