Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shaping Up My Body Image

The circle.
Round, nondescript, fluid. When I was a kid, my obesity was clearly announced with a simple chant by the other kids: “Lisa Pizza, Lisa Pizza.” Wincing, I remember thinking how bizarre that a popular name like Lisa would have to rhyme with a popular food commonly associated with being overweight. I felt as round and nondescript as the shape of that pizza. I associate my childhood memories with specially-made clothes, thighs rubbing together, the talcum powder used as salve, and struggling to fit in all through my elementary school years.

The square.
Somewhat uninteresting, edgy, evenly distributed. I think of building blocks and parallel sides when I think of the square. I’m remembering my high school geometry teacher, Mrs. Weber, with a smile. She taught us all those rules of geometry and the related theorems and proofs. By high school, I had more of an edge, but felt I still could have easily switched back to the circle if I let my guard down. I learned the rules for taking care of myself to get that edge.

The horizontal rectangle.
Later in my adulthood, I matured a bit and came into my own level of self-awareness and shape. I still had the edges required to speak up for myself, but have also had to deal with serious weight issues by this point in time, eventually escalating to being more than 100 pounds overweight. I realized I needed to make some changes in my life and habits, which would soften those edges toward a preferred hourglass shape, defining myself as a healthy woman. The required first step, however, would be the extreme weight loss needed to change shapes. My next step would keep me in rectangular form, but to turn it upright. Then, at least, it might feel familiar but with a slightly different perspective.

The vertical rectangle.
Still edgy and still structured, giving a new perspective. My vertical rectangle finally puts me closer to the hourglass shape I desire. I am surprised at times, however, when I notice “bony” shoulders; or a when a stranger calls me “petite”, or when someone assumes I am a size “small”. This general sense of being smaller is unfamiliar. I remember noticing cheekbones for the first time instead of the former roundness in my face. I’m really just an average shape, but it’s new and small to me; it will take time for my mind to adjust to what my physical body feels like.

The hourglass.
This hourglass shape is generally like the rectangle but smoother; softer; more interesting and fluid. A sense of shape but not defined by the shape. I’m moving closer to this image of myself. It may take a while, like watching the sands drop through an hourglass, one grain at a time, but it will be worth it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

shaping up body is bit tough thing :) but people did it very effectively

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