I don’t remember when I first noticed that I had a body. I mean I know it’s been there all along in this journey called life, but I don’t remember when I started to have an opinion about wether it was a “good” body or a “bad” body.
I know as a kid I was exposed to some pretty intense thoughts around female bodies. But I don’t think I ever really separated my sense of self from my actual body until my 20’s
At that point I had started to gain weight. I was no longer the slender fit woman who graduated high school. I had put on a few pounds and had to get new clothes. And honestly I wasn’t too bothered by it, but a boyfriend at the time made a comment about my weight and shortly after cheated on me then dumped me.
As a result I associated my weight with my value as a romantic interest. And started my journey to self abuse and hatred.
I stopped looking in mirrors shortly after that as well. And I started buying clothes that had elastic waists in them. Nothing form fitting.
My brain became a mass of hatred and self loathing. Prior to that I had only ever felt “bad” about my body when I was legit sick and in pain from it.
So the question I have now is, can I love this body?
For a time I thought I did, when I was pregnant I loved my body. The roundness of my tummy was a joy to look down at. But I never got photos taken because I still had this lingering thing in the back of my mind that siad “your ugly” “you don’t deserve to be happy”
After I had our son I had no time to worry about how I looked, he (like most babies) was and still is a demanding charge. All I could think about was how to keep moving with no sleep and little to eat.
But I felt confident and capable.
Then I went back to work, and again my body became something to be compared to others over.
I’m heavier then this one, lighter then that one. Shaped worse then her.
And as the pumping Mom I had lunch breaks that were independent from the rest of my co-workers. So little to no social interaction. No way to see how others think. No community. Especially when I heard negative comments about other choices I’ve made by women who look like the “ideal” body type society praises right now.
My days consisted of working behind my computer, which functioned like a wall against everyone else. And hiding away at lunch or stolen moments of breaks. Where I got to feel worthless because of all the social pressue to fit in again.
Ad to top it all off, all I wanted to be was a stay at home mom with a blog.
So what do we do with ourselves when we’ve defined our bodies as “the enemy?”
How do we get back to a place where our body is a tool to experience this wonderful thing called life?
I don’t have the answers, but this is what I’m exploring this week. Wish me luck and gentleness with myself.