First thing’s first. I did address this issue in a little video… Well, a long video. It was called: Let’s Have a Chat II: Male Body Image… You can watch that here:
But I felt like going into it in a bit more structured and thought out detail, as opposed to a stream of conscious…
I have had a problem with the way I look for as long as I can remember, I’m honestly not sure why this is. I personally think it’s a psychological thing stemming from when I was younger and was much larger than I am now.
If I remember correctly, when I was around 12, I went on a residential trip for a week and came back having shed a lot of weight due to the activities involved in the centre… That and puberty hit which caused a growth spurt and my body broadened, as it does with a lot of people.
As you can see, I had A LOT of puppy fat. In primary school, I used to get called ‘Plod’, as in ‘PC Plod’ from the kids TV show “Noddy”.
Not the best thing for an 8-11 year old’s self esteem… And not exactly the most favourable character to be compared to, why not ‘the Fat Controller’ from Thomas the Tank – at least then I’d have been in charge of an entire rail network. 😛
But with that shedding, I found myself with a newfound confidence, but also an unfounded fear.
A fear of returning to that size, and with that fear came this very bizarre sense of subconsciously noting what I was eating and what physical activity I was doing in any given day.
Take, for example, my past week in work – I’ve been office based for 3 days, which means being sat at a computer, inputting data. Normally, I am running around like a numpty, so I feel like I am doing some form of cardio workout. Therefore, I have felt compelled to go the gym after work, due to being sat down constantly. BUT, and it’s a big BUT – the work that I have been doing has been frazzling my brain, so the gym has been sacked off and I’ve ended up just coming home to wind down each day.
This sort of thing seriously stresses me out, as I feel as if my stomach is just getting bigger because I’m not doing anything to keep trim. In my conscious head, as long as my body mass, i.e. the area from my stomach round to my back, can fit in the space between my thumb and ‘flip off’ finger… Everything is mildly okay.
I know that is definitely a psychological issue, probably an OCD type behaviour, and I think that makes it a tad worse that I am consciously aware of it.
The frustrating thing, for me, is the amount of people who say things like:
“There’s nothing of you!”
“You’re a skinny b*tch.”
“You’re fine the way you are.”
Yes, without sounding vain or narcissistic, I do know and understand that I am slim – I buy small men’s T Shirts, and recently been buying 28″ waist jeans – but when I look in the mirror, all I see is: a tummy that sticks out and a minor form of man boob. (Excuse my language). It’s aggravating, as again, I KNOW I’m not fat, and I KNOW that I probably have a form of BDD (without being medically diagnosed, of course. I just understand the symptoms.) I just can’t help the fact I am not happy with the way I look.
The following image was taken on Sunday 10th August –
I have come a long way from the boy drinking tea and eating biscuits. Yet who knows when I will be content. I have this very bad habit of comparing myself to boys in the gym, boys in the clubs… Not boys that I aspire to look like, but boys that just seem to effortlessly be slim, toned, defined, etc. When I know how much work they probably put in.
Who knows. Body image is a MASSIVE issue right now, and I feel myself going around in circles when talking about it… And very frustrated when expressing my feelings to other people…
We shall see…
’til next time.