One of the most incredible feelings, as an overweight woman, has to be pulling on a pair of jeans with the anticipation of an ugly struggle and getting just the opposite. The surprise of them going on
Love your body. We hear this ALL the time. We preach it. We agree it sounds like a good theory. But, do we really believe it? I don't. I know that I have stood in front of the mirror (when I could stomach it) in anger, in tears, in heartache, in mourning, in disbelief and in defeat. No. There wasn't/isn't much room for love there. I would tug, hoist and suck in everything I could and entertain thoughts about hacking of chunks of the unwanted...the ugly. Thoughts of the "old me" play through my mind and I think of those who knew me when and still wonder what they must think. In my heart I know it doesn't and shouldn't matter. But I would be lying if I said it never crosses my mind.
And so today, as I drove through the country, officially ONE SIZE SMALLER!, I thought about stuff. Weight and body stuff. The conclusion, I need to love AND respect my body. For real. We all do. No matter what.
I thought about all this in terms of, well, cars. We all have a Dream Car. Most of us have to live with a Reality Car. I happen to love my Reality Car, but who doesn't drool over the Dream Car? But we need to respect the vehicle that is our primary mode of transportation, regardless. We need to care for it. Of course, there are always models that are one or three times better than what we have. They may be sleeker, faster, sexier. In the end, we need them to get us from A-B. I can honestly say, looking back, that there was something about each one of my cars, that I loved and missed when I moved on to the next. Even the two 1970's AMC Concords I owned at different times. The one that I would shout out the lyrics to Blind Melon's 'No Rain' in. And the other that was brightest and ugliest blue you have ever seen! They held memories and had cool features that I liked a lot. They served me well. And I cared for them as best as I knew how to so they could continue to serve me even longer. I have been kinder to my vehicles, than to myself. I certainly would love a Dream Car. But I am kinda in love with my Reality Car. It has cool features, gets me where I need to go...and is actually a nice looking car (as far as minivans go).
There used to be a thinner model Rachel. I enjoyed her and yet, I can honestly say, that I did not love her as I should have. I looked in the mirror and thought about different shaped eyes, a smaller nose, less cheek when I smiled, brighter teeth and sure, I thought about being a different number on the scale and smaller thighs. I was beautiful and so tormented at the same time. Because I didn't truly love the body I was in. At the time, I hated myself. These days, the hate for me is gone...but I have separated myself from my body. If that makes any sense. I am OK with the person I have become, but not the body I am in. I no longer wonder what will be said of me when I am gone, when I die. I used to all the time. I know what will be said. I know what kind of person I am and what is thought of me, today. I now worry, momentarily, about how many people it will require to carry my casket. Then I remember, I want to be cremated. No worries.
Though today was exciting for me, I had to make myself this promise: No matter what, I must love this body I am in. It has served me well. Even though every joint screams at me, some days, like a Marine Drill Sergeant trying to break me, I can feel them. And I can still scream back, get up and fight back. I love this body that has enabled me to fight these past couple of years. A fight I know others would have fallen before the battle began. I love this model that was chosen for me. I don't give up(forever!) or in and either has it...despite it all. We were meant for each other. Even though I have been most disrespectful and abusive; mentally, verbally and physically. I promise to love and respect this onesizesmaller body. My body. My Reality Car.