Love your Self.

25 10 2011

How many times in the last day, week, month or year did you weigh yourself and proceed to slam your body? How many times did you stand in front of your mirror, naked and exposed, despising your curves? How many times did thoughts echo in your brain: I’m too fat. I’m flabby. Oh my god, my thighs are horrendous. If my ass was smaller, I’d be able to fit into my jeans. Ugh, I hate my body. If I could only lose weight I’d be that much more happier. If only I could… If only… if…. if… if…. How much did you hate yourself?

How long have you been doing this? Since you were 20? 15? 10?

When did you make that conscious choice to LOVE your body no matter what? Or have you not done that yet?

Tonight, I talked my daughter through her tears of self-hatred and bitterness when she weighed herself. That silly and meaningless number on the scale reared its head and slashed her spirit. Her words were like poison darts. “I’m fat. I hate myself!”

I hugged her so hard. I wiped away her tears, only to have new ones eagerly replacing the ones I dried away. Her face was resolute in her disgust. She crumpled internally, her heart already recognizing that, for some, her only worth to others is how she looks and how much she weighs.

I stood, fists clenched against the world and told her “NO! You are NOT fat! You are STRONG and HEALTHY and LOVELY!  You are more than those numbers. You are caring and sweet and funny and smart and lively and witty and because of all that, you are beautiful.”

How I wish my heart could imprint this into hers so that she never knows how to despise her body. I wish that she could wear her body proudly, loving it as deeply as I do. Admiring all that her body does – her beating heart, her intricate brain, her resilient skin. All these parts fall into place as perfection. If she is over or under weight is a moot point. It does not matter. I only wish for her to love her SELF so that she can march forward into her life, proudly declaring THIS IS ME AND WHO I AM. I AM NOT JUST THIS BODY YOU SEE AND THE FACE YOU COVET OR DESPISE. I WILL NOT CARE IF YOU DO NOT LOVE ME FOR I LOVE MY SELF.

If I could do one thing for the world, it would be this for all these women yet to be. I would gift them admiration of their bodies – the miraculous way they move and thrive, give life, nurture, create, strive, love, laugh, struggle, breathe, cultivate and cry and I would take away their hatred and loathing, their resoluteness of secondary worth, their despondent lack of hope and brilliance.

I would stomp away all their feelings of no self-worth. I would build their trust and inspire their own truth. I would whisper in their ear: You are worthy. You are WORTHY. I would whisper it until their souls listened.

Oh, and I would throw away every scale known to man. I think I’ll start with mine.

 

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I propose this.

18 10 2011

The influx of unique and sweet and romantic and funny and audacious marriage proposals are everywhere on the ol’ innernetz these days. Some are vomit-inducing (I say that in the kindest way I can), some are completely moronic, some are so bloody romantic they meme their way across facebook profiles faster than herpes spreads in a college freshman dorm room.

This summer, at my cousin’s wedding, my other cousin was proposed to during the evening. (Now, now, don’t fret. Mike totally asked the bride’s permission before he stole any thunder…) We had been watching everyone dance when my husband leaned over to me and whispered that Mike was proposing to Jessica.

Well. By my hollering, you would have thought it was me being proposed to. I yelled and hooted and jumped out and down and basically looked (and sounded) like a complete dork. I blame the bottle glass of wine I was drinking. It was so freakin’ cool. I have never witnessed a proposal before. Truly, it was something special to behold.

My own little proposal would never warrant a million hits on YouTube. I was about four months pregnant with our first child (totally planned, y’all). We never were that type to do things in the traditional manner. Then again, nowadays, what the hell is traditional? For me, being married was important. Getting married wasn’t.

My darling came home that afternoon from a day of fishing with his buddy. He knelt down on one knee, rubbed my tummy and asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife.

My response was to ask him if he had been drinking.

“Of course,” he replied. “I needed a little liquid courage in me to ask you!” to which we both laughed.

I said yes, obviously. We got married the following year, surprising our families at a birthday barbeque. No one knew what we were up to that day until we handed out “invitations” when the marriage commissioner showed up. My bouquet was my deliciously chubby baby boy. We stood by my sister-in-law’s pond, surrounded by immediate family all clad in beach wear, flip-flops and shorts.

Still, regardless of the lack of a fancy white dress, tuxedos, bridesmaids and groomsmen, flowers and oodles of money spent on our day, those words we vowed to one another over twelve years ago were still as sweet and true as anyone’s.





This one time, in high school…..

13 10 2011

When I reached the upper grades in high school, my confidence soared and I left behind the fashion path that many of my peers chose. Instead, I donned my treasured tassled leather jacket, mixed it up with ripped up jeans, HUGE hair (no lie, one time my chemistry teacher asked the kid behind me if he could see the blackboard…) and Guns n’ Roses t-shirts. My mother bought me a black leather mini skirt and it could not have made me happier…..

I wore that skirt a lot. I loved it.

Until one day when my English/writing/western civilization teacher, whom the majority of us dubbed “Piggy”, for obvious reasons yet to be explained, asked me if I could, and I quote, “Do a cartwheel in front of him.”

In retrospect, I think that was just a tad bit DISGUSTING.

 





The day I was felt up by three different people….. (and no, that’s not as hot as it sounds.)

11 10 2011

About two weeks ago while in the shower, I felt a lump in my left breast.

Even though the water was hot, I instantly felt cold. It was fairly round, about the size of a marble. I gently felt it again, just to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. Nope. Still there.

I busied myself getting dressed to head into town. I called my family doctor and they got me in right away. So away I went.

Normally, the half hour drive to town is a pleasant time, generally spent by pretending I am an AWESOME singer….. ignoring any side-eyes other drivers cast my way. This time, I was planning my funeral, on what to say to my kids, on how to make my own hair into a wig. (You have no idea how lumpy my head is.) Wondering if I was going to be “the one”. The one that actually gets cancer. The gloom and doom of What-If was hovering treacherously close to my spirit.

But hey, on the bright side, there’s always medical marijuana!

My doctor assessed the lump and told me she felt sure it wasn’t anything to be overly concerned about, but best get it looked at by the specialist, as well as having a mammogram (my first) and an ultrasound. She also informed me to not fret. Oh, she knows me well.

So, away I went a few days later.

First the mammogram. I wasn’t nervous about it. Just curious as to how they would smoosh my tiny girls. The technician became very familiar with my knockers. She maneuvered my breast like it was a lump of pizza dough, placing it between the two pieces of plastic, readying me for the big squeeze. As it compressed, I let curiosity get the best of me and glanced down. I was astonished at how flat they got my sweater puppies. They looked like pancakes. Boobcakes, if you will.

I got felt up by my ultrasound tech next. And then headed off to the specialist to be felt up, yet again.

I was assured that 9 times out of 10, these lumps are either cysts or fibroadenomas. Whew! He called back the next day with the test results from the hospital. I will need to have a needle aspirate to make sure it is just a cyst.

It was a surreal few days. We ALL know someone who has gone through breast cancer. It turned out well for me, but for some other woman, it won’t. She will actually be going through all the motions of being diagnosed with cancer that whirred around my brain. She will have to tell her kids, her friends, her partner. She will have to brave the world as a changed woman. As a woman with cancer.

Oh, I have sent my abundant gratitude up to the powers that be when I found out it wasn’t serious.

Ladies, friends, loved ones…. Eat well. Get lots of sleep. Exercise. And check your boobs every month. And if you’re over 40, go get ’em squished. It wasn’t bad at all.