Thursday, January 20, 2011

Me in the Mirror

On January 1, 2011 when I was seriously considering taking on the love of my body as my #1 goal for 2011, I did something that I typically don't do.  In fact, I can not remember the last time that I have actually done this.  I sure that for some people, doing this is not a big deal and perhaps strange that, for me, this was incredibly hard. And, honestly, I feel extremely vulnerable, to even share this with you.  But, in the spirit of my goes... 

My big step toward loving myself, especially my body, was standing in front of a full length mirror in my birthday suit.  Yep, Buck naked.  Egads! 

But, instead of looking at myself with my usual disgust, I consciously forced myself to find beauty.

This body, MY body, has carried 2 children and birthed them.  And, has safely completed a sprint triathlon and 5Ks, and trained for a half marathon and was able to ran/walked ten miles.  It has never broken a bone or been severely injured.  In fact, my body is strong and kind to me.  So, I saw the curves, rolls, and excess layers and decided to embrace them.

And while it was a big step - it is hard to maintain that appreciation.

Today while strutting my stuff in a Zumba class, I noticed how much I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. So, I forced myself to look, and tried to appreciate.  At times, I laughed at how silly I looked.  Other times I saw my body move and witnessed muscles in action and felt good.  Occasionally, I saw extra fat, and felt forgiveness...but still there were moments that I felt shame. 

Shame that I am the largest one in the Zumba class.  Shame for occasionally doing "low impact" when I "should" be able to always do the "harder" exercising.  Shame that I am not the thin, active, spirited person that I envision in my head.  Shame of the round belly, and double chin.  Shame that I have gotten to this place - the heaviest (excluding pregnancy) that I have ever been.  Shame that I have high blood pressure - because I have not cared for my body.  Shame and sadness.

And I don't want to feel shameful anymore.  But I know there is not a magic pill to make it all go away.

So, I write.  I share with you my experience about my shame...because "Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story.  It hates having words wrapped around it - it can't survive being shared." ~Brene Brown

And, I remind myself, that loving myself, especially my body, is a journey... and my mirror packed and ready to come along!

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