Sunday, March 15, 2015

Me, Myself, and Thighs

    Despite having the appetite of a truck driver and an intense aversion to vomit, I was diagnosed with having an eating disorder numerous times. I was never diagnosed by a doctor because I never actually had a disorder, but that didn't really matter to the number of people who came to their own conclusions anyway. This diagnosis was made by the critical eyes of strangers and the unkind whispers behind my back from “friends” and people with “concerns” who voiced their opinions through most of my teenage years. Up until that point, I had experienced enough unconditional love from my parents and “Ah, I remember the glory days when I was that thin… was I ever that thin?”comments that I had a healthy sense of self-confidence in my “skinny minnie” status. As a teenage girl, however, the things people said about me became who I was and how I saw myself. The confident toothpick turned into a blubbering mess in a dressing room being lectured by her mom that she would never love the clothes until she loved the girl in the mirror who was wearing them. I loved her for it, and I sometimes believed her when she told me I was pretty. Bad habits are hard to break, though, and I had already developed the bad habit of finding fault in everything I could see of that girl in the mirror and disliking things that weren't actually there.  
    After giving birth to two beautiful baby boys, I find myself in a similar predicament. There were whispers after the first one, people wondering whether or not I was pregnant long before that was my reality. Nope, that belly was not the signal of another child on the way; it was the remnants of the one who already existed. It’s crazy to me that we regard the birth of a child as one of the most astounding and incredible miracles that there is, but we want to get rid of the evidence that we had anything to do with it, and we want to do that as quickly as possible. We are sent on a never-ending tailspin of love for that precious little being while simultaneously starting another tailspin of loathing for the thing that produced it. What kind of sense does that make? We notice how cute the baby is in a picture and genuinely ooh and ah, but then we can’t help but judge ourselves against the mother holding it to determine our own self-worth based on how it all shakes out. How long ago did she have that baby? I wonder what she’s eating. Is she working out? Maybe you don’t do any of those things, but I have. I’m not proud of it, but, you know, bad habits.
    I've read the inspirational articles on this topic. I've loved them. I've teared up reading about how my kids will want to look back on memories with me and see me in the pictures with them, even on the days when I have bags under my eyes and too many chins. I've nodded my head in wholehearted agreement at the idea that the fear of the swimsuit should never keep you from jumping into the pool. There’s definitely a beautifully written life metaphor in that one. I've felt deep sorrow for women who can’t see or understand their own beauty because it is so very clear to the rest of us. I've cheered for companies like Dove who produce commercials that ask us to love our bodies and ourselves. As much as all of these things impact me, though, they don’t really change the daily practice of how I think and feel about myself. It’s time for an intervention. A change. To practice what I preach. Some emotional plastic surgery.
    This is for all of the people with judgmental stares and unkind remarks, the ones who helped me to develop my bad habits. This is for all the people whose eyes alone diagnosed me with an eating disorder I didn't have and a pregnancy that was so four months ago. This is also for all of the people I love and for people I don’t even know who I hope will somehow hear this anyway, the ones who have disparaged their soul-housing vessels at one point or another. I think that probably covers all of the women I know and a number of the men. Mostly, though, this is for me. Whether I’m a toothpick or a muffin top, it’s time to put a little love back into this relationship.
    What I’d like to do, and I hope you’ll do this for yourself along with me, is pick apart my body piece by piece. Wait, what? That sounds counterproductive. This is different. I want to spend a week or so at a time picking a part to love and changing my thoughts and attitude about it. For example, I've always wished for different legs. Yet, thinking about what these legs of mine have done is a total game changer. They ran their way to happy memories and victory in track. They've walked me down some important aisles and up to podiums and into graduation at the Big House. They are the only part of me that has any clue what to do when I’m joyfully dancing. They are amazing. Shoot, I've already jumped far into the first weeks’ worth of love. After working at Victoria’s Secret for four years, I may need to spend a whole month on boobs. I could write a book about boobs. In fact, I hope to do that someday. But (ha, butt!)I think this is enough to work on for now. How about each body part just gets its own blog for now?  
    If you've made it this far, then you either actually love me enough to try to hold me accountable, or you’re one of those people who is just reading this to pick me apart and get all judgmental because you love to hate. Either way, I hope you’ll join me in this. Let’s allow ourselves to believe in our own beauty, and let’s do this together. We deserve it.

Hit it, Pink!

“You're so mean
When you talk
About yourself, you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead”




DISCLAIMER: Okay, judgy judger, let’s be clear about this. Just because I am pledging to love myself and be proud of myself the way I am does not mean that I am going to stop working out and trying to get back in shape. You’re missing the point if you think differently! I want to be a healthy, active mom for my kids, and I like the fact that I can squeeze myself into the kids’ table when Ty asks to have a picnic. 

2 comments:

Katie Bradarich said...

I am in! Go you. I am enjoying how much I am loving my reconstructed and cancer free body, scars and all. We can embrace our gifts while striving to grow healthier and stronger every day. 😄

كشف تسربات المياه said...

https://plus.google.com/collection/0x4mTE
شركه كشف تسربات المياه
شركه متخصصه باحدث الاجهزه الاللكترونيه وجميع العوازل المائيه
والحراريه
0505525471