Friday, April 26, 2013

The Lara Project: Understanding Body Issues

Body issues. We all have them.

Even Lara Croft. No, really, look at that, juuust look at that structure. If the Lara Croft of today could comprehend the Lara Croft of yesteryear, she'd be as self-conscious as pig at a bacon festival.

That's a turn of phrase people use, right? Sure, right.

Weird how far video games have come in the realm of graphics, though, you know? 300 polygons, very basic texture map...

That's not the point.

My point is no matter who you are, you are very likely self-conscious about SOMETHING.

And the weird thing about body issues is that though often they are CAUSED by an outside source, they are not solved by one.

For instance, as I have written in previous articles, for a long time as a kid I was teased relentlessly about my lips. I realize the absolute ridiculous nature of this now, but at the time I was embarrassed by them and no matter how often someone else told me they were beautiful and nothing to be ashamed about, I ignored it.

Here's the thing you MUST understand about other people's (and your own) body issues: No matter what movies tell you, you cannot fix someone's perception of themselves for them. This is a struggle they have to get through on their own.

This is not to say you shouldn't correct someone when they try to tear themselves down or say something untrue and cruel about themselves... but you need to accept there are some limitations in your role there.

You cannot make someone see themselves differently.

Repeat that to yourself.

You can poke and you can nudge but that opinion isn't going to budge until they're willing to believe that their view may be a little skewed. Admittedly, something someone says could trigger that moment when they pause to possibly re-evaluate but ultimately it's up to them.

Or you. If we're talking about your body issues.

I'm getting a little garbled here, aren't I?

Now a days I'm more or less happy with my body. I'd like to be in better shape but that's what The Lara Project is kind of all about.

I'm bringing this up because if you're trying to push yourself through a program, one of the most important things to remember is to take care of yourself. If you're trying to lose weight/get in shape from a place of self-loathing; if you won't be happy with yourself until you reach a certain size or lose X amount of pounds, you're going to end up pushing too hard.

I've had friends who have (unintentionally and intentionally) malnourished because they became too frustrated with the current circumstance that they over-focused on a goal. Others have injured themselves due to taking on too much at once.

So your challenge for the week is acknowledging what those body issues are and questioning their origin and how they've persisted with you.

I get self-conscious about my stomach and thighs these days. I'm finally at a place where most days I don't hate them, but I'd like to tone them more. Every now and then I feel myself slipping and that self-loathing creeps up. Find what works for you that snaps you out of this. For me it's girly pampering (I realize this is not the method for everyone).

Find yours.

Next week is measurements. Let's do this. =)

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