Bad Body Day : Lightbulb!

Today was my first day at my brand new job and as a member of corporate America (part time anyway). Typically, I have terrible anxiety. For some reason, I deal with anxiety through a series of quasi-obsessive compulsive behaviors and general over-preparation.

So, amidst all of these behaviors yesterday afternoon, in preparation for work, I became fixated on finding the right thing to wear. I tried on every item of clothing in my closet that I could possibly wear to work (which isn’t as much as some people, I know, but still significant). While the purpose of this activity was, in theory, planning a weeks worth of outfits and seeing which items are okay to be paired together, it somehow became another animal.

Side note: For people who know me this is not even close to normal behavior. I have always been basically indifferent towards clothing, going for whatever makes me feel comfortable and doesn’t have to be ironed.

I began to notice how things looked on my body. I started thinking things like “Does this make me look fat?” “How does my butt look in these pants?” And what seems to be this ongoing concern over my hair. Then a light bulb went off.

Coupled with all of my other methods for dealing with my anxiety I realized that these thoughts were directly related to my brain’s poor attempt at coping with stress. I deal with the unknown by obsessing over things I can control. Being overtly body conscious is one such behavior.

My second realization was that this kind of behavior takes on a whole new meaning when you see it in yourself rather than in someone else.

So, all in all, my bad body day ended in an important realization about myself. It is so important to make connections with my behavior to continue on this journey of accepting my body and all that comes along with it.

3 Responses to “Bad Body Day : Lightbulb!”

  1. July 21, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Go you! Self-awareness is always a victory.

  2. July 26, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Lightbulb moments are always wonderful things, especially when they lead to more self-awareness. 🙂 I’ve been known to pull out everything in the closet and go through the whole process for only a 10-minute trip to the grocery store. It wasn’t until I read Embracing Your Big Fat Ass by Laura Banks and Janette Barber that I actually started to deal with my self acceptance issues. It’s such a funny book, I never realized when I picked it up how life-changing it would turn out to be.

  3. 3 Sniper
    July 31, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Lightbulb goes on in my head.

    I do this too when I’m under stress and I always feel silly about it. In fact, a lot of women do this, probably because our appearance is our default scale of worthiness. Even those of us who don’t care about fashion or think of ourselves as too old/fat/homely/whatever to be part of the looking good game get caught up in it. If we take the trouble to “look good” we pay in time, anxiety and money. If we don’t, we pay in anxiety, and by losing public credibility and acceptance.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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