My last post about body dysmorphia brought out a great response from you. Some of you disclosed your own struggles with your appearance and others commented that just reading the post was a real encouragement. Your responses were encouraging to me, too. Thank you.
Since then, I have thought more about the topic and discussed it with a close friend. Perhaps being concerned with my appearance is not all bad. I do need to be concerned about it, not just so I fit in, but because it reflects my physical and emotional health. Healthy skin shows my good eating and exercising habits. What I wear shows how I feel about myself.
The problem is how much time and energy I spend focussing on one aspect to the exclusion of everything else about me. My focus has been my weight; it was the only thing I saw in every picture taken, or recording made of me. I only saw what remained of my years of obesity.
But I am more than how I appear. I am my health, my personality, my intelligence, my talents, my friendships. I am a living, feeling being inside a body. Focussing on my appearance over these other areas of my life is unhealthy and feeds my old paranoid thinking.
In context, my weight pales to insignificance. After all, what is the point in having a perfect body shape if I am unhealthy inside? My soul is worth more to me than my body; my mind and will have kept me for so long.
Where is your focus? I encourage you to see yourself as a whole being. You are a jigsaw puzzle; each piece makes no sense on its own, but as part of the entire puzzle is perfect just as it is.
In love, Jenny