Oct 25, 2013
How many years have you spent hating your body? I struggle to remember a time when I wasn't embarrassed by it or when I wasn't loathing, disliking and picking it apart from my face down to my toes. By the time I was in 1st or 2nd grade I was getting "chubby"; I outgrew that by 5th or 6th grade but my natural shape/build was always a lot more sturdy and muscular than other girls. I considered that "fat" or "overweight" and, frankly, my family seemed to reinforce that idea.
I look back now at pictures of when I was in my teens and early 20's and I'm envious of how healthy and fit I looked (and how flat my stomach was even after two babies!). That dissolved pretty quickly by my mid-20's when my eating disorder and life got the better of me. From that point on I can't remember a time when I wasn't overweight or obese...until now. So fast forward 25+ years to now...
What no one prepares you for when you lose lots of weight is that the body bashing/hatred doesn't stop. It's become such a habit now, a tape that runs constantly in my head. With the loss of 81 lbs., I just have different things to focus on. It's not the size of my thighs or my stomach or the number on the scale. It's the saggy skin on my neck...or the batwings...or the flat-as-pancake boobs....or the (fill in the blank). Every day it seems like there's a new flaw to pick apart. And, unfortunately, I pick...and it drives my family crazy. My daughter said the other day, "you're never going to be satisfied are you? You'll always find something you don't like."
What she said made me stop and think. I'm constantly attacking and dishonoring a body that - despite my best efforts at destroying it - has faithfully carried me through life. It produced my two beautiful children. All my major organs are intact, all my senses are in working order, I've dodged some major health bullets and it's responding fantastically to WLS and exercise. My body should be exalted and worshipped for the fantastic job it has done, especially for surviving the years of misuse and abuse I heaped upon it!
This morning I made a conscious decision to "talk" to my body and thank it for everything it has done for me. Touching my skin, feeling my muscles, I thanked it for hanging in there with me when it would have been easier to just give up and get sick or die. I told it I appreciate it how strong it is, how gracefully it moves through time and space, how the muscles are getting strong, and for the good health that enables me to enjoy my family, friends and job. And to the extra fat that is still hanging around, still trying to protect me after all these years, I gently told it: "I bless you with love, and now I release you and let you go!"
Changing my mindset is going to take lots of practice - I'm certain it will be worth it. I don't want to spend the next 20 years fixated on my flaws only to look back and think, "Wow, I really looked good back then!" I don't want to waste another minute hating myself or the fantastic body that I was blessed with.