Removing Labels

I think it is apparent that I am moving to a different chapter in my life.  With that being said, I am going to approach a subject that might be uncomfortable.  But, as with my writing, I am not overly consumed with the notion that I might offend someone.  I write from the core and sometimes that puts me into a vulnerable light.  And while this particular blog is a confession of this middle-age woman’s body image, I am certain that it will hit a cord with the other gender as well.  It is a universal topic.

As I skirted along in my 20s and 30s with my perky boobs and bouncy bottom, I neglected to appreciate those attributes.    But even then, I never felt “pretty”, “sexy’ or “attractive.”  All of the words that society uses to describes our outer appearance.  (By now, my in-laws and various other individuals are now wishing they had not logged on to read today’s entry.  Oh well, I guess my spouse can field their calls.)  Anyway, as I have aged, my body has taken a drastic turn. Rebelled.  Betrayal screams.   Similar to a busted can of biscuits, my stomach has rolls, my boobs need to be readjusted when I lie down, and I no longer have a figure.  There are life’s tattoos planted where my stomach stretched to accommodate two humans which remind me how my body has served the greater good.    But, my own body image still remains distorted.

As I look at photographs of me growing up, I was never plump, so I am puzzled on how I got here.  I do remember being kept very active.  My recollection of the story was being told that all the ballet dancing, ice skating, and any other activity that involved exercise would keep the weight off.   I suppose that is where my lopsided view of my body developed.

Now, at the age of 51, I am dealing with the emotional residue of a lifelong, distorted view of my body.  I struggle with my weight today…..a lot.   Not just the expansion of my waste, but the tapes in my head telling me “you’re fat”.   I am working on replacing the old tapes.   I am working on accepting compliments from my husband who still looks at me the same way he did when we met.   He rolls his eyes more at me today, but he never criticizes my ever-changing body and that is a pretty valuable asset to have in a partner.   The process of self-acceptance is a battle at times and I am still very much a work in progress.

I know that I am a valued human.   I love myself despite my body image issues.   There is a deep appreciation for how my body continues to thrive on a daily basis.  It is the view that I have of my appearance that can make me feel insecure.  It is deep rooted, so I must continue the battle of being able to accept my body for exactly where it is.  Celebrate that I am healthy.   Acknowledge that I take care of my body by exercising and eating right…..most of the time.   But also being able to say aloud, “I am not comfortable with my own body at this time” and not criticizing myself for feeling that way.   My whole point for unleashing my insecurities about my body in a very public forum,  is to simply express my own experience with this very pivotal subject.  By sharing with others, the power of my distorted view isn’t so strong.  Plus, I know I am not alone in the struggle.  There is comfort in numbers.

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