‘Most of all, we’re at war with ourselves’

I had one of those ‘fat’ weeks. You know the ones, where you cringe and scold yourself every time you look in the mirror.

Then I was listening to ABC radio one night, and they did a piece on the famine in Somalia. It made me cry.

The irony was not lost on me. Here I am obsessing over my body fat percentage, while millions of people are facing a slow and painful death from starvation.

But you know the really fucked up thing about it? It didn’t make me feel any better. I didn’t feel less fat, and I didn’t care any less about those extra kilos .

It seems like the one battle I can never win, is the one against my weight. Sure, I can lose some of the pudge that’s taunting me, and I probably will.

But it doesn’t mean I will be at ease with my body. And when I lose it, I’ll live in fear of regaining it.

So it’s the mental battle that’s really tough.  I sometimes wonder how I can be so positive and confident and happy about the rest of my life, and so bloody hopeless with this one thing.

Funny thing is, it’s not just me. I struggle to think of anyone I know who is happy with their body. There are varying degrees, of course, from ‘I occasionally think I’d like to slim down’, through to ‘I hate my body with a visceral intensity and think about it all the time’. (I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle).

A bunch of my friends have just completed a 12-week, diet-and-exercise ‘transform’ program, and they look amazing. And when they write about their successes on Facebook, it’s interesting to see the comments they get. So many people say ‘wow, I should do that, I need to lose weight too’.

They all want some of that good stuff. Because none of them are happy with their body.

It makes me sad when I think about it, actually. The countless hours I’ve wasted worrying about my weight. The negative dialogue I hold with myself about it.

And yet, it seems intrinsic to me now. I’ve thought about it my entire adult life and I’m not sure there is a solution to it.

Although, as I write this, I can almost see the answer. I’m always going to have that dialogue – but it’s up to me to try and rein it in. Bring in a little more love and a little less hate. Sounds simple right? It probably is: keep training, stay disciplined and stop hating.

Of course, simple doesn’t always mean easy. But it’s certainly worth having a shot at it.

What about you? Do you feel at war with your body? Or have you called a truce?

*Hat tip to Kanye West – the post title is from ‘Jesus Walks’ – a vintage Kanye song, from when he was much less of a wanker.

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    • Jo
    • August 8th, 2011

    Belinda, even given your (dare I say..?) obsession with eating well, I was actually surprised to read that you have these moments of self-loathing. You always look so svelte! So reading this has made me think it might actually be near-impossible to just love one’s body, and therefore it isn’t something I should feel bad about failing at. Thank you.
    P.S. My body and I have made a deal. We’re not looking at each other again until winter is over.

    • That’s an interesting part of the issue – it’s such a subjective critique. I am no doubt pretty tough on myself, but I do find it’s not about your size, it’s about what you think you should look like. In my head, I want a six-pack! But anyway, thanks for the kind words 🙂

  1. Yep, you can count me in on that particular bit of self-loathing. It’s not just a chick thing.

  1. January 2nd, 2015

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