My battle with my body image has been a constant in my life. Hearing that I was fat and ugly from my brother, comparing myself to my beauty queen sister, knowing I was not as pretty or as good at singing or piano as she was. Watching my Mother struggle with her weight. Going with her to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, etc. I don’t know if that planted the seeds of knowing my body wasn’t good enough, but I am sure it didn’t help.
I don’t remember when I first started hating my body, or being aware that it was not as good as others. I know it was in grade school. I remember being in dance class, and while I wasn’t the biggest girl in the class, I was very cognizant of my belly – the one that the fun skinny girls didn’t have.
As I grew into a teenager, I was never fat by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt it. I wore a size 8 jeans, was in cheerleading, track and swimming. I was healthy and fit. But, since I didn’t fit into the mold of the other girls wearing a size 1 or 2, I told myself that I was not as good as they were. I was ugly and fat.
I believed the lies that had been fed to me. This has continued into my adulthood and I am tired of it. I am tired of not believing in myself and tired of despising the way I look.
I don’t want my daughters to grow up with body issues the way I have. I watch my Mother and sister as they obsess over their bodies, how much they ate, how they look, what clothes do and don’t fit…I don’t want that for my life. I don’t want for the first sentence out of my mouth when I see someone I love to be, “well? Can you see I’ve lost weight?”.
I am so much more than my body.
I am more than this body that I obsess over. I am learning to believe my body is an amazing thing. This is something that is difficult for me to accept. That my body, this place that houses my soul, this overweight, flabby, frizzy haired thing is amazing.
The first week of Body Restoration has been great. My homework for the week has been to thank my food whenever I eat. I am really good at doing it when it is something healthy. However, when I am eating my 4th no bake chocolate cookie, I am not thanking it. It has made me much more aware of what I put in my mouth though.
Sweet Liberty has started thanking her food too. I love that. She will say, “thank you crackers for being so yummy” and if I forget, she is quick to remind me.
I have also had to write down everyday what my body does. Today my body…held my baby, nursed my baby, ran 5 miles, comforted a sick child, did laundry, hugged my husband, laughed with my children…the list goes on and on. I am more than my body.
The second part of the class this week was making our body book. This is a book that I will work on throughout the class. This is my book of collages, thoughts, and art projects.
This is a challenge as I try to unlock the artistic side of me. I am creative, but not with paper, paint, and pencils. Give me fabric or yarn and I can sew or knit something wonderful to express myself. Tell me to do it with a different medium than I am used to and it is an entirely different story.
I think this is good though. This forces me to step outside my comfort zone, to really think about what I am doing and why.
I am so much more than what you see. I am so much more than what I see. And I pray that I will soon really start to believe that.
**Note – not my real eye color. I don’t know why I felt the need to disclose that, but I do.