We all have an image in our head of what we look like, and what our body looks like. It might be what we look like today, it might be what we looked like at another point in time, or it might even be what we want to look like. Now, for me, my self-image that I picture in my head is a wee bit different from what I look like today. It’s from a time that I was younger, skinnier and more in shape. A time without love handles! Now, it’s not a surprise to me when I look in the mirror and see the grey hair, – not usually at any rate – as I see that every day – but it isn’t my internal image.
I was a fat kid. It wasn’t that I didn’t exercise – I was out running around with friends constantly, I swam competitively and was generally an active child. It wasn’t until the end of freshman year, and into sophomore year that it changed. I started running and shot up like a weed! I went from being that pudgy kid – to being rail thin, and I liked it. I stayed skinny through high school (As I ran), and through my time in the Navy (although beer added some weight – but not much.) Then post-Navy, me best friend and I were in the gym every day lifting and working out! That kept up until my son was born, and I started to pack on the pounds.. This continued until he was 6 – when a life-changing experience occurred, which lead me to stop eating for a couple of months, and I again returned to rail-thin after dropping 40 pounds in a terribly unhealthy way. After keeping that for a short time – I returned to the ever-so-american process of putting on the pounds again.
Looking at that history – you can see that for most of my adult life I was skinny. (As a side note this works really well as an IT guy, because you can climb behind server racks.) Consequently, when I picture myself in my head, I am skinny. Well, as this “Whole30” diet started – I took a look at myself in the mirror while wearing nothing but shorts, and was a wee bit shocked. Now I know I have developed a belly and love handles. I know that consciously. To see it in the mirror and to try to resolve that with the image in my head – well, it’s an experience.
With my 40th birthday rapidly approaching in 4 months and 6 days, my goal is to be skinny again. Now, that isn’t an impossible goal. I need to drop about 20-25 pounds from the weight I was on January 1st. I’m already doing all of the right things – by running, cutting out the crappy food and eating healthy.
I think its time my self-image,and my actual image get a bit closer in appearance.
So how does your self-image compare to who you are today? Is it an earlier you? current you? or who you will be?