I love my body.
I am in awe of it’s ability to expand and contract. I cannot believe that I grew a whole human being in my body, gave birth to it (in a process I cannot believe anybody survives to tell a story about) and lived to yap on and on about it. It is fascinating to me to realize that I am so strong and powerful. This body that I dress this way and that depending on how I feel that day. This body that I beat up when I work out. This body! This body is great.
I hate my body.
What is it with these stretch marks that look like I was attacked by a saber toothed tiger? I mean, sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and I’m like, ‘really? Did you get worse overnight? Did the night air make you more visible? Are you actually spreading to my legs now? You have got to be kidding me! Get a life stretch marks…go find something else to do…like play marbles on the highway.’
Then there’s my stomach area. The muscles here have been put to the pregnancy challenge- how much can you stretch and bend, how much space can you make for a big big baby? At one time (when I was a teenager), my stomach actually curved inwards, like those over-retouched models you see on magazine covers. I wore 2 piece swim suits because I was confident I looked the way I was ‘supposed’ to- beautiful. ‘How do you look like that? Do you work out?’, people would ask. ‘Nope’, I’d respond with pride, ‘it’s just how I am I guess’. I want to laugh so hard now, because it’s so funny and so sad at the same time. Needless to say, my stomach doesn’t curve inwards anymore.
But this is why I say, I love my body. Even though my stomach isn’t the way it was, I’m very happy with the way it is now. It’s strong and flat and on some days, even hard. After what it’s been through, I feel as if it has decided ‘life is tough, I’m going to be tough too’.
This is something I want to teach Kendi loud and clear, it’s something my own mother taught me- love yourself, where you are, when you’re there, because how boring is it to always love yourself ‘back in the day’?
And I’m sure this is why my body and I have such a tumultuous relationship. My body keeps telling me, ‘you’re beautiful like this, so lean and mean, so fat and round with a baby growing inside you, so soft and delicious like a brand new mum, so strong for training for this marathon. You are beautiful girl.’ And I’m like, ‘yeah I believe you, no I’m too tired to care, I can’t even walk up these steps with my baby without panting, yes I believe you.’
It’s ridiculous, it’s as if I have schizophrenia!