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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Looking

What happens when I add a much-increased awareness of my electrolytes, regular weightlifting , and eating (mostly) clean and low-carb? I am feeling better, physically, emotionally and mentally, certainly. I'm about 9 inches smaller, though have lost little weight. I am also aware of others' gazing at me, and my own increased satisfaction when I look at myself.
A young and light-skinned African American woman in a blue shirt with white cuffs looking at her reflection in a mirror.
In the past, I would feel anxious and unsafe if I felt I was attractive to others. I would frequently disassociate while emotionally fearing a risk of harm, particularly sexual assault. (Not surprising, of course, for someone who survived childhood physical and sexual abuse.) I would either (a) stop taking care of myself and absent-mindedly begin to eat in ways that didn't serve me or (b) absent-mindedly get in a relationship--with someone else.
Today, I don't have that low-level anxiety and fear humming inside me; I know I can protect and care for myself. Being attractive is no longer about being at risk.
I came to this place, I think, over the last couple of years. For example, last year I bought more attractive and dressier clothes--even had many of the pieces tailored. I believed that I was worth the expense, and was pleased with how good I felt in those clothes and how attractive I looked (and look) in them.
My current sense of well-being and attractiveness, then, has a foundation of self-satisfaction. Years ago, I would be focused only on how others saw me, not at all how I felt about myself, or what I thought of my appearance. I'm so glad that's changed.

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