It seems all of my life I've been comparing myself to other girls or women; specifically, comparing body parts. Back in 5th grade, I envied the way my friend Candy's long, thin legs fit into her jeans. My legs were short and my thighs were chunky - definitely not the look I wanted!
Then Donna moved in across the street from me. Donna, the thirteen-year-old with the eighteen-year-old body and long blonde hair. Donna who was oblivious to the mob of drooling boys following her through the halls on her first day of school. Yeah, she made me feel good about myself. Uh-huh.
By the way, I discovered fad diets in middle school. Coincidence? I think not.
It got worse in high school with the arrival of hormonal pudgies. My legs were still too short, my thighs too fat, my stomach too poochy, my boobs too small. And then, suddenly, too big. Just as bad!
My boyfriend kept the famous poster of Farrah Fawcett on his wall; for some reason, I didn't feel comfortable wearing halter tops or anything showing my midriff.
By the time I hit my twenties, my metabolism was a mess, barely alive! It took pregnancy and breastfeeding to finally get it back on track. I haven't been on an actual "diet" since then for fear of tripping it up again, like it's a runner who finally hit her stride and is going for the gold.
I'm finally coming to appreciate my body now that I'm in my fifties. I see my poochy belly and remember that it held my three babies safe and snug, close to me. My now-too-small-again boobs nourished them: how can I hold a grudge? My legs are still short, my thighs hang onto cellulite like a security blanket, but they get me around, and I'm grateful.
I've learned to look at my body as a friend to love, not an enemy to be conquered. I try to treat it with respect - I want to keep it around as long as possible!
This is the beginning of a new post,"My Body, My Friend", about body image on my Review page. "New Post" means new chance to comment and have yet another shot at the $100 Visa gift card (courtesy of BlogHer and Crystal Light) that I'll randomly select from all of the comments at the end of the month. To enter, go to the post (click here) and answer this question in the comments:
What kind of body image issues, if any, have you struggled with? Do you still struggle with them? And if you haven't ever struggled with any, please share the secret! (You only have to answer the first one, but I'm really nosy.)
You can comment here, too, if you want to, but these comments aren't eligible for the drawing. Good luck!