I noticed my reflection in the mirror as I walked into the room. It just wasn't right, so I tugged on my top. That wasn't enough as my belly was still poking out from my loose fitting top. I straightened up and braced my core. We were hanging out at a friends place looking around at the house and after catching sight of myself I started to feel uncomfortable. I realised it probably had a lot to do with my friends presence. In confidence I had found out a few weeks ago his unrealistic expectations of women's bodies. Seriously unrealistic. Thankfully that isn't my battle to fight, but here I was in his presence feeling judged. And suddenly, I felt fat.
Except perhaps when we first met this friend, it had never occurred to me that my appearance might be scrutinised. As soon as I was, I became self conscious. That's precisely what happens in situations when I am feeling like I am being judged. And I usually know when those times are. There is a reason why I absolutely hate going to the gym and it's got more to do with my fellow gym goers than the awful smell of years of human sweat that's been recycled through the air conditioning units and has seeped into the carpet.
I feel like I am being judged when I myself am doing the judging. And by this I don't necessarily mean criticising others but rather comparing myself for better or for worse. It stands to reason in my mind that if I am comparing, there is a very good chance that others are also which means they have probably noticed my flaws. Which brings my attention to my flaws. Which makes me feel bad. Which is a great way to erode positive body image. Which is why I need to stop being judgemental of others so that I can like myself better.