body love is something i have struggled with for most of my life. even as a very young girl (10 or 11) i remember being ashamed that i had a little bit of fat on my stomach, and that it wasn’t perfectly flat even though i was skinny. this has remained my largest source of body shame, but has been accompanied with stresses about acne/eczema, breast size (too small when i was younger, and now feeling sad about slowly losing the super-hard body of my early 20s), having hairstyles/clothing/makeup that didn’t suit me well, etc.
when i first joined suicidegirls as a member in early 2004, i got a surge of confidence from seeing women of all different body shapes. i saw myself (and my pudgy tummy) reflected in them and it was reassuring. i wasn’t a freak! other ladies had the same shape! that confidence boost was not permanent–i’ve gone back and forth since then. at some points in the last ten years i’ve been incredibly fit, toned and spending tonnes of time at the gym, others i’ve been slacking off, eating junk food, getting lazy and ballooning up to my unhealthy-feeling top weight.
these days i’m somewhere in the middle–i can run 5+ miles and hardly break a sweat, bend through an intense 75 minute yoga class, or bike all day with no problem, but for months i’ve been so self-conscious of the few extra pounds of padding that have worked their way onto my body since my last superfit cycle, jan-march 2011. i’ve been pushing myself to love my body with all the new curves.
today, in the changing-room at a bra store (of all places!) i had a stroke of inspiration. maybe it was just because i had been told my bra size is three cups larger than i had thought** (how does that happen? i don’t even know), and i definitely have not shaken the big-boobs-are-better indoctrination of our culture, maybe it was just time for me to learn this lesson. maybe i have gotten tired at looking at my stomach, thighs, and other fat spots and sighing inwardly.
why the fuck does it matter? my body is awesome
it’s funny how things just sink when they will, and not before; i’ve spent years as a daily reader of various bodylove/fatpositive blogs, and it still has been so difficult to implement that thinking into my daily life. i often thank my body for being so capable–who cares if there are a few pounds extra when my body allows me to run, bike, swim, bend, love, bake, stand for a long time, reach, do a bunch of pushups, with no problems? i’ve had no problem attracting lovers & get compliments from strangers & friends on a regular basis, but it’s likely that anyone who has body issues will agree: those things are wonderful but not usually enough to override the inner critic that is yelling YOUR THIGHS ARE TOO FAT AND OMG THAT BELLY IS GROSS
this time feels so real, and i’m going to keep going on it. my body is strong and capable and beautiful and i’m going to love it harder than ever before. <3<3<3
here are links to some of my favourite body-positive blogs:
fuck yeah, body love
fuck yeah chubby girls
fuck yeah plus size
this blog post my friend jenanne linked in the comments to this very entry
**ladies, i am now a convert to the school of GET YOUR DAMN BRA SIZE MEASURED PROFESSIONALLY. i spent way too many years wearing uncomfortable bras for no good reason, and my new bras are so comfy it feels like i am not wearing one. take care of your tatas! spend the hour it takes in a real bra shop (not la senza) getting a good fit. it is so worth your time! i went to change, which was really nice, because most professional-fit bra shops have bras that are $100+ and all the ones at change were $40-60