“When is the last time you felt good about your body?” the naturopath asked me.
I thought about it for a few seconds, then I said, “I think I’m going to cry.”
“That’s okay,” she and my husband affirmed.
I knew it was okay to cry. But I was taken off guard by own emotions. When I really stopped to think about it, I didn’t know.
It wasn’t in the past year, when out of the blue, I developed a rash that took up my entire forearm. It’s healed now, but it looks like a faint trail of bacteria.
Last year is also when perimenopause seemed to have ramped up and took a hold of my physical being. It’s also when I decided to get a crown on my front tooth, instead of a cap. Since December, I’ve worried everyday about my crown falling off when I eat or when I sleep and grind my teeth, leaving a gaping hole in my mouth.
So, no. I didn’t feel good about my body last year.
What about ten years ago? Nope. That’s when I started gaining a pound a year, even though I worked out four times a week and ate mostly healthy foods. My primary care physician didn’t seem too worried about it, so I figured I didn’t need to be either. Still, I didn’t feel good about my body. I felt fat.
What about twenty years ago? Definitely not. That’s when I had to deliver my second child as a C-section. I wrote about this experience recently, but I want to reiterate that there’s no way anyone can prepare you for your body being sliced open and sewed back together in what seems to be a lackadaisical way.
What about twenty-six years ago? Almost. I almost thought I was okay. It was a year before my wedding. I was talking to my grandmother, and she mentioned that I was fat.
“You’re supposed to wait until you’re married and have kids before you get fat,” were her exact words.
I was 125 pounds.
The next week, I began eating 1200 calorie meals and doing aerobics five times a week. By the time I stood at the altar, I was 100 pounds and a size one, something I’ve never been in my life before or after that date.
What about thirty years ago? YES! The last time I felt good about my body was thirty flipping years ago when I was an eighteen-year-old high school senior. I was petite. I was cute. Curves were curving in all the right spaces. Skin was tight and bright. All of the things were where they were supposed to be.
It’s amazing what can be revealed by just one question.
I’ve never thought of myself as having issues with body image, not really. But as I sit here and reflect on how long it took me to come up with a real answer (30 minutes) and what it took for me to figure out an answer (blog), I admit I have. If I didn’t, I would’ve been able to answer that question much quicker or at least three weeks ago, while I was actually at the doctor’s office.
So, today, I have questions, instead of answers:
- When is the last time you felt good about your body?
- If you already feel good about your body, how do you maintain that feeling?
Until then, I’ll be offline, staring in the mirror, saying some affirmations or something.
143 thoughts on “Monday Notes: The Relationship I Have with My Body”
The last time I felt great about my body was 4 years ago.
I was skinny…. nothing has changed about my body. The only thing that has changed is my environment. 4 years ago I was in campus. Being skinny was model likened.
Now am in the workspace, am the skinniest. I don’t think a week passes before a colleague comments on how small I am.
I never had body issues till now😔
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I think a lot of us never had body issues until someone said something out of pocket to us. Hopefully, you know you’re beautiful…just the way you are 😉
When it comes to body image I think there is a big disconect betwen what we eat and how we want to look. People are constant looking for quick meal solutions rather than giving their body some love. As the old adage says…”We are what we eat”.
Whether that is a weight issue, skin issue, mental health, or exercise issue…. the basis of how we look, feel even smell comes from what we eat and drink.
As a chef ironically who worked many hours making great food, I didn’t always make time for me to sit down, relax and eat a healthy meal. I would get home late at night, raid my freezer late at night for my because I was hungry at 2.am
By healthy, I not talking about low calorie but about paying attention to the ingredients that are often in our foods. Often we allow work schedules, even family commitments to stop us from nurturing our own bodies, if we live alone we tend to eat convenience foods rather cook for 1.
We often treat our cars or homes better than we treat our own bodies. I ended up with health problems because I put my job and everything else above looking after myself.
Through exercise, heathy eating (fresh ingredients with no chemicals or additives), I felt better about my body, my health improved along with my mental health. It wasn’t a quick fix but it has been sustained. Just like relationships we need to nuture our bodies if we want them to love us back.
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I totally agree, Chef! Everything that ails us comes from what we consume. I also think it’s much more time consuming to understand and figure out what to eat. For example, I’ve started eating less wheat. When I look at packages for almond flour tortillas, three ingredients down the line is…wheat! So, yes. I think you’re right. Another example is when I decreased sugar intake, then I felt MUCH better, in general.
Thanks so much for adding this information. I appreciate it.
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It is very important to have a good realtionship with your body and therefore it is very important that being confident about one’s own body is of utmost significance.
Well, don’t forget to go through my articles as well and drop in your valuable feedbacks.
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I totally agree, Deb. If you would’ve asked me how I felt about my body any number of times, I would’ve doubted I had any type of low self-esteem, but alas, we lie to ourselves all the damn time
I feel better now 😉
Thanks for this comment!
Reblogged this on Nelsapy.
The last time I felt good about my body was a week before my birthday, soo… 4 weeks ago now I think.
It’s been a process of love-hate, really. But after years of telling myself I am ugly I figured it’s not worth the energy to feel so low all the time. Now I have days where I think I could look better and days when I like what I see in the mirror. It’s an ongoing battle, but for once I feel I am actually on the winning side of it. So I have a weird nose. Can’t help it. Well, maybe I could, but my fear is: if I’d fix that, what issue comes next? So I leave it. There’s perfection in imperfection, really.
BTW: WHAT a mean thing to say from your grandmother! D:
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No. It absolutely isn’t worth the energy! I don’t think I’ve ever said or thought “I’m fill-in-the-blank,” because I think I just suppressed it like all the other emotions. So, this kind of crept up on me.
Don’t fix the nose. Trust me. I learned that from getting this crown on my front tooth.
And yeah…my grandmother is notorious for saying things that can be considered mean. People usually just laugh. I used to just laugh, but no more.
I spent a whole month telling myself out loud that I love myself. I even broke this weird boundary of mine and said it to my mirror reflection. I also realised I’d never want to trade bodies with someone else or be someone else. That helped, too. 👍
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