Since I decided that dieting regimes were unhelpful for my mental state, and just decided to aim for ‘health at any size’, eating when I am hungry, enjoying food and just being realistic about my body shape, for the most part I have been reasonably content in that department (notwithstanding the occasional hormonal negative thoughts). I decided not to weigh myself anymore or measure myself (unless I needed measurements to order clothes or shoes online), and to only be concerned if my current size of clothes no longer fits. I have no idea what my weight is at the moment. Believe me, this is pretty damn liberating after years of agonising over 500g fluctuations.
A person who finds you likeable will probably never notice your imperfections—besides, no one is as interested in your bald head or fleshy thighs as you are. Demarais and White tell of a client who suffered from the “spotlight illusion”—he imagined that people were homing in on his crooked teeth, which were his least favorite feature. Realizing that other people didn’t really care about his teeth was freeing. “He experimented with smiling broadly when he met new people,” they write. “When no one reacted in horror, and in fact responded positively, he began to feel at ease with his smile. When he seemed more comfortable in his own skin, he became more appealing to others.”
Most of us have had the mysterious experience of watching a loved one become increasingly beautiful with time, as the relationship grows deeper. Imagine that generous gaze is upon you all the time, and you’ll soon see a better reflection in others’ eyes. You may not be able to turn off your inner hot-or-not meter, but you can spend less time fretting in the mirror and more time engaging with the world.
Thanks George! You didn’t know when you posted it, but that was just what I needed to read.