Thursday, May 13, 2010

Do You Think You are Beautiful?

It has been an interesting road back to loving my body. There was a short period on the way down the weight scale where I enjoyed my body. Well, sort of.... take away the discomfort every time I ate and the fear that tumors were taking over my body and the depression etc.... I enjoyed when I weighed about 140. Clothing started to fit in a way I have not experienced for a long time.... not because I was wearing the wrong size but rather because my body was more like the kind of body that clothing is made for. I still had my hair which was still for some reason thick and shiny. I started to feel more flexible when I did yoga and I had not yet started hurting myself when my knees would touch or when I sat on a hard surface. Aside from all the shit that was going on, there was some part of me that noted that I always wanted to know what it was like to be a skinny person.... did clothing really fit better like it looks like it does, are certain movements easier.... the answer for me is yes..... things felt better, aside from all that felt worse. Then I got skinny, and greyish, and my hair started falling out... my ribs looked really weird.... in general things looked weird.... it was like my shoulders were too small for my ribcage. My butt disappeared. My mom told me I have Safta's butt, which she now denies but she did and I think that means a flat ass. It was weird to not have a butt. My cheeks were sunken in and my eyes bulged. No I did not feel beautiful.

Once I could eat again, I ate all the time and I knew that stabilizing my weight would be challenging. Funny, it seems that I would have just appreciated being alive.... but no, I really got to see the depth to which the self consciousness has its hold on me. I quickly grew out of size 4 (a size I cannot ever remember wearing even when I was not an adult yet) pretty much skipped size 6, left the great pare of jeans that I got from April (size 8), and got back to my normal, size 10.... only then even they were too tight on me. My hair was growing in but it was still patchy, the shape of my body was not a body I knew. Overall there was a lack of muscle but my abdomen was distended in a weird way. Instead of feeling alive and healthy I struggled with feeling heavy and weak.... no I didn't feel beautiful.

It wasn't until my hair started being long enough to do funky things, like the tamohawk (photo to come) that I could on occasion look in the mirror and think "I am beautiful" again. It was rare but at least it existed. I still struggled at that point though because I also realized that I had no style. I put clothes on and looked in the mirror and I thought "am I a boy or a girl." Where did that come from. My style had become commune chic over the last 9 years and well... not only did I not have those clothes with me, but mostly they are unreliable at this point.... i sure miss my black and white dress which at this point rips every time I wear it..... same dress I once wore to Dana and Eds wedding. Who am I..... A short while after I moved to Northampton and started bicycling places I regained a little muscle tone and lost a couple of pounds and my body shape was more or less back to normal, minus muscle. I noticed that frequently I would look in the mirror and be pleased by what I saw. I am enjoying that my hair has a slight wave to it....its not curly like I hoped but its pretty fun. I had just started feeling thankful for the return of my sense of satisfaction with myself when I spent some time with Daniel..... he asked "do you think you are beautiful?" The process of answering this question, of verbalizing the process, helped me seal the fact that I once again thought I was beautiful, that I was self accepting on the physical level, that I felt more like me again, that it is not about what others think but more importantly it is about what i think about myself.

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