Tuesday, March 04, 2008

PERCEPTIONS PART 2

After reading the comments added to my last post I thought I’d add my replies via this Part 2 post. I tried to snap some pics of me before my training this morning but the flash reflected off the mirror and they didn’t work out. I’ll try to get some soon.

I truly believe that the average man (who is not into body building) prefers a woman who eats and who is curvy and happy and relaxed around food. I don’t believe that the average man places any importance on body fat levels being under a magical number or worries about whether our bums look big in whatever (unless of course they are huge). I reckon the average man would look at a size 12-14 woman and if she was well groomed, dressed nicely and had a good sense of self he’d think she looked good. These are my thoughts based on what I observe about my husband and other average men in my life.

Its us women that set ourselves the sometimes unreasonable high standards and battle our insecurities around whether we are thin enough, toned enough, muscly enough. Most men, up to a point, couldn’t really care less.

My WH found the comp prep very hard to deal with last year. Aside from the weird dieting, the full-on training and the time commitment required, he HATED the way I looked. He finds nothing sexy about muscles on women. Nope not interested. I lost my butt and was as flat as through that area. Sexy?? No way. Boobs: My D cups turned into sagging skin. Sexy?? Anything but!! And he is a big breast man (literally!!). At 57kgs he hated the way I looked saying I was a bag of bones (and to some extent I was) and I started to consciously hide my body from him as much as I could. Did this make for a healthy relationship??

He likes me slim with some tone but in his perception that’s at 63 – 65kgs. Get down near 60 and its just not THAT attractive to him.

Like Pip I have also ridden the weight rollercoaster even before competing last year. I’m 171cms (5 foot 7 inches) and before competing last year my weight had ranged from 59 kgs (for about 1 or 2 days) up to 76 kgs (after a 3 month holiday). However I tried to keep my weight around 67 kgs and certainly under 70kgs (not because that was a weight I was happy with but because I never had the focus or determination to keep the weight off all the times I lost it to get under that weight.) This is a battle I’m still fighting hence the miserable time I’ve had lately.

Undoubtedly some people get very uncomfortable when previously large people start to lose weight and I have experienced this many times. I’m not sure if its jealousy, envy, or just making them feel like they are slack or maybe a bit of a sloth but reactions are often negative. I have friends who are slimmer than me and they didn’t feel comfortable when I became slimmer than them. On the flip side, I also have a friend who was always a bit heavier than me who went through a marriage break up and lost a lot of weight. When I eventually saw her (after moving back to Adelaide) looking so slim I felt really awful about how I looked and I didn’t like the fact she looked better than me. I’m sure there is a weight pecking order amongst friends and she had changed it to my detriment. NOT HAPPY!! (I might add that I was far more upset about her marriage break up – I’m not THAT shallow – but the weight issue still registered negatively on my radar).

So I sit here today at 67 – 68 kgs. Its not a weight that I feel good at so I’m working on fixing that. I may be off-season but I'm creeping back to the "fat girl" I want to leave behind. But I have listened to my boss and I’ve accepted the compliment and I’ve come away telling myself that the number on the scales will NOT determine my worth as a person. Whilst I don’t feel like one hot chickie babe right now, I know that a few kilos away I will and until then I’ll just fake it.

Cheers

Magda

7 comments:

Antigone said...

We are our best and worst enemies hun, we have a more critical view of ourselves.
Thats why sometimes we shoul just tell ourselves to shut up an strut our stuff anyway :)
Have agreat week filled with more lovely comments hun :)
Em:)

Cat said...

The biggest critic any of us meet is ourselves. It is so hard to find that place where we are happy with our weight and every part of ourselves. What you said about the average man is also very true, and it makes it so much harder for women like yourself who want to compete in bodybuilding. I love your just fake it till i'm there, its great. I think i should try it out :-)

Hope you are having a good day

Hilary said...

My OH sounds very similar to yours... all the men I've met like their women curvy, boobs and bum etc. And when I feel the MOST happy about my body, OH thinks I'm too "skinny"!

He also reckons that most women want to look good to other women, and its got bugger all to do with looking good for men at all. Sometimes I think he's right!!

Hilary xx

Magda said...

Em, I think you're right about shutting up and strutting our stuff anyway LOL

Yes Cat for every man out there who truly supports their partner in BB there are 100 or 1000 that have no interest in it and dont find the muscly look attractive. Another challenge to overcome.

Hilary, I think you're spot on about women wanting to look good to other women because we know how nasty and mean we can be if we want to LOL. There's nothing worse than knowing what another woman is thinking when they see us and we've put on weight :-(

Pip said...

I agree fully with you Magda. Yes, some men or mates tell us how they 'prefer' us or how we 'look better' when a certain way etc. That is their opinion or even as you say opinion on top of their jealousy! Such as slim friends feeling threatened when they now you are slimmer AND fitter than them.

I think we need to find how WE feel the healthiest, happiest and fittest and best ourselves.

My family now would still consider me a bit pudgy while others consider me slim and I'm 1.71 and 72kg. I know and would prefer to be fitter and a bit leaner.

Pip

RaeC said...

I absolutely believe that it's more about looking better and dressing better for other women rather than men. I think this is in most cases. I also believe that we are our own worst critics... when I say I feel chunky, the trainers at the gym have said that they have no idea what I am talking about because I look healthy, fit and athletic. It's just that in my eyes I don't look like I did a few weeks out from comp. I've even had friends threaten to slap me if I say something negative about the shape my body is in. We need to find that balance between feeling happy with how we look and also being healthy, strong and happy. Sometimes they are mutually exclusive, we just have to find a happy medium. Love the posts xxx

Magda said...

Dear Rae and Pip,

thanks for your comments which there seems to be undeniable agreement on.

All other opinions aside, we DO need to find that place where WE are the happiest with our bodies etc.

I think the "mutually exclusive" states are an excellent description of the situation for some people. And as for that "B" word BALANCE, I'm still looking for it hence these "insightful posts" (or in other words "waffle") LOL.

Cheers

Magda