I lost the battle of the flat stomach twenty-one years ago when I gave birth to my son at nineteen. Sure, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight less than a week after giving birth, but I have been chasing the dream of the flat belly ever since and it stops now. Despite talking a good game over the years and decades, I have been involved in a dysfunctional hate-tolerate relationship with my body like too many women. This relationship is over and it’s all because of my seven year old daughter.
A few days ago, my daughter was talking to me and all of a sudden I heard her utter that word that should just be stricken from the English and any other language that it exists in…diet. My antenna went up and I asked her what she was talking about, where did she hear that word? In the end it doesn’t matter where she heard it because the truth is we live in a society that worships at the altar of thinness and I have been guilty of being a congregant at that church more times than I care to admit.
Just last week, I went out to the local tweet up and mentally spent most of my time filled with angst because the majority of the bodies present were young and thin. So I hung on a bar stool and spent most of my time talking with just a handful of people since as a 40 year old slightly overweight woman, I felt out of place. As if I didn’t belong. Who told me that I didn’t belong? No one but I felt that I didn’t belong because my body isn’t perfect, it isn’t thin. Never mind that it is strong, healthy and limber as hell thanks to four years of yoga.
For the past few days I have been reflecting on my conversation with my daughter and wondering how many times have I subconsciously passed on the message that certain bodies are better than others even though I have been careful to never use the word diet? I think about the times my girl has suggested I wear a certain outfit because she thinks it is cute but I won’t wear it because it will accentuate that which I am not comfortable with? Too many times.
Today, I woke up thinking about the parts of my body that I adore…turns out that I love my legs. They are gorgeous and more importantly they are strong and they root me into the ground, they are my metaphorical rocks. Even this jelly belly that I loathe because it makes clothes shopping a hassle is soft and squishy and warm like a buttery corn muffin. Who doesn’t love a buttery corn muffin?
I won’t lie, it will take some work to truly embrace my entire physical being but just like the mental and spiritual work that I have been doing in recent years. It is time. What about you? What do you adore about your body?