body image

Dear Body

It’s almost an every morning occurrence.  Step out of the shower and face my body head on.  Stand up a little straighter, turn sideways, tighten up my core, imagine what it would like if I lost another twenty pounds.  Would that be enough?  If I go to yoga more or maybe start running again, maybe I can get rid of some of that cellulite. Pull my shoulders back, lift my chin higher, think about eating less carbs – stop.

It’s enough.

It’s enough already.  So many minutes turned into hours and days and weeks of tearing down the things I don’t like about my body in the mirror.  Comparing it to the bodies of the women on magazines, on tv.  Never really acknowledging that those women are photoshopped and they don’t even look like that.  But it doesn’t matter because we are raised in a society that tells us we never look good enough.  We always need to be dieting and working out and pushing ourselves more and more to look better and better or risk being miserable cows.

I have an amazing husband, one who tells me every single day that I am beautiful.  And I believe him.  I know he looks at me and sees a beautiful girl.  Why can’t I ever see myself the way that he does?  Why do I want to scoff and list off all of the stuff he must not be seeing?

We aren’t taught to be grateful for our bodies.  To look at them with appreciation for carrying that baby or dealing with that illness or getting up every damn day and going and going and going until we finally stop.  Our scars are ugly and our imperfections should be hidden away and why? Do those things make us unhealthy?  And shouldn’t that really be the whole damn point?  Like I want this body to last, not impress other people. But then those years of being told that I do kick in and there isn’t anyone more critical of those imperfections than I am.

And we just keep right on going.  Teaching our daughters that how they look is super important, judging our friends based on how much weight they gained after that pregnancy.  Having surgeons permanently alter the way that we look so that we can feel one step closer to the cover of that magazine, so we can feel superior.  And it needs to stop.  How we look has to stop being so damn importantly. We need to treat ourselves better and cut ourselves some slack when we want some ice cream after a long day.