I must be PMSing. Wait, no…it’s just the way I am.
Someone described my arms as “chicken wings” the other day and I got pissed and actually cried. Not much – just a little tear in the corner of my eye accompanied by a big lip, but still. I freaking cried! Why would something as silly as my arms being described as chicken wings make me cry?
Maybe it’s because when I went to the zoo earlier in the day with my daughter and granddaughter, I saw the elephants and observed their skin and realized that I have similar wrinkly skin patterns in the crease of my arms and I got sad that I missed the boat on smooth, even skin because I spent so many years overweight and obese.
Flog, flog, flog.
The same thing happened when my legs were described as “toothpicks” on national television. I heard it as a criticism, as something about me that didn’t satisfy someone else. This has been a pattern all my life. God forbid something about me is flawed and people notice.
Being overly critical of myself is selfish in many ways. The energy I spend worrying what people think of me could be better spent cultivating compassion for others and helping people feel better about themselves. I’m working on it, though, and hope that by writing about it, I’m encouraging my readers think more deeply about how they address criticism.
I’ve written further about criticism as a whole over on ZenBagLady if you want to check it out. (There’s a bonus photo of the lovely Miss Claire there, too.) I’d love to hear from you, about how you deal with criticism as it pertains to your body as it is, was and will be. How do you handle it? What do you blow off and what do you take personally? Most importantly, WHO is doing the criticizing most of the time – you or someone else?
I’ll take my chicken wings and toothpick legs over the kind of pain and dissatisfaction I felt about myself at 300 pounds, but my reaction to these descriptions is a good reminder to me that my life didn’t become perfect at goal. Many of our demons follow us down the scale.