Ten Reasons I Love My Ugly Body
and this video:
Body Image Movement
That then led me to search for her blog. Now people? How can she hate her body? She still looks pretty darn good to me!
About Taryn Brumfitt Blog
Both of these things hit on how hard we are on our bodies. Howe we simply are so unaccepting of the bodies we have. Under the video I watched on Facebook, there were several comments blaming men for how we hate our bodies, but really? It's the men who expect perfection? Think back to your childhood women... how many young boys ridiculed your body? How many girls? How about your dad? Your mom? WHERE did you hear the negative talk? Was it anyone? Or is it our own self talk based on what we see in the media?
As a kid, I would say it was equal between boys and girls with negative talk: "You walk like a duck." "Why do you have so many freckles? Yuck!" Stuff like that.
But mostly, no one said much about my looks in a negative way. Sure, I heard some things, but when I think on it, I heard as many (if not more - well for sure more) positive comments too. Like, "You have beautiful hair." And "When you wear makeup you have one of the prettiest faces I've ever seen." "You are beautiful." Even TYPING that has me feeling squeamish! WHY? Why is it OK to bash how we look? "I have wobbly thighs." "I have have a really squishy, flabby stomach". I have no weird feelings about saying that! That is WRONG!!!
I think I thought I was imperfect because I didn't have a magazine or Hollywood body. No one told me, I just saw for myself what a body should look like and then saw how mine didn't measure up. It's those images of perfect that we see and nothing else. We need to start seeing more "reality". Heck, even Shape magazine didn't want to show a "real" body recently.
My Body is Real and I Won't be Made to Feel Ashamed...
And all this time while I have been talking very honestly about how I feel about my body and my thoughts, I have never shared a photo of me in a vulnerable way. I showed in progress photos, and "before" photos well after I had gotten better, so I somewhat disassociated myself from "that" Melissa. Why? Because, I cannot say I love my body. I do not love it's wobbles and imperfections.
I am adding to the problem of only showing perfection by hiding myself as I really look. Why? Because I'm embarrassed by my imperfections.
Heck, even when I was a teen and my body was as close to perfect it would ever be, I hated my body. I had boobs that pointed south and were too big. I had a rounded abdomen (rock hard, but not flat). I had freckles. I was built big, not cute and petite. When I look back now, I realize dang! I was crazy for thinking that!
So... it's time for me to start loving my body and showing my body. My body has put up with my abuses with no sign of long term health damage. It has given birth naturally to two huge, healthy babies (10 lbs 9 ozs and 11 lbs 14 ozs). It has laughed thousands of times, cried hundreds of times. It's lost and gained hundreds of pounds. It's been through a lot. But it's all I have and I need to come to love it for I will not get another one.
My husband loves my body when I take care of it. He doesn't mind the scars and loose skin. He can see the healthy, active me. He can do something I have not been able to do. So, it's time for me to get there too.
I had this all written up and was ready to hit "publish" when I realized, "I'm still hiding". "I'm still not being real." "Melissa, this is what this post is all about!" "You have to show the you now and start accept the you now!" "What are you really hiding from? THIS IS REALITY."
So.... here I go... being brave. This is me at 223.7 pounds - 52 pounds from my top weight, and 20 pounds lighter than I was 7 weeks ago.
I compare that to the two I took as I was really close to goal two years ago - it's about as perfect as this once weighed 275 pounds, 42 year old body, was going to get. This is me at 170 pounds, 105 less than my top weight - with 18 months of dieting and exercise. I wanted to wear a bikini when I got to goal as that was the best I would ever get to - with aging it would just continue to get worse. After trying on a bikini for these shots, I decided I don't have a bikini body and never will. So, I gave up that idea. I was too imperfect and I swore no one would ever see these photos.
But this is my body at its best two years ago and since then I've abused it more by adding more weight. Should I go on hating it and mistreating it or should I come to peace with it and realize that it is what it is and I need to love the body I have, thus treating it better by exercising and losing weight? I cannot change my body for another one. And I am the one who abused it and I probably did abuse it because I didn't care about it. I didn't care about ME. That's so wrong! I have to love my body to care about taking care of it!
I will truly try to start to love and care for my body. It will probably take the next 44 years to undo the first 44 years of loathing. But I need to start on that path!
Now I will cringe as I hit "publish". Being "real" is hard.