Let’s just put this out there right now:
Even people who most others would consider to be attractive can have body dysmorphia. I’ve known some drop-dead gorgeous people who look in the mirror and see someone hideous and disgusting staring back at them.
It’s crazy to think how distorted we can look when we stare at our own reflections. Body dysmorphia is a sick disease that a lot of people go through. According to a BDD study, about 5 to 7 million people in the U.S. have body dysmorphia.
Well I’m here to tell you a bit about my ugly truth of distortion.
For as long as I can remember, probably around middle school actually, I’ve had a very skewed perception of how I view myself. What I see in the mirror is totally different than what other people see. I use my former stature as a comparison to how I look today. And I know it sounds silly… comparing my body as a 23-year-old to the body I had when I was a teenager. I was smaller. I wore a size zero. I didn’t have any muscle or “bulk” around the edges.
I started working out because my brother compared my body type to a chubby girl once… and it tore away at my self-confidence.
So I gained mass, developed some curves with maturation, and still ate whatever I wanted.
But then a different distortion came along. Now that I was no longer “chubby”, I was still not as fit as all the other people I saw online, in movies, in magazines.
I didn’t have those six-pack abs I was aiming for… and after six years of being active, I still don’t.
Now, here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on. Every morning when I wake up, I go straight into the bathroom, lift up my shirt (if I’m wearing one… I like sleeping naked… don’t lie, you do too), and check to see if I can see any definition in my stomach.
If I don’t, I get upset at myself. True story. I think about what I’m going to eat that day, what I’m going to do at the gym, and try to cut myself off from sugary, carb-filled foods.
But if I see more definition than usual, I start feeling confident again. Now most people that know me, would look at me like I’m crazy. A lot of people see me as a fitness junkie, with a more-or-less toned physique.
But the thing about having body dysmorphia is… I don’t see myself like that.
Even if everyone tells me I look a certain way, that doesn’t register or resonate with me because I don’t believe it myself. I see something and someone entirely different when I stare in the mirror every morning.
I almost feel like I will never be good enough for myself. There is always room to improve. There is always someone who I think will look better than me and have the body that I want to have. And it doesn’t help that I am on-air in an industry where people comment on your appearances all the time.
Now, I’m not saying I have zero confidence in my appearance, because that’s simply not true. I am confident in certain parts of my body, but in others (like my non-existent six-pack abs), not so much.
And there are millions of others out there who are going through the same thing. So don’t think that just because someone is the “hottest girl” or “hottest guy” in school, that they don’t battle with their own internal demons when it comes to having self-confidence in their appearance.
I just hope this blog can reach someone in my audience who is struggling to accept themselves for the way they are. When it comes down to it, all you have is yourself. You talk to yourself more than you talk to anyone else, so make sure you’re telling yourself the right things. (Although that is much easier said than done… trust me… I know).
Everyone has their own idea of how they appear. Those with body dysmorphia just may not recognize what everyone else is looking at.