Bat Wings and Body Issues

No photos, please!

A couple of weeks ago I bought a cheap pocket video camera. I shot this kind of “funny” video about diagnosing my flabby upper underarms (!) that I posted on my Finnish fitness blog. Big mistake!

Watching the video for a few times forced me to face my body issues – mostly how fat I’ve become. I also have bat wings, double chin, too much facial fat and my teeth could use fixing – and this was only the upper part of my body.

It seems to be okay to gain weight as long as you’re not forced to see yorself in too many photos (or videos) and if you somehow manage to avoid squeezing yourself in a tiny changing room to try on new clothes.

All are activities I’ve mostly managed to avoid lately.


Well, maybe something good comes out of shooting that video. It might help me muster enough motivation to actually lose the extra weight I’ve gained in the last three years. So far part of me has stubbornly resisted the idea of getting to work.

Still, I do wonder why it’s so difficult for me to accept my body and whether I should do something about it.

Some people seem to be able to accept and like themselves despite all kinds of imperfections. They don’t let a few extra rolls or wrinkles prevent them from enjoying life. And let’s say it – I may lose the extra weight but the situation is still going to gradually worsen – my skin is going to sag, my teeth erode and my muscles are going to lose their firmnes when I age.

One solution – I think this is the most “popular” one – would be to wear tents and ignore my body as much as possible. Another solution would be to reseort to plastic surgery.

But I think both just avoid the issue which is self-acceptance. How do you learn to like yourself if you don’t?

AFTERNOTE: Perhaps I’m to pessimistic about aging, like Aimee suggests in her comment. Then, a few hours ago I found this video of a 72-year old woman who has a body of a 20-something. And she started strength training at 60!


  1. Aimee says:

    Oh no Satu! That is a hideous picture of aging. There are some positively gorgeous older women out there both inside and out. I know what you mean though. I have always had such high expectations of how finally reaching a comfortable goal weight will also bring self-acceptance. I understand now that I need to accept myself today as I am before I can truly be successful at achieving a healthy body/mind relationship. I’m working on it. It’s not easy, but it is getting better. In my last post I posted a photo of myself after finishing a 10K race. Instead of picking apart the photo like usual and bashing all the flaws I see in myself I actually smiled because I felt great about what I had accomplished.

    I don’t know exactly what your body looks like, but one thing is for sure you have a beautiful smile!

    • Satu says:

      I hate to admit but you may be right, Aimee! 🙂 I just found this video on Facebook and added it at the end of the post. Time to lift my butt of the seat and start strength training.

  2. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Well, I think I agree with Aimee on focusing on the more positive things about aging. There are so many, including more patience.

    However, I also agree with you in certain ways. If you see the body sagging drastically, then you will do something *drastic.* Weightlifting solves these problems. When I started weightlifting, I had really small muscles in my legs, compared to now. So they were much more wiggly and jiggly because there was more fat. Now there is more muscle vs. fat on my legs, so they look much better. Same with my arms.

    It is age that makes the muscle tone diminish, but it is *not* age that makes us avoid weightlifting to keep muscle tone the hard (but fun) way.

    We can look good at our age!!! But you have to do the right exercises (weightlifting) to do that. And, in my case, watch what I eat harder.

    🙂 Marion

  3. Lori says:

    Satu – the way to like yourself better is to talk to and about yourself better. Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity! Every single day say 5 nice things to yourself in the mirror. It feels silly at first, but you will learn to believe it.

    We all age, no way around it, but lifting will certainly help!

  4. Oh no Satu! I can relate to this… I was out with another blogger last night and we were doing the photos for Twitter and Instagram etc… and she wanted to take some of me, but I refused. I just get depressed when I see photographs of myself. Even though I’ve lost a lot of weight recently I still have more to lose and – in photographs – my face looks fat and my body looks large and so my self-esteem drops – A LOT!

    I do agree though, it can help motivate you as I get a bit self-satisfied that I’m doing okay, have lost weight etc, but need a reminder I have further to go.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself though because often we don’t see ourselves as we truly are. Others may look at those same photos and think you look great!


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