While everyone and their brother is posting on the Socials how thankful and grateful they are for family, homes and whatever, I’m submitting my thankful post about a very very different topic.
In the year 2020, I’m so very thankful for my body. The way that it is. Today.
It was a 43 year long journey to get here and it was championed to me by a cast of unsuspecting supporters. Supporters who helped undo decades of detractors.
Before I start the ramble that will eventually get me to the point I should make, I am going to make an assertion. No one has a perfect body. No one. Even the most rich, famous humans. Every single person has a body part that pisses them off. Hear me say that. I am finally getting to a very neutral place in my body, dare I say positive.
It started off this summer at the beach. Thank you to Lands End for making one of my favorite bathing suits on the planet. It’s a bright red suit, cut low in the chest area, more or less covers my ass and makes me feel fabulous when I wear it. I don’t walk around with a cover on when I wear this suit. I just am happy and feel good about myself when I wear this suit.
This is super important.
Growing up, I was told not to wear bright colored suits.
To wear suits with skirts to cover my thights.
To wear higher cut tops so no one would have to suffer and see my chest.
This summer, at the age of 43, I wore my first red bathing suit and I loved it. I will never not have a red suit for the rest of my life.
I wear a red suit that shows off my body because I can. This is my body. This is the body that has gone through too many surgeries to count any more. This is the body that has been rebuilt and healed. This is the body that has been a hormonal tornado. This body sustains me. This body has learned to walk four times. First as a toddler. Then again times three after multiple reconstructive surgeries. My legs are thick and strong and support me.
My body is a fighter that loves food and is finally, at the age of 43, learning how to treat food as fuel with occasional treats. I’m learning how to eat for my body. I’m trying to be stronger, to live longer. I’m trying to set an example for the countless children I get to be Aunt Kate to. I will NOT spend the next 43 years hiding and shaming my body in front of watching eyes. I will not give food emotional control. Food is food. Some days I eat so I don’t turn into a raging bitch at work. Some days I eat for pleasure. Some days, I take an orgiastic bite into a cheeseburger. It’s about balance. I will not make food a weapon, nor will I ever talk shit about my body or anyone elses body in front of young ones. They deserve better. I deserved better and am making up for it now.
I will no longer talk shit about my body and assume that no one wants to see my body as it is today. This is a deeper thing that is going to take a lot more time to continue to work on. From a young age, I was actually told “cover up, no one wants to see that.” I’ve heard from partners that “i could be hotter if i just lost weight, had a breast reduction, etc.”
It’s all about taking out the trash. I am incapable of taking out the trash on Monday night like a normal human. I forget every single week. Instead, I race like an idiot, piling on clothes to drag the recycle and trash to the curb. In August, I mentioned to someone that I was horrified that someone saw me in my pj’s taking out my trash. His response changed everything. “You are assuming that people don’t like what they see. I would get a kick out of seeing you in your pajamas taking out the trash”
That sentence rocked me. I know it’s not any different than the bathing suit thing, but in my head, it’s very different. I’m ok with my body, but I’m still learning that others are ok with it too. In fact, some are more than ok with it. The number of mental gymnastics that it took to let that one sink in was significant.
I’m writing this whole diatribe because it’s Tuesday morning. I just came in from taking out the trash. Crazy hair, nightgown and a sweater (only because i needed to cover up my actual butt from hanging out of my night gown.) It’s FREEING to not give a rip what others think. It’s almost exciting to think that someone might actually enjoy what they see. It’s life changing to realize that not everyone (including myself) thinks that I should cover it up.
Today is a less intense day at work, so I’m going to go get a few miles in before the day starts. I owe it to my body to give it movement to keep all of the things working. Most importantly, think about this- when you talk about your bodies or others, think about who is listening. I would love to have the next generation of humans not be inherently screwed up about their bodies. Today, I’m super thankful for this 43 year old body that has scars, big hips, big boobs and keeps me moving every single day.