Thursday, March 28, 2013

191; Body Acceptance

I know I've been promising updates about my surgery and the last year and photos. While partly I've been waiting for a blog redesign,  I think subconsciously I have been avoiding it because of some skin issues. 

Yesterday afternoon I took a break from reviewing files and read the news.  I found this quote:
These were all women of various sizes and shapes and some, like me, bore the marks of a difficult life. My tattoos represent much of the pain and suffering I have endured. They are part of me, just like my scars, my fat, my eternal struggle with gravity. None of our bodies are 'perfect.'
The quote is from Margaret Cho and it spoke to me.  If you don't know who she is, she's a comic who's been heavy and lost weight.  She's spoken out about not getting jobs in entertainment because of her weight and the mind games it led her to play.  Margaret seems to have come to terms with her body, good, bad or otherwise.

I never understood tattoos until I met Pete.  I mean I understand that you get them and live with them, but I didn't really get them.  Shortly after we met, we were walking in a park talking and I asked him about his tattoos and then I asked if he regretted any of them.  I'll never forget that he told me very quickly that he never regretted them.  Even the ones that had lost some of the meaning.  He explained that they told the story of his life, they made him remember just where he was and what he was doing and how he felt.  I got it.  I understand tattoos (for most people) are like the storyboard of their life.  I'm not saying that there are some dumb tats from people who didn't think them out that are bad, but for those who really think about tats, they're the story.

It also lead me back to NieNie's Tuesday Post about the beauty of a woman.  "A woman's skin tells her story. Where she's been.  How she's lived. What she's accomplished."  Nienie talks about her plane crash and shows the years of change that her new skin, mixed with her old skin does tell the story of her life.  Not the life that she imagined, but her life none the less.

Yesterday as I read Margaret's quote and thought back to NieNie's post, I was first upset that they made Margaret cover her body up.  Then I got to the end of Margaret's quote and thought, crap, that's me.  I thought back to NieNie's post and realized that the two go hand in hand.  I wondered why I couldn't see this before.  Then I thought that maybe I had, but can't really accept it. 

What am I rambling about?  The story of my life, my storyboard.  My body.  Maybe mine isn't covered in tats.  But I have scars and saggy skin and wrinkles.  Some of the scars - like the dog bites on my face and my TMJ surgeries - I've learned to accept and to live with.  I've learned they are part of me.  I don't even think twice about them any longer because it's been so long that they are me. 

The newer scars and saggy skin and lumps/bumps and wrinkles, they're harder to accept.  But they tell my story too, my more recent story.  Why am I ashamed of them?  Why do they lead me to be less than happy about where I am?  Why?  partly because I ABUSED my body for long long by being overweight and not doing anything about it.  So it's my "fault".  Partly because it's not the picture I had in my head about what would happen when I lost weight - I thought I'd be "perfect".  Partly because I haven't lost all the weight that I wanted to, yet.

But at the same time, how can I deny my journey thus far?  How can I deny the hard work and the dedication and the changes that I've made?  So I'm going to have a nice big 4/1/13 post ready that outlines my journey progress, complete with photos.  It's my journey dammit and I'm claiming it.

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