So we have lived in Beijing, China for a little over a month now. It has been full of joy and sorrow, sometimes all in one day! But more about that on my other blog.
This post is ALL about the psychological toll placed on me, and other women, due to our body image.
Here in China it is no secret that the women are tiny. I have seen more anorexic women here then at home. Although, something tells me that I am much more observant here (about everything) because it is all so foreign. But the Chinese women are just built very different from American women. However, I have come to know a handful of American women here through church. Many of them are teeny tiny also, and I am not just talking "skinny".
Not why are they like this? (although that would be nice to know too) But why do I care? Look, I am less than a month away from my 39th birthday. I am handling the whole "approaching forty" thing okay (ask me again in one year), but what I am not handling okay is why am I still not liking myself for who I am? When am I going to finally accept myself and enjoy life?
I was sort of, in a way, getting to a place that resembled my own self-acceptance back home. But here, being thrown into a pool of insecurity, I am just a mess in my head. I am constantly comparing myself to the women here. I feel like a pudgy, squishy dough woman. Forget looking for clothes (although I am really happy H&M is here and they sell American sizes).
I just really, really wonder when I am going to stop letting how I feel about myself get in the way of the great moments and memories I am making.
I continue to exercise six days a week, plus the added walking I am doing daily. My food intake I am trying to have one "regular" meal a day with the others as healthy alternatives. It just gets so frustrating when you put in so much thought energy and physical energy into one thing, and you still feel bad about it.
I spoke to a "twenty something" woman the other day and she thinks about her body a lot too. Do all women do this, no matter weight, culture, age? Is this who we are and is it innate?
I sometimes think what life would be like if all food had the same nutritional value...maybe then those of us who are pudgy wouldn't be...or at least maybe then we wouldn't be obsessed about it. What do others think when they see a tiny, petite woman? What do others think when they see a woman who has extra padding in certain spots? What are the assumptions or stigmas placed on both of these groups? I, for one, always think the tiny girls are more in control and are more successful than ones like me. Is this true? No way! But I still think it. Scary stuff!
How about you?
Has any of this ever crossed your mind?
Or am I just the only crazy one?