Seeing yourself through your body

This is a retrospective piece I wrote a few years ago and I came across it this morning while thinking about what to say to you today.  Because it is a difficult season right now for lots of reasons (eating is only one of them!), I thought it appropriate.  Enjoy and please let me know your thoughts!

Seeing yourself through your body – why this delays change

For years, I viewed my self worth through the lens of my body. Not my body really, as it truly was, but my body as I judged it and had others judge it. If you’ll pardon thself-lovee pun, everyone ‘weighed in’ on my body. I think it started youngish when I didn’t realize that I wasn’t fat, just had high cheekbones and eyes that were set in a little too deep, in a round shaped face. I would look at my friends’ face (which was long and narrow) and judge my own, based on it.

My family on my dads’ side were all heavyset, so genetics were not on my side. Somewhere along the line, I started eating my emotions. Plus, lets not lie here, I’ve always like food. But I’ve had lots of nights – still do on occasion – where I eat myself into submission so that I can start the whole ‘you’re an idiot, you’ll never be beautiful, you’re stupid and can never change’ cycle. I’ll eat and eat and eat, doesn’t really matter what, until I’m almost sick just so that I can start the cycle properly. I sometimes still find it hard to be as kind to myself as I am to others. I am working on that!!self-love2

The whole point to this is that early in life, I began seeing myself through a warped mirror/lens and never stopped. Until now. And, honestly, sometimes I still slip. Going to Paris this year was difficult because the judgement is so easy there. All of the girls look like models with no breasts and bad feet and limbs that are no larger than your forearm, impeccably dressed, fabulously shod, and smoking like chimneys. So, the stores, with their beautiful clothes, and very small inventory, rarely carry anything above a size 6 or 8, at the most.

The first couple of days had me viewing myself through my body again. ‘Oh, you’re so big! and Fat! and disgusting!’ Trust me, this internal dialogue continues to rear its ugly head. I’m in no way ‘fixed’. But I finally realized that Paris, in all it beauty and glory, is a mecca for these people, and in no way reflects reality. In reality, I am beautiful and my body is lovely for what it is. But it took a day of bike riding and laughter to help me get there.

Here’s the nugget.

Until you can see yourself for what you truly are, and not through the lens of your perceived notions, you will not find yourself beautiful or worthy. And, you will not begin the journey to the real you – the one worth seeing, keeping and celebrating. And, you will not understand until then that you are worthy, valuable, keep-able.rosie-riveter-self-love

How do you do that? I wish I had a magic bullet for you to use, to see the gorgeous you, but I don’t. You simply have to be ready to be there. And to see.

Now, you see the pictures of me. I’m not perfect and I don’t have a perfect shape, whatever that is. I’m not Paris. But, I have a body that’s healthy. I have a body that I’m proud of – or the majority of the parts at least.

In taking inventory:

  • I have eyes that light up when I laugh and show empathy and sorrow for others.
  • I like my nose, and my full lips.
  • I have a great smile. Full and quick.
  • I like my hair and how it looks when its first blow dried and when the grey is hiding..
  • I love wearing sweaters that bare my shoulders. I feel very sexy and female when I am wearing them, so I wear them often. And the artwork peeking out is just right for me.
  • I like how my lower leg looks with the tattoo, and in skirts just the right length.
  • I have strong, powerful legs that take me wherever I want to go.

And most of all, I am Enough.  So are you. Try this inventory for yourself. Appreciate you. You’re amazing.

Much love for the season,

Melanie

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