My body acceptance took a hit in the last year and I fell off the self-esteem wagon. I was accused of fucking up at work during a time of intense stress in my personal life. After several months of reflection I disagree that I fucked up and I think I was thrown under the bus by someone else higher up the food chain who fucked up.
I started thinking shitty things about my body, something that hadn't happened in a long time. Like most women in Western culture I can give a detailed list of everything that's "wrong" with my body, but I stopped buying into that a long time ago, so this was weird. Then it turned nasty. When I realized what was happening in my head I knew I had to stop that shit.
So, I worked at re-routing my thoughts any time something about my body started making its way to the surface. "No," I told myself and changed the subject in my head. I knew I wouldn't believe it at first and I didn't and I felt like I was chastising myself like a little kid. After a few weeks of this, of not allowing myself to look away when I looked into the mirror, I've noticed that it isn't happening as much.
Yesterday I saw myself in a full-length mirror at a store and went "Gross." My hair was a bit of a mess, I wasn't wearing a bra, I was wearing a tank top and my gross upper arms were gross. I also saw the look on my own face as this was going through my head. THAT, internet friends, was sobering.
Why would I do that to myself? TO MYSELF. I'M DOING THIS TO MYSELF. Yesterday, when I thought I looked so awful? It was warm outside and I was comfortable. Does anyone care about my fat arms? If they do, they need a fuller life. If you have time to worry about other people's bodies you need a fucking hobby.
I don't know about you, but my body does amazing things. It gets me around, helps me be creative, literally supports me, brings light and sound into my world and saves me from getting hurt. I need to give back to it. I eat good food and the right kinds of food for my body. I use insulin to manage my blood sugar. I go to sleep at a decent hour. I do my crafty/creative stuff. I walk. I shower. I give myself pedicures. I behave in ways that are consistent with my values. I spend time with my wonderful friends and family.
Here are a couple Margaret Cho moments that bring me back around when I start feeling shitty about myself:
"So from the age of 10, I became anorexic, and then bulimic, and then stayed that way for about 20 years, until one day I just said, "Hey, what if this is it? What if this is just what I look like and nothing I do changes that? So how much time would I save if I stopped taking that extra second every time I look in the mirror to call myself a big fat fuck? How much time would I save if I just let myself walk by a plate-glass window without sucking in my gut and throwing back my shoulders? How much time would I save?" And it turns out I save about 97 minutes a week. I can take a pottery class."
And the big finish. (YouTube link) (Notorious C.H.O.)
What do you do to show your body you love it? Not what you "should" do or haven't yet done. What do you do now?