Every survivor I’ve talked with has varying degrees of troubling body image. None of us feel our bodies are good enough, so we do a variety of things to transform our bodies into something we feel better about. The only thing is that rarely happens when the transformation is on the outside only.
Over the past few months, I’ve been extremely dedicated to the gym, mostly because of my high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and weight. Of course the benefit is that my upper body has gained mass and gotten stronger and my lower body has become more fit. I only say this because that’s what others have reported to me. I feel like I’ve still got many more milestones to reach before I achieve my goals. Yet, I realize that I will never feel good about myself unless I deal with the inner voices and irrational mind that constantly tells me that I’m not good enough.
Not only that, but I never have felt “sexy”. In my opinion, this goes beyond just a body image issue because it also has to do with the dynamic among my body image, how I perceive others look at me, and how I am in relationship with my spouse. I feel that I have to believe that my body is pleasing to my spouse and not just a tool for sexual gratification. Not only that, but that I can allow myself to feel pleasure during sex because I am worth it. There are a lot of varying degrees and other factors that play into this complicated process of feeling sexy for me.
I do want to reiterate that no one can tell me I’m sexy, that I look great, or that I’m desirable because those things don’t penetrate my core. I need to change myself and my perspective on my body and mind in order to believe those other things that people tell me. I have to work on myself and no amount of complements, although wonderful to hear, are gonna cause that change. It won’t be easy, but I believe that for all survivors it’s an important aspect of our healing.