The only one I have

I was reading a post the other day on We are the Real Deal (great body image blog if you haven’t found it yet – go read!) asking what do you love about your body. I stopped to think and for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything at that time. Everything I came up with was followed by a negative almost immediately.

I love my small waist but I’ve gained weight and now it’s not so small.

I love my strong arms but they’re still flabby and I hate the bingo arms.

My legs are really strong but I hate the cellulite I have and they’re short and stubby legs and I have cankles.

You get the drift.

And it made me sad. I do love my body. I’ve fought the battles of body-snarking and loathing. I’ve built muscles and strength and health. Other than my hip (or really lower glutes) hurting and getting tight, right now me and my body are getting along. We’re working together so things should be all unicorns, butterflies and rainbows.

And yet it’s not. I’m sabotaging myself. I’m eating crap, justifying everything, feeling like crap because of the crap food and self-medicating with more crap food. Sounds like a fun cycle doesn’t it? I look in the mirror and, depending on the time of day, I either grudgingly accept my body or I find a million flaws.

I feel fat and bloated. My thighs rub together. I notice the flab on my arms. I’ve gained 5 pounds. I’m a slob. I no longer fit into my smaller jeans and sometimes I feel that I don’t fit into my normal jeans either. I see myself in the gym mirror and I can’t believe how wide my hips are. I have days where I look at my belly in the mirror and I’m surprised nobody’s asked me if I’m pregnant.

And yet, when I go shopping, I constantly have to get the assistant to get me smaller sizes because I instinctively pick up the bigger size. I had to get a dress taken recently because it was too big in the back and they had no smaller sizes. It was an extra small. I was too big for an extra small.

I’ll let you sit with that for a minute.

How is it that my body and my mind are so far apart? How do I feel so awful but my body doesn’t reflect that? How do I get back to normal?

I want to get back to the me I used to be, where I loved my body for the strength, where I could revel in the weights I was lifting and the shape I had cultivated. I want to admire my muscles, my health, my vitality, myself. I want to nurture myself and stop pretending that popcorn and junk is nurturing.

I want to get back to me again.

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