“These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them.”

10 Dec

Dear Body.

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.

13 Responses to ““These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them.””

  1. nylonthread December 10, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    Thordora, cheers! Love your body with all your heart; it’s so easy to fall prey to the fashion-industry ideal. The truth is that once you find a balance in your own life, worrying about weight becomes silly.

    With regard to the people around us like coworkers, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they have expensive wardrobes and they’re trying to maintain their weight during holiday eating so they don’t have to replace work clothes with money they don’t have. If they do have some sort of inferiority complex about their bodies where they’re desperate to lose, they don’t need to broadcast it (like your coworkers seem to be doing! gawd that would be annoying). Ignore them.

  2. Bromac December 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    What a beautiful and powerful post. The imagery and power of your images of your mother superimposed upon your body were amazing. I am sure this experience would solidify and cause anyone to come off the fence.

    I, too often, am guilty of hating my body. I need to do better, like you, b/c I am so worried I will give my own daughter complexes about her body and that I do not want to do.

  3. Robot Dancers December 10, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    I have hated my body for so long that I forget what it’s like to not shrink away from my reflection….

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful post and reminding me.

  4. superlagirl December 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    This was a great post.

    This past summer, I watched my grandfather waste away and eventually die from lupus, and I decided to love my own body until it inevitably breaks down completely. It’s hard to overcome decades of self-loathing, though. Lord.

  5. sweetsalty kate December 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    “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.”

    (gasp) Thor, this is so incredible. what a sight, a gift.

  6. missy December 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Definitely. Thanks for this.

    (I must ask, though, is this in reaction to the latest Oprah “weight gain” stuff that’s all over the news?)

  7. thordora December 10, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    It’s a post that’s been germinating, but Oprah was kind of the last straw… 🙂

    Thanks all.

  8. summer December 11, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Just the kind of powerful, beautiful, tragic, empowering, hopeful post I needed to read this morning.
    My Mother has cancer, she loathes her body, she has passed this onto me. I have no right. Thank you for reminding me of that. Your writing is beautiful.

  9. Bon December 11, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    tears in my eyes. so beautiful…you, and this wisdom, this celebration.

  10. thordora December 11, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    Thank you ladies.

    I suppose I just finally realized how much effort it takes to hate the most important thing I have, and how ultimately, I don’t want to waste the time and effort. I’ll still bemoan the lack of pants, but I did that at size 14 as much as I do at size 22, 15 years later.

  11. March December 11, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    this indeed is a wonderful post, and it applies so much to all of us, whether we’re a size 6 or a size 22… we all have issues with our bodies and need to come to the point where we love them for what they are and not for what we wish them to be.

  12. angharad December 29, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    i just found you from crazymumma pointing me to your blog. i love this post so much. i am in a funny place right now about a lot of stuff in my life and this spoke to me very much. thank you.

  13. shereenjacinda January 6, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    I haven’t a clue who you are, and stumbled upon your blog randomly, and in fact, this is my first time even commenting on a blog, but this was fantastic. This was empowering and thought provoking and so well written. I admire your strength and hope that someday all women will realize this about their own bodies. thank you.

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