Loving the body I actually have, not the one I *think* I have

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WTF – front view

What in the name of all that is good and holy, is THAT???, I hear you ask.

That, dear reader, is a pair of briefs that I purchased while on holiday in New York circa 2003 and approximately 16 pounds heavier than the recommended weight for the size. They were all the rage in Victoria’s Secret at the time and, my, didn’t they look good on the mannequins sprinkled around the shop. These are a size small. Ambitious, you might think, but you didn’t see the size M or L that they also came in – we were in America after all. Even the overenthusiastic sales associate, as they call themselves, deemed me an S after sweeping me up and down. Or an S to aim for maybe.

I knew at the time that I had a bit of weight to lose before they’d look “just right” but I was only carrying a few extra pounds and they were temporary until I returned to the slicker, tighter, more normal version of myself. The kind of body on which this spider-y looking creation would look just AWESOME.

www.mindthebaby.ie, Loving the body I actually have, not the one I think I have, Mind the Baby Blog
WTF – rear view

I’ve never worn them.

Eleven years later and they sit in my knicker draw looking brand spanking new and full of anticipation.

And still eleven years later I harbour ambitions of pulling these off some day and looking amazeballs. The realist in me wonders if indeed anyone at all could possibly look good in these but I have a quiet confidence that maybe it’s me. The pragmatist in me knows that the odds of looking like the Christmas ham, as a friend of mine would say, are astronomically high but still I haven’t binned them yet.

Which brings me to my point. I read an article a couple of weeks ago, that for the life of me I can’t find now to link you to, about how women in their early 30s have a very negative body image. That’s my demographic – well, early mid-30s really – and I thought, God yeah, it’s so true. But then I realised in my own case, it’s actually the opposite of true. I have a fantastic body image of myself. When I close my eyes and picture my body, I always see myself at my slimmest. Like on the day I got married when my stomach was flat as a washboard and I had arms like an athlete. Or when I was in college and I would eat rings around myself, and remarked one Christmas that I had in fact lost a couple of pounds.

This is how I see myself and I love that body.

But I’m loving the wrong body all the time because it means that I think about my current body in the temporary. I don’t own it because it’s just a transient shape. I won’t buy any new clothes because I’ll never wear them again once that bit of weight has come off. I’m wearing some outfits that are a little on the embarrassing side of snug and my spanx owe me nothing at this stage, but that’s okay because they’ll look deadly again in a couple of months time. I could do with updating my bras but bras are expensive and I’d want to be getting the mileage out of them. (I can’t believe I just typed that, don’t berate me about the bras. I know!).

So really what I’ve realised is that my body image isn’t positive or negative. It’s unrealistic. There’s nothing wrong with today’s body. Yeah, it’s baby-marked and squishy but it’s fine. I just need to adjust my thinking so that I’m loving the right one.

I’m hanging on to those knickers just in case though.

14 thoughts on “Loving the body I actually have, not the one I *think* I have”

  1. I LOVE this post and can completely empathise. Underwear is a particular ‘target wear’ special but I’m also guilty of hoarding shoes that ‘pinch’ but will surely fit some day! Whatever the chances of shrinking buns and tums are, I really need to get realistic about the feet!!!!

  2. Yup. Stupidly bought a gorgeous matching set of lingerie when I was heavily pregnant for the first time. Stupidly bought them in my pre-pregnancy size. Stupidly tried them on a few years and a few babies later. Not the bra. But the lovely knickers. I told myself it was just for the laugh. I laughed alright. It went up as far as mid thigh. Almost got stuck in fact. And that was just one leg.

  3. Brilliant! …And I don’t just have one pair in my drawer I have lots… pink, black and lovely red! They probably wouldn’t pass my knees right now but even though I have reached a certain age where I have decided to stop waiting for those few inches to fall off and just buy a bigger size in clothes, I still have not removed the “what was I thinking?” sized knickers from the drawer either. Maybe that is just a bridge too far for all of us! Maybe it is OK to face reality so long as we can still hold on to one or two unrealistic props ;0)

  4. I LOVE this post. While I would always favour comfort over style when it comes to knickers and have no clue why anyone would subject themselves to dental floss up the ass – ye are much braver than I! I do have the same problem with skirts though. I rarely wear them but I buy them and horde them for the time when they will fit the body in my head. I have one that’s been there for 10 years or more, gorgeous little pencil skirt with a twirly frill on the bottom. Every time I clean out the wardrobe I am realistic about everything but that! The body in my head and even in my mirror is awesome then I see photos after and wonder who the whale is! Yet the skirt stays put…

    1. Sounds beautiful! Maybe some day…I am guilty of that myself. I have a slinky black dress I bought when I was 20. I KNOW I’ll never wear this one again but I just can’t part with it…

  5. TBH, I’m not convinced that those knickers looked decent on anyone at all, ever.

    I have a box of the fancy lingerie that probably never fitted. I don’t know why I can’t part with them; possibly because I can’t just throw them away, but I’m not sure the charity shop wants them either… So they sit in the box, high up on a shelf, forever…

  6. Lol! I ditched all the old nicks… I would never get away with a stringy things like that. I have serious twin-skin which is still there despite weight loss. My tummy was the only part of my body I liked before pregnancy and now it’s a mess. I’m comfortable with it now, but it took a loooong time. 🙂

  7. Ha ha!Great post.I imagine if I ever had the body to fit into one of those contraptions, I’d probably knock myself out through falling over trying to get into the bloody thing!

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