All it takes is the time to do some very simple addition and subtraction, and you can arrive at a whole new way of seeing yourself. One slice of chocolate cake + One portion of macaroni and cheese = ZERO short mini jean skirts.
In highschool I thought I was fat. I would constantly comment after I ate normally along the lines of "I ate 4 cookies, I feel huge!" But in reality there is no way that I actually was. My jeans, and cheerleading uniform fit just fine. Nevertheless, the insecurites grew worse as I got older, especially when I went off to college, and when the Body Mass Index (BMI) entered my life. This is a formula that tells you whether you need to lose weight or not, and while it's generally reliable, it doesn't take body composition into account. You all know how I feel about the BMI scale!
Well here I am now at 5'9" and 185 pounds, and I am still 20 pounds away from being out of the overweight category, but I believe that's because I've got heavy bones and dancers thighs, i always have! But every time I calculate my BMI, I get angry at myself, even though I'm aware that I am doing well.
So you ask what feelings have to do with numbers? Most women and even some men know that it is possible to immediately gain 15 pounds by eating one pint of Ben & Jerry's or drinking a six pack. And when it comes to your butt, which we all know can enlarge six sizes in the wrong pair of jeans, the rules of physics no longer apply. We need a better way to figure out these fluctuations, a formula that goes beyond your BMI and calculates the overall feel of being overweight. So I propose the Personal Body Image Formula. That's right, The PBIF!
The general idea is as follows:
Start with your weight.
Subtract seven pounds if you have just worked out.
Add five if you've single-handedly finished a bag of chip; four for macaroni and cheese; six for death-by-chocolate cake.
Subtract 10 pounds if people nearby are bigger than you.
If you're wearing black pants, subtract two; but if in spandex, add eight.
If you are more than seven years older than the group average or are surrounded by beautiful bikini wearing young women with toned stomachs and cellulite-free thighs, add 20.
Now just like any formula I do not think letting the PBIF dictate how you live your life if a good idea as it could turn you into one of those people who spend their time at the beach fully clothed or covered up, but once you acknowledge that the PBIF exists, you can take steps to improve your score. Some suggestions:
Work out more
Avoid junk food
Hang out with people who are bigger and older than you.
Wear Black and avoid spandex
Watch those college girls on the beach. Notice how often they adjust their bikinis and glance at themselves in other people's sunglasses. They are just as insecure if not more than you are. Granted, they are probably also judging you, but I find their self-doubt comforting.
My last point of helpfullness for today? Embrace the bikini now: "Look how skinny I was! I thought I was so fat. I was 130 pounds." My mother, who just turned 60, always says about pictures of herself in the 70's. She is living proof that you should do everything in your power to enjoy your body as it is right now so you never have to look at an old photograph of yourself and wish you'd spent more time in a two-piece bathing suit. I know I do the same thing! And although I believe there is an age limit on certain clothes and swimsuits, I wish I would have taken better care of myself so that I could have enjoyed that bikini longer, but you can not change the past, SO now it is time to make myself feel better about me the way I am now!