When I saw this linky come up in my news feed the other day, I wasn’t real sure that I would participate in it. I mean if there is a person out there that has major, major body image issues, the finger would be pointed directly at me.
There’s no denying that.
So why am I here, even contemplating a blog post on this matter? Well because I made a promise to someone.
I had a Common Chaos Chronicle Facebook reader inbox me and share with me how things had gone to shit in her life right now. She wanted to know how I did everything I do each day and remain sane and I told her the truth.
I said “I don’t”.
I am as ‘normal’ as the next person and I too have a bucket load of crap that I get overwhelmed with and avoid working on. I also offered this lady some advice, well I just basically told her what I would do in her situation, and I made her the promise that if she faced some of these things in her life, then I would face some of my ‘issues’ too.
So I’m coming good on my promise.
Accepting my body for what it is and loving it all the same is one thing I have never, ever been able to do.
For as long as I can remember my life has been one giant rollercoaster of diets and weight-loss plans in a desperate attempt to find the skinny, beautiful me.
It has shaped my mental instability for so many years. It’s the reason I cry so much. It’s the reason I have no confidence at all. Until now, this is something that I have only shared with a psychologist. Today, I am going to face it, so here goes…
As a young teenager I was tormented daily by people about my weight. School was a nightmare. I hated it.
I didn’t ‘fit in’ the cool groups….literally. I couldn’t wear the brand name clothes that they did so I was excluded.
I was laughed at in shopping centers and malls. I once had a big group of older guys surround me at a shopping complex and abuse me for being nothing but a horrid pig and a waste of space. They told me that ‘people like you should not be allowed here, you’re too fat and ugly’.
The deal breaker for me was my high school love. We’d speak every night on the phone for hours and hours. We’d share the most deepest and intimate secrets and thoughts with each other. I was certain he was the one…. Until he told me I was everything he ever dreamed of in a woman, except he preferred the look of my best friend because she wasn’t overweight.
From that day on, I hated every part of me.
Fast forward a few years from there I met my hubby and fell in love. With him. Not me.
Our relationship hit it off quick and before I knew it we were living together and 8 months down the track my dreams had come true when I finally fell pregnant. In the dark. Because I was petrified of having the lights on.
Initially I was so pumped with excitement at the fact that we were having a baby that I embraced my ever growing bump like nobodies business (when I wasn’t puking that is). At the 20 week scan we found out we were expecting twins! More excitement.
It wasn’t until around 30 weeks that I even gained a stretch mark.
As the babies grew, so did I and by the time I was 37weeks pregnant, I could put my back on one side of the door jamb and my twin belly would touch the other side. I was massive!
I had the twins at 38 weeks and was totally consumed by my love for them. So much so that it wasn’t until my 6 week check up that I realised I hadn’t even looked at myself in a mirror since the birth, let alone naked.
I was devastated when I took a peek.
In my eyes I was everything those guys had said in the shopping center, except now it was worse because I was like an overstretched zebra as well.
I sit here now, 8 years later, having had 6 babies, and put on a whole heap of weight with each one and I look for ways to break the cycle. To break up the thought process in my mind that lets me believe all these horrible things about myself.
I have heard people saying that you can’t love someone else unless you love yourself, and I have a lot of love to give, so I best start somewhere.
Somewhere is here. Now.
My body is not perfect. I do not love what it looks like, but I am learning to.
I am slowly altering the image in my head of ‘beautiful, sexy, attractive’ to fit with what I have got, not what I wish I had.
What I do love about my body is that it has carried me this far in life.
It has given me the gift of 6 amazing, inspiring clever little human beings.
It has fed these little people.
My body is loved for each zebra stripe on it, because without those stripes, I would not have my family.
Maybe next year, I will love a whole lot more of me. Hopefully.
What do you love about your body?