I just weighed myself and realized that I’m at my highest weight.
Con: I know I’m not anywhere near as healthy as I would like to be.
Pro: I love myself anyway.
I love myself anyway.
I wouldn’t have been able to say that a year ago. When I was at my sickest, and then-heaviest, I hated my body. I hated that it was betraying me – that it let me get so sick. But even worse, I hated the way it looked – I couldn’t stand to be in my own skin. There are so many valid reasons for the extra weight gain during my sickness – I was on multiple rounds of steroids and nerve-blockers that are notorious for causing weight gain, and for so long I could barely get out of bed, let alone exercise. Yet none of these reasons were valid to me at the time – surely I was just not doing something right. So I started trying to work out for all the wrong reasons. Sure, I “wanted to be healthier.” But honestly, I just wanted to look okay – whatever okay was at the time. In the end, I made myself even more sick by overworking my mono-ridden body, and here I am one year later, even heavier than I was before.
But I wouldn’t change it.
Because once I realized I couldn’t change my body by sheer force of will at that point in my health journey, I began to accept where I was. I started to look at my body as a place of honor and love and peace – because if I can’t find peace within myself, there’s nowhere in this world where I’ll have better luck. My body is what it is. When I’m sick, either physically or mentally, my body suffers just as much as my mind, and that’s okay. It’s okay. I will get through this, and so will my body. They go hand in hand. If I want to love myself, I have to love my body too – no matter how thick or thin it’s various limbs are.
My body went to war this year. That’s how I look at it, anyway. It was invaded by some unwarranted enemy and fought it hardest to survive the damage done. I had one of the most severe cases of mono that many of my doctors had ever heard of, and here I am…alive. I worry so much about the layers of fat that don’t fit into my old cloths or the marks that somehow deem me unappealing – but I was seriously ill for 18 months and there were many times that I feared for my life. Is my outward appearance really what’s important here?
Talk about a wake up call.
Regardless of how it may look to the outside world, my body is strong. It is tough. Resilient. Brave. Merciful. It protects me and fights for me no matter how often I berate it, shame it, put it down, and hate it to pieces. It got me through the worst year of my life in one piece, and albeit battered and scarred and swollen, it’s still fighting.
Isn’t that something to be proud of?
If my body made it through hell and back – what with mono trying to destroy it and me trying to wish it into nonexistence – it can make it through this too. My mental scars are beginning to heal. My stretch marks will fade – or continue to be covered up with the tattoos I choose to honor my journey. The weight will probably come and go with all the joys and sorrows to come in my life. And that means that right now, I can choose to start getting healthier, but I cannot choose to hate myself in the process.
Most importantly in all of this is that from here on out, I’m giving my body permission to go in peace and flourish in it’s owners love. I finally see my body’s inner and outer beauty, regardless of time, place, or circumstance, and that is what I’m hoping will make the difference.
So…I love myself anyway.
Isn’t that one hell of a pro?