Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious affliction wherein a person is obsessed with some perceived flaw in their body. The most difficult part to understand is that the flaw someone is consumed with might not even be visible to anyone else. It might not even be real.
I have the opposite of that. I am not under the false impression that I am runway thin or bodybuilder strong or movie star pretty but I pretty much stopped really looking very hard in the mirror without my clothes on when I was about 24. By that point I had a pretty good idea what I looked like, I had a long-term boyfriend that I’d eventually marry and I had already been “the naked girl” in a play in college once, it was unlikely to happen again. So, I just stopped obsessing over my body. So I stopped really looking,
And then I had a baby and I was all “Holy fuck, what happened to me?” and then I got over that. And I had another baby and aside from that one day that I took a long look at the road map that is my stomach I really haven’t done much looking since. I stare at myself in the mirror at the gym just as much as the next person but since the invention of the wide-band yoga/running pant it’s not so bad a sight. And really when you’re dumping sweat and lifting weights it’s hard to be too hard on yourself.
Where was I? That’s right, I have the opposite of body dysmorphia. Instead of believing that there is something horribly wrong with my physical appearance I have this notion that I pretty much look like I did when I was about 23. Most of the time this serves me well. I am confident. I am sassy. I am not bogged down with worrying about my aging body. But then these horrifying moments of reality happen. I accidentally catch a peek at the back of my thigh and think “holy shit, when did that start to look like THAT?” Or I chat up a kid in line at the grocery store and he looks right through me and I remember that I am not a spring chicken as I catch a look at myself all decked out mom-style.
Ordinarily, I let these moments roll off me and I settle back into being blissfully unaware of aging.
I was at the gym the other day feeling strong. Busted out a two minute plank and dropped to the mat. I grabbed my phone and my water and I leaned back and looked back down to the mat and GASPED. My tits were inches, almost half a foot, lower than my elbows. IN A SPORTS BRA. I almost ran to the weight room where I could get a better look in a mirror because HOLY HELL I know I have been pregnant twice and breastfeeding for eleventy billion years but come the fuck on when did this happen???
But I couldn’t move. For one thing I was afraid I might trip over my knockers. It was dangerous to run. Things were sliding south and fast.
I took a deep breath. And I began to laugh. Look closely at the picture and you can see a second set of handprints. Look at the bottom of that picture. My knees. AHA! The wet marks were my knees!! I had pulled them up to the mat as I sat back to catch my breath.
And I got hysterical. That kind of belly laugh, I might pee my pants, holy shit do you guys see what I see laughter that you have to share. I looked around and there was not a single woman in sight. Now I wasn’t picky. I was ready to shout out “Oh my god, I thought those were boob sweat marks and it is only my KNEES! Hallelujah, it’s just my knees!!!” to anyone that looked even remotely female. Not a one. Somehow I didn’t think that the fellas that work out with me daily were going to be impressed. Or understand why this was such a reason to rejoice.
So, I snapped a picture and I strutted, yeah, strutted, my fine ass right out of the gym. Because my boobs are nowhere near that low. In a sports bra. So there.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.