Last week or so, one of my writerly BFFs Gretchen McNeil did the most fabulous post on self-image. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you really should. It was honest, open, and something I think most of us wrestle with in very profound ways.
At least I have.
That post stayed with me for quite a while – You see, Gretchen is one of the coolest peeps I know. Reading about her self-image issues was like reading a page out of my own diary. Like her, I am conscious of my appearance in pictures, and on film. I pay attention to what I wear when I go out and I can beat myself up regarding my looks – especially since I am not even close to skinny any more. I’m not sure if it is a Southern California thing or not, but I would say the vast majority of people I know in my real life, especially women, do this same little dance with themselves regarding their self image.
Growing up, I suffered with an eating disorder born from, amongst other things, my need to fit in and belong. To be, as Gretchen titled her post, Skinny and Pretty. I dealt with that dark period in my life and in many respects have healed.
But, there is still a part of me that wrestles with self-image on a regular basis. Oh sure, I’ve come to accept me and be satisfied with who am I as a person and how I look. But I would be lying if I said that I maintain that acceptance and satisfaction on a regular basis.
Like many writers, I don’t exercise or eat healthy. I use every available minute beyond my day job and my family time writing or doing something for my writing career. This typically means my meals aren’t as balanced as they should be and my exercise is practically nonexistent. Add to this scenario the angst that goes along with this vocation, and yeah…not healthy or balanced.
Live an unbalanced life long enough and your self-image is bound to be impacted.
So, this summer, I’m getting back on track.
When I started writing seriously three years ago, I was in great shape. I exercised regularly, running every time I got suck with my writing. I ate healthy meals and meditated daily.
None of which is true for me today.
So, as I soul searched last week, making some rather difficult decisions and moving forward in the direction of my fondest dreams, I had to confront the truth about the girl in the mirror and make a few changes.
You may see me around the interwebz a little less for the next few months as I regain my balance, get back to healthy living and restabilize my self-image – hard, but vital, work.
How do you come to terms with the person in the mirror? Do you ever wrestle with self-image? Or balancing healthy living with writing?
Or is this just a “me” problem?