Epiphany. Thanks to I Heart My Body 2011
If you’re here from FYBF and wondering why I am linking an older post it’s due
to a ‘hacking incident’ which saw both our blogs compromised and taken down for cleaning and fixing. Please excuse the very basic layout, we’re working on that part
This post has been a long time coming. I’ve had it in my drafts in varying forms and with differing titles since I wrote a post sharing my thoughts, fears and some of my past body image experiences way back at the end of March. Since then I have been on a journey of discovery. Of highs. Or lows. I have realised things that I should have figured out way before now. I have made declarations. I have faltered. I have brushed myself off and started again. Over and over.
Each time I made a personal discovery I thought I had made it, that was it – from that moment on I would be able to look after my body, accept my body and believed (briefly) that I would be on a better body journey. However, it turned out, each time, that it was simply another step in the right direction. Which is good, though, I would prefer a quick fix I know that I wouldn’t learn anything from it.
There have been ah-ha moments and disappointments. I felt I had come a long way. And yet when I saw the We Heart Life: I Heart My Body 2011 posts start popping up I couldn’t even imagine joining in, even though I want to be actively teaching my girls to love themselves and heart their bodies – no matter what they look like. And so I felt I was failing.
I knew there was no way I could write a post singing the praises of my body, I knew I couldn’t look down the barrel of my camera and smile, then post it here. Because, I thought that loving my body meant that I needed to be happy with it, be completely happy with how I look. Be happy with how I feel within my own skin.
When I started reading the posts linked up for I Heart My Body I read of women who are not happy with their bodies, women who are working on their fitness, women who still have issues and hang ups.
I thought that because I still had hang ups that I could not post. It never crossed my mind to love my body for reasons other than how it looks.
I don’t look how I want to. I am not as fit and healthy as I need to be to live a long, happy life with my husband and children and I am working on that. Because I don’t look how I want to look I never considered that love for my body could – and should – stem from what it does for me. What it has done for me.
How can it be that I never, ever thought of appreciating it for what it’s actually meant to do? For growing, birthing and nourishing three children. For withholding abuse and mistreatment. For not giving up and for being an amazing vessel which sees me through everyday. For 28 years.
So many of the posts I read have left me inspired to look at this whole health thing in a different light. Yes, I want to get fit and healthy but I never considered for a second that I should be looking after my body better because it has looked after me. Such a simple notion and yet I have spent so many years hung up on looks and being a certain size that I am still in that mindset, even if I had been focusing on working on moving away from exactly that.
Reading such amazing stories from so many amazing women left me feeling empowered and enlightened. So much so that I went and bought my first maxi dress and a skirt which falls just below my knees. Not a big deal to most; but massive for me. My legs have rarely seen the light of day and I have never worn a skirt that didn’t reach at least my lower calves (preferably my ankles).
And I wore my new garments, white legs, white boobs and all.
This whole ‘movement’ is nothing to do with being perfect or size zero or any of that superficial body crap. It’s about accepting your body – lumps, bumps, short arms, pasty skin and all. It’s about showing that every body is different and every body is beautiful.
I have a long way to go in order to reach a healthy weight and I probably have a long way to go in order to feel comfortable in my own skin but I have realised that I do in fact love my body for all the amazing things it has done and can do and now I am even better equipped to live my Body Image Action Plan in order to help my daughters love and accept themselves. I will be sharing more on that tomorrow.