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)

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8 thoughts on “Rock Your Body

  1. Sexiest thing I’ve ever heard (husband said when I tried to hide some stretch marks): “Don’t hide your perfections.”. My strong belly has tiger stripes. Your strong belly has a beautiful scar. Beauty comes in every shape and size. Beauty comes with all different types of “perfections. “

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  2. I’m visiting my parents in St. George, Utah right now. My Mom and Dad, both 82 years old, drove up to Salt Lake City for my Dad’s cancer treatment on his eye. He thought he was going to drive home afterward, but his doctor said “no”. So I flew to SLC on the morning of the 24th and drove them home. Thought I’d stay for a week to make sure they were OK.

    Dad’s eye looked like heck when I met them in Salt Lake, but it’s looking a lot better now. They’re both pretty optimistic, but he’s going to have to be checked periodically for cancer for the rest of his life. I guess this doesn’t have much to do with what you wrote Marie, except for the reminder that we’re all only mortal flesh and blood and we all rely on our faith in God to get us through each day.

    Fortunately the only scars He cares about are the ones on Jesus.

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  3. I went home sick almost every day for 2 weeks in third grade when I realized I was “ugly”. I spent half of college convinced that somehow I could beat my PCOS into submission and somehow become “beautiful”. Society build sup standards that few can achieve and I’m glad that you are bringing this up because it is a really important message for everyone to hear. We are all beautiful. We are all unique. We all have scars. It took me until I was 25 years old to start to try to undo these harmful thoughts. I will admit that I’m not there. I still occasionally catch myself judging myself or others unfairly, but the more we recognize that everybody is beautiful and our bodies are amazing, the better off we will be.

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