Saturday, August 22, 2015

Oh the journey

This morning I had a "moment" while drying off after my shower. As I stood in front of the mirror I thought "This is mine". The thought startled me so much that I actually looked around, half expecting someone else to be in the bathroom with me. I repeated the thought in my head and then let out the biggest sigh of relief ever.

This is the first time in 5? 10? 15? 20? years that this body feels like it belongs to me. When I look in the mirror I don't see a distorted view of myself. I don't see the pain and suffering my body has endured both from me and others. I see me.

I remember a time when I was younger (probably elementary school) that I felt this exact same way. That my body was a vessel to do a lot of really cool things and it's appearance wasn't important, at least in the traditional way that our society thinks about appearances.

Lately I have looked at recent pictures of myself and thought "wow I look pretty good". My weight hasn't changed much recently nor has my body type. But the feelings I have towards myself have. When I look at pictures, I see the light in my eyes, the genuine smile across my face (or the silly face I am making toward my husband), my soft stomach that my daughter uses as a pillow, my strong legs that allow me to stand up at work all day and just my feminine body that CARRIED A CHILD and is now a mother. I see fat because yes, I do have fat on my body, but it's not the enemy. It belongs there just as my eyes belong on my face and my toes on my feet.

The other day I went shopping for some tank tops and sports bras. While in the dressing room, I got stuck in a sports bra. There was a good 30seconds that I thought I was going to have to graciously ask someone to help me get it off. Thankfully, after some serious acrobatics and ninja moves I was able to get it off on my own. After a quick laugh, I realized that there was no guilt or shame towards my body for this experience, this bra just wasn't made for me.

I remember when I used to squeeze into clothes that were too small because I was embarrassed to buy a bigger size. I also remember when I used to drown in clothes that were too big because I wanted to hide my body or had lost a lot of weight quickly. Now I wear clothes that fit comfortably, no matter what the tag says. Can I just take a moment to tell you how AMAZING it is to wear clothes that fit? You should definitely try it out.  

This post has been all over the place. Once I started typing about this morning, I started remembering all of the other amazing things I have experienced in my body lately and my fingers decided to share them all.

Ever since I started my recovery process, almost exactly 4 years ago, I longed for this "body love" that I heard people speak of. It always seemed so out of reach for me, especially after my body and weight changed drastically during my pregnancy. It turns out that it isn't impossible for me, but instead it just looks a lot different. Instead of focusing on my body and appearance, loving my body is appreciating it for what it does and then focusing on the important things in my life. It's showing up in a bathing suit every day because it's a part of my job and I feel my best when I am around the water. While some people feel fat activism is important and a part of their body acceptance journey, I prefer to honor and love my body in private. I don't spend large amounts of time in front of the mirror anymore and when I find myself on the scale, I know I am looking for something much deeper than a number.

I am pretty content in this place. I am constantly amazed at how far I have come with this all and many other things in my life. I am not really sure what is in store for the future of this blog but I will just wait and see what unfolds. Thank you everyone who reads this, for allowing me the space to show up and be authentic and real.