This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Body image unzipped

One thing is certain to happen when a long-term love relationship ends because of adultery, abuse or addiction--your body image will be affected.

When my husband left me for another woman, I spent a lot of time standing in front of the mirror wondering what was wrong with me. I let it be about my body--I was overweight at the time. I let it be about the color of my hair--he told me he wanted a blonde; I was a brunette. I let it be about my breast size--they were practically non-existent. He constantly suggested breast implants. To him, I would never measure up. And I was letting his ideal of what I should be get to me. I was buying into his poor image of me, when, in actuality, that was his poor image of himself. He was projecting, and I was buying into it. I had let his issues become mine. And it was destroying me.

It took me a long time to learn to be okay, to be happy, with who I was as I was. And it took me even longer to admit that if I wasn't happy with anything about me, I could change things. I could do something about it. If I didn't like the color of my hair, I could dye it. Not for him, but for me. If I didn't like the shape of my body, I could exercise and change that, too. Not for him, but for me. And if I wanted bigger breasts, well, I could buy those as well.

But I didn't necessarily want or need any of that.

What I did want was to be happy with who I really was. But first, I had to figure out who that person was, where that person disappeared.

Getting on my bike was where I began to rediscover her.

Of course, as soon as I started losing weight from the rides, I was thrilled. Who wouldn't be?! And I was smart enough to know that it wouldn't matter to him. Even when friends would say, "Wait till he sees you now," I knew better. And I didn't much care what he thought about me by then. I was learning to be happy with myself without needing anyone else's approval, and certainly not his.

That's a tough road to travel on, as you probably already know. If you're in the midst of this kind of struggle right now, if you're having a hard time with your body image, it is something you can overcome.

It's no fun spending any amount of time wondering if you're good enough for your husband, your lover, your partner, your friends or your family.

The person you need to be good enough for is you.

Today, promise yourself that you'll spend time making sure this is true, or that you're working toward that truth. How can you do it? Start by listening to your self-talk. The next time you hear yourself utter words that put yourself down, stop yourself. If you're saying things like, "I'm such an idiot" or "I'm never going to lose this weight" or "I hate my nose," stop yourself. Then, immediately find a way to turn that phrase around so that you're no longer discounting your self-worth.

Maybe you did do something that wasn't the smartest thing you could ever do. Maybe it is taking more time than you thought it would to lose those last 10 pounds. And maybe you are having a bad hair day, or maybe there is a pimple on the tip of your nose. The truth is, we all experience these things. They are not just your flaws. Neither are they the end of the world. If you can stop the self-talk that helps keep your self-image at its all-time low and affects your self-esteem, you can begin to reverse your perspective.

That's what you're working on here, your perspective.

You are good enough. You are smart enough. You are beautiful enough. But it doesn't matter what I say. It only matters how you perceive yourself.

Today, make it a point to look at yourself in a more positive light. Look in your bathroom mirror and tell yourself something flattering. Don't wait for others to flatter you. Learn to flatter yourself. Learn to rely on how you feel about you, not how others might feel about you. When you can do this, others will then see the same. You won't have to convince them. You won't even need to convince them. You won't even worry much about what they have to say about you at all. You'll have figured it out for yourself. That's what these BIKE rides are all about, taking the time to figure yourself out, taking the time to get to know you and become the you you want to be. When you give yourself this precious time, you're giving yourself a better life, an abundant life, a life that you deserve.

All my best,
Jackie

5 comments:

Sue said...

Best best friend is going through these emotions right now, wondering what is wrong with her that her husband left. I'm trying hard to get her to understand she's beautiful and wonderful, that it was just her husband wanted out for his own selfish reasons and it made it easier for him to make her look and feel bad. Bottom line, someone else's choices aren't about you, but their own shortcomings.

The BIKE Lady said...

Sue,

Send your friend to my blog. What she's going through mentally is probably harder to deal with than any of the legal or financial issues she'll be confronting. If she can take care of the mental chaos, she'll be able to find the strength to deal with everything else.

Tell her to begin begin at the start. I spill my guts here, but that really seems to reach people, and that's my intention--to transform lives.

Thanks for visiting and thanks for caring about your friend.

Jackie

Sarah Ludwig Rausch said...

Thanks for sending me over here, Jackie. This post is very helpful, and SO true!

Jen A. Miller said...

Wow, what a great post. I was involved with a terrible guy who left me for someone else -- and I did the same thing: Thought it was my fault. He, too, criticized my weight, my hair, my style. I used running to work through that pain, and now I run not because of him but for me.

It's such a hard thing to learn, but I'm glad I did.

Dara Chadwick said...

Jackie, so well said...great post!