Loving my body.
There are all sorts of women posting pictures of themselves in bras and underwear showing off how proud they are of their bodies in small Photoshopped captions. It truly is a beautiful thing to see women who love who they are for who they are.
For practical reasons, however, I will not do that here. While I do certainly have a good sense of body image, there are people from my past as well as my present (and possibly my future) that I’d rather not have see this particular image. It’s not shame, it’s the prude in me.
I love my body.
It’s been quite a journey I’ve taken to be able to love it.
The fingernails still bitten and the eyes requiring corrective lenses and the scars from childhood mishaps are trademarks of this body. Those are what are easily seen from a picture of me fully clothed. But there is also the part that remains under wraps to everyone other than me and my husband (and college dorm mates who might have seen a glimpse here or there).
For years, I often skipped meals or binged on junk food when I did eat. Who needed exercise when that kind of diet worked for me. It worked so well, you could often see my ribs. Sometimes even through my clothes.
Once I was eating better (though not entirely healthy), I trudged through untreated hypothyroidism that caused tremendous weight gain, fatigue, and whacked out periods. My best guess is all that previously disordered eating did a number on my metabolism because when the hypothyroidism was finally diagnosed, it came hand in hand with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Since that time, I have discovered what I call my inner athlete along with a much healthier attitude towards food. I feel at peace with the way I look every day in the mirror. Yes, I had to lose weight to get to this place – this place called decent health – but now I’m at a place where if I put on a few extra pounds, it wouldn’t matter as long as the exercise and healthy eating were part of the equation.
From time to time, I’ll curse my large breasts and the belly fat that just won’t dissolve, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. The cleavage might prove useful someday should I need an insulin pump and I know I do plenty to reduce the risk of heart disease that goes along with belly fat.
My body. For all the stretch marks from cycles of weight gain and loss, for all the abuse it suffered at the hand of “mildly” disordered eating, for the type 2 diabetes it fights day in and day out – it still mostly works the way it should. And I love every curve and every imperfection – I love my body.