I hate my body - I like my body
(In my body)
I hate my body - is a poem I wrote after looking at it in a mirror, and yet at the same time - I like my body when I have a moment of realizing just what an amazing, fantastic body it is.
My body....The land of the hated, the land of the liked!
Today, as I look in the mirror at my imperfect body, I found myself thinking: 'this is symbolic of the nuttiness of my body.' It's a thought I have often. Somehow the thing that always baffles me is how my waist vanished. Where did it go? And how did those pendulous breasts seem grow longer and more downwards around the same time? They just snuck up (or should that be down?) on me. Certainly the diet industry, has no such concerns; no amount of questioning or vexed frowning from a 4ft 11 repeat dieter is ever going to bother them.
I have lived in this body for almost fifty years. It's size and shape still - after all these multiple attempts - isn't what I want?" You see I live in the land of the free - where it's easy to buy all those advertising lies: I tried desperately not to consume those sodas, those calorie laden french fries, those over fatty burgers found on every street corner. I have guiltily crunched and munched my way through thousands of calories when my willpower ended, I gave in to those beckoning candies, chocolates and cakes - and once I started eating them, it was as if I couldn't stop.
What's it like living in my body?" Well if you really want to know, I?d have to say that it's like being locked into an insanely dysfunctional love affair. My body and I fight, we debate, we challenge each other and we have cold wars.
I guess we?d have to say we feel extremely ambivalent about each other. She's a strange beast, my body. She sucks me in and even when I'm trying to spit her out, I realize she's gotten lodged somewhere between my head and my heart and she's hugging and holding me there, never giving up on me and forever insisting I recognize how amazing she is.
She wonders why I argue with her about everything, why I judge, why I rail at restrictions that seem to paralyze her reputation as an all wise entity. She wonders how I don't recognize all her incredible abilities to self-regulate. Why I constantly hear her saying she's had enough and yet keep eating still. Why I look at her soft rolls and folds with a jaundiced eye, baffled at why all the fundamentals for it's health seem wrong and yet it keeps me healthy. What keeps it healthy? I keep wondering. And... I wait with bated breath for her to succumb to illness but at the same time I love the way she just relentlessly keeps my heart beating, my blood pumping and my lungs breathing.
My body wonders why I don't like shopping for fashionable clothes for her - why my only desire is to hide my nudity and cover her, and keep her from the eyes of others.
But she has taught me things. She has taught me to be questioning, bold and to go places. She has taught me to appraise what's happening in a totally different way than I did before, and to ask questions a new way when at first the answer isn't one I understand. She has taught me to think deeply and wonder what things are worth the battle to change and which aren't. She has taught me that there are always, always, three sides to every argument: hers, mine and those cultural ideals.
What seems to bring me a sense of body-freedom today, restricts me in other ways tomorrow. She's taught me not to ask why, but to accept that it 'is as it is'. It's not easy being in an imperfect body, although I am spoiled by two seeing eyes that can witness scenery that makes me want to weep for the beauty of it. Two hands with five fingers on each to grasp, tug and pull. Two feet with all my toes that allow me to walk and adventure and experience. A nose that can small fresh bread a mile away, and taste-buds that have lead me to devour enough calories to feed a small country.
On the face of it, I have not a thing to complain about. But then, I notice I have cellulite hugging my thighs, my arms looks like small hams and I have enough chins to do for three people. Im challenged to explain why the longer I live in her, the more it feels like I'm a foreigner caught on the outskirts of the great cultural melting pot, never quite feeling like I blend in. An imposter feeling trapped in an un-model like body when a more rounded one seems to suit me better.
And yet, I breathe out, I breathe out and think, really, my God, this is fantastic. This is MY body! I live in in an amazing self-regulating body, if only I trusted her I could stop hating her and start liking her! She sucks me in, I spit her out, she reaches out and pulls me to her in a hug.