Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Choice at Hand

There are so many things I want to write about, yet it is so hard to sit and take the time to put them all down into words. I think that's why I'm a much better talker than writer, because I can get so much more out by talking than by writing. Yes, it is healing and therapeutic at times to write things out, but most of the time? I prefer to talk them out. I'm so grateful for my wonderful husband, who, night after night, listens to me blab on and on about random things, who listens to me work through my crap (I have to talk things out, I cannot simply process them in my mind and be done with it). I am so thankful for family who listens to me drone on and on about the latest developments with Shepherd, with me, or other things that I feel are important. If I typed what I actually talk about, you wouldn't have the time to sit and read through all of it... so in a way, it's kind of hard for me to write... I have to pick something, anything, and write about it. Anyways....

I've been reading a lot lately about loving your body for what it is. There are so many bloggers talking about this site(warning, there is some nudity), and publishing pictures of themselves post partum. Don't worry, I'm not feeling that brave yet, but it has been truly inspiring. I sat there while looking at Shape of a Mother and was flabbergasted that these women would post such vulnerable photos of their post-partum bodies. Flabbergasted, and relieved all at once. I scrolled through all of the photos, and poured over them over and over again, identifying myself in the pictures, and breathing a sigh of relief that I am not the ONLY WOMAN in history to have horrible stretch marks that refuse to go away. It was as if I was suddenly initiated into this band of mothers who love their bodies and celebrate the "battle wounds" of motherhood.

I have talked before about my struggle with weight, and my struggle with my body image, but many of you probably are unaware of how serious this struggle is with me. My husband knows, because night after night, I pour my heart out to him, wanting to be beautiful, and his words, "But you are beautiful!" fall on deaf ears. I know that he loves me no matter what... yet I struggle because I want him to really, really, REALLY love me, the physical me. And where he probably loves that part of me anyways, it's hard for me to believe it because so often, I don't even love myself. I am incredibly hard on myself, and every time I stand in front of the mirror, I wince. I spend countless moments wishing I looked more like other mothers I know, and when I hear them complain of pouchy bellies, I want to scream because I compare myself to them, and to me? They have perfect bodies.

What I'm slowly beginning to realize is that we all hate our bodies. We all feel the same way about our bodies, and no matter how beautiful we truly are, somehow we don't get it. I know, I know, this has been talked about beyond the point of beating a dead horse, yet I have never "gotten" it. No matter what my body shape, no matter how beautiful I am, if I cannot love me for me, if I cannot love who I am, then I will always compare myself to others, and I will always be disappointed.

God, I wish it was as easy as just saying that to truly believe it. I know that as soon as I finish typing this, I'll walk back to my room, and walk by the mirror, where I must decide. Do I do what I do every night, and rip my image to pieces until there is nothing redeemable about what I see? or must I find some good in the woman in the mirror, even if it only exists within the shell that I see? That, my friends, is the true challenge.

4 comments:

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Amen.

I am constantly on a weight roller coaster. Sometimes I think if the "normal" stores carried larger sizes I wouldn't be constantly reminded that my size is so unacceptable.

Sometimes I wonder if that isn't why Old Navy is so popular.

Avorie said...

What a beautiful post. So true...

Thanks for sharing the site. I wish I had thought of it!

Judy said...

found you through So The Fish Said...

i'm not a mother, but i am totally the same way with my body and how badly i berate myself some times. i was always an overweight child growing up and i got picked on for it. a lot. a lot a lot. and, stupidly, i believed every bad word i heard about me. still, to this day, even after losing 45 pounds and changing my life around, i agonize over every centimeter of flesh [saggy, squishy flesh] that covers my body.

i've gotten to the point where i can usually ignore it on most days. but it's never really gone. i don't know if it ever will be. so... i know how you feel (minus the baby part); you're definitely not alone.

Liza said...

I'm so there with you.

The occasional days where a new "pre-preg" article of clothing fits are ridiculously exciting, and most days the mirror is just a stressor.

I want to think of my c-sec scar and stretch marks as positive markers of what I did to become a mother, but when I look at them, all I see is ugly. And complaint. (Why can't the whole scar be like the 1-inch area that is thin and pale? Why is the rest of it still so big and red? Grrr.)