There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with." — Harry Crews
I think I just fell in love with a new quote today. It felt so perfect for what I’m about to write—how I’ve closed a wound in my heart that I’d kept open too long. And instead of another issue to work through, I’ve got a scar. A new scar, a beautiful scar, a scar that tells me I accomplished something I thought was totally impossible.
I learned how to love myself.
It occurred to me the other day that I started this blog planning to talk about one thing and I’ve ended up wanting to talk about something else. Like, a lot of the time. Anyone else notice that?
I think it started when I moved to my own website. I no longer had the words “FULL-FIGURED” yelling at me from the address bar or the top of the page and I guess, maybe, I felt a little liberated and felt like I’d been given permission to write about other things that interested me.
Not so bad, really. In fact, it’s been quite fun.
But I realized something else, while I was realizing all these other things (Sunday, although truly a day where not a lot happened, was apparently chock-full of realizations) and that’s that I haven’t been writing about my struggle with body image because…I…don’t really struggle with body image that much anymore?
When the hell did that happen?
Truthfully, I don’t know. I can’t pinpoint the precise moment I decided to love and accept myself exactly as I am. Starting the blog was monumental, obviously. I was able to publicly deal with a lot of dark and twisty stuff that I’d been bottling up for a long time. What was even more amazing was everyone sharing their stories and struggles with me and all of us working through our crap together. It was awesome. It still is awesome. Please don’t stop telling me about yourselves!
But anyway, I was pinpointing. Or not pinpointing. Or…whatever. I guess at some point I just decided to stop believing all my own bullshit. Actually, I think I decided that if I could teach myself to believe all this bullshit about not being thin/pretty/in-shape/toned/tanned/etc. “enough” (whatever that means) then I could teach myself just the opposite, even if it took another 25 years.
Besides, who doesn’t love a super-sexy and confident woman in her fifties?
I know I do.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a bit of a struggle, but here are some awesome things that have happened since I changed my life a year ago:
-I am 100% healthier in body, mind, and spirit
-I can cook some pretty delicious and healthy dishes
-I prefer walking to driving anywhere
-I wore a bikini on the beach last April (and received an embarrassing amount of positive attention from the natives)
-I’m down a size in my jeans
-I can look at photos of myself and at my own reflection and go, “Damn girl. You look good.” (I did that today, actually.)
Like for instance, today my wonderful husband put up this photo of us:
Before, I know exactly what I would have thought, looking at it. I would have focused on my arms and thought, “Ugh, they’re so fat and pale and unshapely.” And I would have scrutinized my complexion and my double chin and probably found every reason in the world to hate it.
But sometime, over the last three years, something clicked in my brain and I can look at this photo and smile and laugh and tell Jer that it’s one of my favorites we’ve ever taken. Why? Because of my barely contained smile. Because of the way my fingers and hands are bent at such a weird angle that I’m always going to be trying to remember what I was saying to him right before the photo was snapped. And best of all, because of the way Jer is looking at me like I’m unlimited supply of pizza and hot wings. Because we look young and happy and in love and it’s all kinds of perfect.
(Oh, and because my hair looked good and crazy that day, too.)
(See? Good and crazy.)
It’s kind of amazing the difference a little love can make, especially when you aim that love at yourself.
So that’s what’s going on with me. What’s going on with you guys?