Monday, January 20, 2014

On Learning to Love My Body

Yes, I'm here to talk body image issues again. Is it getting old yet? Keep reading because what I have to say is going to


If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I (like scores of women around me) struggle with body images. I could point out every single dimple, wrinkle, stretch mark, gray hair, odd colored mark, birthmark in a wrong place......blah blah blah. Every compliment you give me will be returned by a self-administered insult.

"You look pretty," you'd say.
"Thanks but you must not see these bags under my eyes," I'd say.

"Your hair looks great," you'd say.
"Except for this gray streak I haven't covered," I'd say.

So on and so forth. . .

Trust me, I have a list of things I think are wrong with the way I look.



I am harboring a secret and when I realized it, I was ashamed! I felt guilty. I have sat on the knowledge of this secret for about two weeks before getting the courage to tell you. . . As a matter of fact, I'm ready to chicken out now.

Here it is....

I'm sexy and I know it. (wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah....sorry had to). 

Deep breath, my secret is out. 

Here it guilty secret....

I spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, especially with all my recent weight loss. I look in the mirror in the bathroom, my full length mirror by my closet, and even my reflection in windows if it catches my attention.

And I like what I see.

The other day, I stood in my bra and panties in front of my full length mirror and admired my curves. Yes, you read it right. I was admiring the heck out of those curves. Glad I have them. And my other parts look pretty good too. I have nice shaped legs, a decent rear-end, and I really like my shoulders and collarbones. My wrists and hands are sort of graceful and taper nicely. My waist goes in a little and then my hips go out a little and it's a pretty good combination if you ask me. I'm a little soft and curvy and I really really like it. As a matter of fact, I stood the other day in matching black bra and panties and thought to myself that I was looking pretty sexy and I certainly wouldn't kick me out of bed. My legs are nice and shapely. Actually for my height (I'm short), my legs are a little longer than most (yes, it's possible, my torso is a little shorter and my legs are longer than someone else who's 5'5").

(oh and since we're sharing secrets here.....I suddenly have a fascination with lingerie because I look dang good in it. I don't care if no one will see it, actually maybe that's better. it's all for me. I want garters and stockings and pretty tights and bras in every color and a drawer full of pretty panties. . .I love it).

go ahead and gasp now. . . there's more....

I like my face better than I did at 18. I'm beautiful. I have gorgeous skin and pretty eyes. My lips are definitely my favorite facial feature; although I like my nose too. My skin glows. I have some cute little freckles across my nose and cheeks. I have a smile that will make you smile too....seriously, the one compliment I get over and over is my smile. I have nice cheekbones. And really great hair (thanks mom). It's thick, soft, and straight.

What am I saying?

I'm hot. I'm sexy. I'm beautiful. I'm kind of cute in a grownup way.  

So you're probably thinking that this is me practicing the power of positive thinking, right?

You're wrong. I really truly think that about myself.

And now you think I'm conceited and full of myself, don't you?

You're wrong.

And there's my aha moment....

We are programmed to find fault in ourselves. As women, we're told we should have confidence but we're also told to not be conceited or think too highly of ourselves. There's a list of "rules" - don't spend too much time in front of the mirror or we're vain. Focus more on our inner strengths (a good one too but then society tells us how important looks are so we must find balance).

Rules rules rules....and all it adds up to is someone like me.

Someone who stands in the mirror liking what she sees and then remembers she's not supposed to feel like that, so she begins pointing out her flaws.

Instead of seeing great curves she sees a stomach that sticks out too far for a bikini
Instead of seeing beautiful skin, she sees stretch marks, veins in the wrong places or scars
Instead of seeing graceful limbs, she sees fat
Instead of seeing bright eyes and a terrific smile, she sees wrinkles at her eyes and the corners of her lips
Instead of seeing a head of gorgeous hair, she sees the streak of gray at the front

because she's been raised to.

And instead of saying thanks to your compliment, she worries she's vain so she points out something that's wrong.

And instead of appreciating herself for herself, she compares. "I don't look like her, or her, or her."  Pretty soon she wishes for someone else's haircolor, skin color, waist size, thigh size, breast size, and on and on and on. And pretty soon, she's envying other women instead of celebrating her own beauty.

And pretty soon, it's become a habit. And as quickly as the "damn you look good" pops in her head, then the "but look at that extra bulge on that thigh" pops in and that leads to "and if only you didn't have that stretch mark right there" and then that leads to "if only my thighs didn't touch" and it just continues. . .

So there's the truth of it. . . 

I actually think I'm beautiful......

It's not vain. It's not egotistical. I'm not arrogant. I don't think I'm "all that." I don't think I'm prettier than you. I don't think looks are everything. I don't think I'm "God's gift" to anyone. 

I'm me. I'm beautiful. I'm hot. I'm pretty. I'm cute. I'm sexy and I know it. . . 

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