Sanjeevani Chandak

Why so skewed?

My talented photographer friend took this random picture while we were trying to figure out and test the lighting in our latest yoga photoshoot. When she showed this to me an hour later, I LEGIT blurted out in excitement ‘OH MY GOD I look like someone who works out a bit!!” 

And she went ‘um because you do?!’ 

Being a hypercritical person, I’ve always seen myself with a very skewed perspective. Thus ensuring that I’d always be in a love-hate relationship with who I was/am. So much so, that there was a time when I couldn’t look in the mirror for more than a few seconds bc all I could see were flaws which made me mad at myself (alliterations galore lol) 

There’s nothing remarkable about the picture. It was just a light test. I don’t have six-pack abs or amazingly toned arms here and I’m standing weirdly. But it made me so happy that I noticed something nice about my body in one go! That doesn’t happen very often and therefore I will cherish this picture no matter how it is. 

It’s easy to say ‘love your body’, but quite tough to actually put it into practice. You have to repeat it to yourself day after day, sometimes forcing yourself to believe it even if you don’t want to. It hasn’t gone away completely, the flaw – finding, but I’ve come to appreciate my body a tad bit more. It is quite a relief for my mind tbh. It’s not what I want it to be, but I know I’ll get there!

Validation

The funniest thing is, even though sometimes I need validation about things, the one thing I don’t believe anymore is other’s comments on how I look. With a smile, I say thank you and feel good for a few seconds, before my mind makes up reasons to invalidate their words. I always think ‘well they can’t really SEE me. They do not know anything. Maybe it’s the angles or the lighting that makes them think so.’

It’s not entirely a bad thing, I suppose. Depending on external validation is risky because if and when it goes away, it takes with it our sense of self-worth. We get so attached to how others see us that the minute it is something negative, we cannot handle it. So to not rely on other’s opinions is maybe a blessing in disguise.

Taking Action

Why am I sharing this here? I think sometimes it’s important to talk about things like body image issues because there are so many people who go through the same and might be in some kind of similar spiral that I used to be / sometimes still am in. Not that I can do anything to make it better for you, but I’m hoping you’ll do something to make it better for yourself. The one thing I’ve learnt is that the only way out is to take some sort of action. I know what its like to get stuck in a vicious cycle of feeling bad – comfort eating – feeling bad but if nothing is done about it, it’ll never stop! No one is going to come and help and honestly, no one’s help will be too useful in the long run. The change in perception has to come from within and it can only come with  some changes in lifestyle or thinking process. Hopefully you’ll find a way to accept yourself too!