It wasn’t all that long ago that this is exactly what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was hyper sensitive to every single perceived flaw I had. I had worked so hard to lose the extra weight I’d carried for so long. Surely my life would be different if I was thinner. As the weight came off, my body changed a lot. The problem was that I didn’t. I could see change in the mirror, but inside I felt even emptier than before. Soon it wasn’t enough to lose almost 80 pounds…
What about my breasts? Would they ever recover? I began looking at breast augmentation. Would liposuction fix my thighs and hips? I felt like I was going to a body shop asking for quotes. The consultation was daunting. They could fix everything for a price. When the doctor asked if there was anything else I was uncomfortable with, I mentioned my belly. That fat didn’t go away. I had scars from an appendectomy, c-section, tubal ligation, and a tumor removed from my fallopian tube. Could a tummy tuck fix that? What about my nose? Could we make it less wide? What would the recovery time be on something like that? Where would I want to start? What would be the easiest? It didn’t matter. I couldn’t afford it in a lifetime, let alone quickly enough to fix what was broken.
Have you ever felt so hungry that water won’t calm the burning feeling in your esophagus? Your stomach hurts so badly, you can’t quite figure out if you want to eat or you want to be sick? That’s how I felt all the time. The problem was that it wasn’t food related. I’d been trying to shove food into that space for as long as I could remember, and it had never fixed the problem for more than an hour or so.
Then I read something that made me feel that ache inside again. Something that made me feel like, perhaps, I’d put the emphasis on the wrong thing the whole time. The more I read, the more I kicked myself mentally, until all of the sudden I couldn’t kick any more. What in the hell have I been doing to myself all this time? Nothing good, that’s for sure. I had been kicking myself for about 30 years, always knowing I wasn’t good enough. For whom?
That was when I did the unthinkable; I looked at the picture above and made peace with that girl.
-That’s my grandmother’s nose. She’s a beautiful woman inside and out. I can’t change that anymore than I can write her out of my history.
-That ass, I got from my mother who is an amazing woman. I don’t share a lot of other traits with her, and it always made me jealous when people would tell my sister how much she looked like our mom… at least I got that. So I’ve decided to be happy with what I got there, for a change.
-The bags under my eyes are from staying up too late reading, writing, and worrying. I’ll keep them if I can continue to read and learn and write and express. The worrying I’ve decided to set aside for every third Monday, if I can fit it in.
-Those thighs just haven’t caught up with my changes yet. They’ll get there, and even if they don’t, hell they are functional and get me where I need to be.
-My breasts… ah heck. I can’t pretend they don’t disappoint me a little, but they still feel nice and make me feel nice. They used to draw attention, but if someone looks me in the eyes now and then, or comments on my awkward strange smile… that will be okay too.
-Broad shoulders have been my saving grace a time or two. When my daughter needed me to carry her, they didn’t fail me. What’s better, I didn’t fail her.
-That hole in my heart, it’s always been on me. So I’m filling that hole with something I should have a long time ago. Appreciation.
Cameras are wonderful for capturing moments, but they can never show you who you are.
Cosmetic surgery may enhance sagging breasts, but it won’t enhance your soul. That is something only you can do. You are more than the sum of your parts. So fill your hole.