I was a lucky one. I didn’t really struggle with weight – or notice if I didn’t have a generally teenage-regarded perfect figure – through much of my adolescence. I was honestly blissfully unaware. I didn’t feel lucky or blessed to not have qualms about wearing a two-piece bathing suit on beach trips. I just didn’t think about it.
There wasn’t an exact day that I became body conscious — it was a slow process over my first two years of college. Enter alcohol and poor diet, and your body changes. Turn 19 and your hips start shifting. Your body fat distributes itself differently. Maybe you’re like me and you develop the little tummy pooch that requires constant attention if you want to keep rid of it. (I did not.) And also I started being more intimate with guys. Exposing your body to other people definitely makes you start thinking about the details of it more. Having other people touch your stomach. Other people see you naked. You start more critically wanting to work out. Or more comfortably gravitating to sweat shirts. I remember most vividly one evening being at my apartment hot tub with friends and realizing that when I sat on the edge, I had wrinkles and ripples in my stomach — and noticing that other girls I was with did not. I spent the rest of the time in the water.
It was a very strange moment for me — and still odd in reflection — because I have much to be thankful with for my figure. But that was definitely a turning point in when I started to begin thinking about my body as a “thing” — as something maybe more than just my skin. That was the start of when I began looking for imperfections.
Thank goodness I’ve grown up since then. While I fully embrace I’m not perfect — I’m thankful for my body. It’s a pretty good one. It’s good for me. It’s strong when I need it to be and pretty responsive when I treat it right. It’s interesting to me that the first time that I did become conscious was when I started treating it less than awesome.
I’m sure much of it had to do with the opposite sex though. It’ll do a lot for a girls thoughts when a guy grabs her hip and “play grabs” on her love handles. Yeah, I guess that’s a moment that added up to that hot tub moment also..