When Cicero wrote ‘Nihil inimicius quam sibi ipse’ (Men is his own worst enemy), I’m sure he didn’t think of women in locker room 😀 I’m quite certain that he didn’t have a clue that thousands years after, majority of women living today subconsciously hold on to this oracle. It is the determinant of many choices women make. For example, women hit the gym after work not to socialize or flirt with well-built, perspiring men (sorry guys… your hard work does not impress us much). We hit the gym because we need some exercise. And we exercise not to ‘stay in shape’. That’s a lame justification that always makes me laugh every time I hear it. Nobody comes to the gym to stay just the way they are. They want to change something. It could be to ‘get in shape’ or to ‘tone up the muscles’. I can think of a million answers as far as the ‘alteration’ (or improvement) is concerned. It could be the bulky belly, fats around the hips, flabby arms, gigantic thighs, and so on and so forth.
So why don’t we cut the crap, save the argument and admit it, we hate our own body! We hate it in a way that sometimes we feel it’s our worst enemy. We run, kick, lift, jump, sweat, stretch, endure until every muscle in our body screams. And we feel good doing it. Until we look around…and see other bodies (who do just the same)…and we feel like crap. It looks like others have perfect figures. They are slender, strong, curvaceous in the right places, and so on and so forth. Why are they here in the first place? They are far more perfect than us. Things get worse in the locker room. Some women are comfortable walking half naked into/out of the bath room, subjected to curious and judgmental eyes. No, we don’t hear any comments made. It’s all in our head. ‘Look at her boobs…wow.. I bet they’re 34B and they hang perfectly.. I wonder why mine are saggy’. ‘Such a perfect waist.. what exercise does she do? Is she on a new diet I haven’t tried?’. ‘Her skin is flawless! Even in sweats she looks gorgeous’. Even in steamy room we still manage to see other bodies through the smoke. The voice in our head never stops. It just keeps going and going… and it’s the reason we keep coming and coming. Because seeing other perfect bodies makes us hate ours even more. And the more we hate our body, the more we do to change it. It’s a vicious circle.
A friend came to a wedding party last weekend. She said to me “The bride was so slim I could hardly recognize her! She used to be chubbier than me. I bet she visited the slimming center and had her bodies all wrapped up. It works.. and it is pricey.” I was nodding in agreement. I took a mental note, if I have enough money I’ll go to a slimming center before my wedding day. I’ll be in my best shape. Then I thought to myself, what if 3 months after the wedding I have put on weight even more than before, that one day a friend comes to my house, sees my wedding picture and asks me “Who is that beautiful lady?” Touche. That later thought made me stop all the urges to come to slimming centers.
I’m not going to lie… I have this gym membership because I need to fix some areas too. In the first months, I was frustrated because I felt like I worked hard but nothing changed (while everyone else seems to enjoy better success). Then I stopped thinking of my body as my enemy. I know it’s a battle I cannot win. Even if I have endless legs like those of supermodels, I will always find something to complain about. I try to appreciate my own body and instead of taking notes of the ugly and gruesome details, I think about its strengths and loyalty to me. For instance, I don’t have beautiful legs/feet. But I have two very strong feet that have taken me everywhere. They even endured my backpacking trips in high heels 😀 They never complained. Yes, I know they are bigger than they’re supposed to *sob sob* but I have to be grateful that they never cause me problem. I show my love to them with pretty shoes and stilettos and wedges. Now they can choose which pair they want to wear from my 30+ collection 😛
And for the locker room thingy, until now I still look at other women bodies with awe and admiration. But now I refuse to listen to the voices in my head anymore 🙂 I just focus on myself and get dress quickly after showering. And when other women stare at me, I’d hold my breath and hope they look down. DON’T LOOK AT ME. JUST LOOK AT MY SHOES!!!