My Body


When did the hatred for my physical self start?

In the shower this morning, a month post-colectomy, I dug deep into the question.  My recovery has been rougher than I “planned” (don’t ever plan a medical recovery because it is a fluid thing). I have lost a lot of weight and don’t recognize myself. I get zaps and twinges of pain, bouts of nausea, headaches… And am trying to be less if an impatient patient. My mind is foggy. My physical body weak. 

Back to the question. When did the hatred for my  physical self start?

Growing up I remember being outside, running, biking, pretending I was a horse from the waist down and its rider from waist up. I never remember hating how my body looked or moved then. It just was. It did what I asked. I do remember wishing I could run faster and not being great at sports in gym class. I was coltish. 
When I moved from the Northeast to Texas?  I was 13. Ah. I was a makeup less, straight-haired tomboy surrounded by Farrah Fawcett wanna-bes. Light blue eyeshadow and feathered hair surrounded me. And these eighth grade girls were beautiful. I was on another planet.  So I cut my hair (which would not feather), and over plucked my brows and coated the lids on my green eyes with baby blue shadow. To. Fit. In.  

And I started reading Tiger Beat, Sassy, and Seventeen magazines and looking at my reflection and knowing I wasn’t one of the beautiful people.  I didn’t understand about airbrushing back then (before Photoshop). I just new that my looks WERE NOT ENOUGH.  They didn’t meet the magazine standard. 

And then the boy I had a crush on found out and went “yuck”.

So I got fat. I turned to food. I wanted nothing to do with any of it so I ate to make it not matter. 

I stayed fat until I was about to start college and my brother’s best friend decided I was cute enough to kiss. 

In my twenties: I followed trends with big hair and diets. I worked out sporadically, but other than riding horses wasn’t a fan of any sport. I didn’t realize the power of my body.    I was five eight and 135 and thought I was still the fat girl.  I read Cosmo and compared myself constantly to women in magazines and my peers.  I was never enough. I dated and got rejected. I dated and rejected. I never dreamed about a wedding as a child. Looking back I see a few bad decisions based on wanting someone else to tell me I. Was. enough. 

And then I did something ridiculous: I married a man with whom I wasn’t ever enough, but I didn’t really see that until we split up 15 years later. 

My body has: survived operations, flu, colds, falls, too much alcohol, carried and gave birth to two huge babies, had pieces of it removed and I’m still here. 

And yet this is still something I struggle with. I see the the inner light in others but not in me.  My self talk is horrible. I must have new mantras. 

At the tender age of 52 I need a crash course. No make up allowed. 


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