I love you. I’ve decided, finally, to come off the fence, and just say it.
I’ve spent time loathing you. Holding parts of you and crying, being angry, wishing something could be smaller or bigger, my tits not so pendulous, my thighs not so strong. I’ve stared in a mirror many times, glaring at my soft belly, at 12 or 22 or now at 31, wishing it away, once at 18 or so punching myself until I couldn’t even cry anymore, sick of what I saw an an unhealthy and tired body.
No fucking more. I am blessed with this body, with it’s softness and strength, with it’s weakness and beauty. Last night, I stood before the mirror, foggy with shower. My arms were wrapped around my belly, and I stared. At a body that’s round and fertile and heavy with life. A beautiful life, displayed before me, forced despite, or in spite of, any acceptance I might prefer.
Right then, I thought of my mother, her body in a mirror, left breast gone, scars remaining, lumps strewn beneath it still. I imagined her thinking of me, in my bedroom down the hall, snoring lightly, and how her body didn’t create me, but sustained me despite this. How she much have despised her body, that turncoat, for eating itself out until she was nothing more than a frail shell of skin and bone inhabited by the ghost of the woman she was.
I saw her-superimposed on my height, on my girth, she stood with me, my hands on her barren belly, her soft hair, bloated hands. She stared me deep in the eye and said “You daughter, are more lovely than you’ll ever know.”
And she was gone.
Who am I to judge my body? Who am I to judge that which cradled my children as they grew, which holds me when I cry, pleases me when I love? Who am I to think my stomach too broad, my breasts too heavy, my legs to wide? Who am I to judge the weight of a body?
I don’t recall my mother ever saying a bad word about her body. She was a beautiful, petite woman who carried some extra pounds, be it from cancer treatments or from life. She also carried an incredible sense of her value and worth, a grace about her, a serenity, even before she was sick. She was powerful, and her body was an extension of that power in it’s quietude. Her signpost to the world was a body she loved and treated well.
I have never been small, not since I was 9 or so. I’ve been tall and broad and strong my entire life almost, gaining, losing according to life and circumstance. I cared once, I did.
Now? Not so much. Now I stare at the people, so many people around me desperate to lose a few pounds, desperate to base their worth on their pant size, and I wonder what they miss. What do they miss, focused on food so much? What do they miss, counting points and grams and feeling horrid for having that cookie yesterday or not eating all morning so they can have a little bit of dessert? What’s missing from life to make the lie that weight loss is TEH AWESOME so prominent for people?
I refuse to miss anything. I refuse to curse my body, curse it’s curves, curse it’s generosity. I refuse to disparage the thing that brought such loveliness into this world, the thing which thrives with love and care, blossoms with kind words and spring rain. I refuse to hate myself any longer. I refuse to wish for smaller, or tighter, or different.
I am me. Hear me roar.