Rock Your Body

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Gentle Reader,

I thought about including a picture of my incision, but…nobody really wants to see that. It’s rather gruesome. But that very gruesomeness is behind this post.

It’s no secret that women greatly struggle with accepting our bodies. Too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too pale, too dark, too angular, too curvy, too flat, too round. The images we see of “beauty” are airbrushed and Photoshopped into sickening and unattainable shapes. We purge. We binge. We furiously exercise. We give up.

A special kind of torture.

Today I had my post-op appointment. My surgeon commented that he would never guess that I have the health problems I do just by looking at me. This jogged my memory back to the day of my surgery, when the anesthesiologist said that I looked young and slim.

And I thought about how odd this is. How strange that all the doctors I’ve seen over the last eight months have not said a word about my weight. They’ve given me ideas about how to change my diet and what kind of exercise I can do. But nothing about weight, or my shape, or the fact that my face is not symmetrical. And that made me think about something one of the nurses said when I was in the hospital, when he was helping me: “I don’t even see body parts anymore.” His care for me was not based on my appearance.

The surgeon removed the last of the steri-strips today. I finally got to see the entire incision in its full-on glory. There’s dry skin and crusted blood. The space right underneath my rib cage is swollen. The hole where the drain was is just…nasty. I don’t have any feeling across most of my abdomen, and it may never completely return.

I’m probably never going to have a flat stomach. There’s a good chance that I’ll have a raised scar instead of a flat one. And this makes me “ugly.” My friends with PCOS and endometriosis, both of which contribute to weight-gain no matter how healthy they eat or how much they exercise, are “ugly.”

This pisses me off.

We pass each other on the street and make judgments. We assume that people with paunchy stomachs or tired eyes are just lazy. That they make bad choices. But we know nothing. We have no idea what other people are dealing with. Yes, we should eat healthy and yes we should exercise. But just because a woman is larger than a size 4 doesn’t mean she chows down on cheeseburgers and sits around all day. She might be sick. She might have a hormone imbalance. Or maybe she looks just the way God wants her to look.

So shut up. I don’t want to hear that anyone is “ugly.”

I’m amazed at my body. I marvel at the way God designed it. Blood coagulates and skin knits back together. Muscles strengthen. Scars tell stories.

I don’t have a “perfect” body.

I have an awesome one.

So do you.

My journey to faith. (15)