I stepped on the scale this morning…like I do every morning and the number gave me pause. It was the same number that flashed the day before my maternity leave ended with baby # 1 in 2006. In 2012, that same number means something so profoundly different. I just had a real, honest epiphany. I have spent my life hating my body. I have spent my life being disappointed, cruel, unkind and sometimes, quite violent to this gift I was given. A perfectly healthy body. A body with legs that work and arms that hold and a stomach that has carried my four babies to term. I have been so terribly ungrateful. I am ashamed.
It started how it does with any girl I suppose. A cruel comment, An unsupportive family member, the feeling that you could be just a little thinner, just a little more toned, just a little more like Sara (or fill in the blank), just a little cuter and my rear could be just a little higher, smaller and more perfect. I should be perfect. Then, you agonize, you plan, you starve, you obsess, you fight, you fail. You do not stop to give thanks.
In 2006, I looked at that scale and was disgusted. I immediately joined Weight Watchers. I worked out excessively, I measured myself weekly and participated in group weigh-ins where teams of scared women prayed for those numbers to fall. Praying that the moment of weakness we had at the family BBQ wouldn’t be expressed on the scale. It worked. The numbers fell and I never looked better in pictures. So what.
Today, in 2012, I looked at that scale and cried. I cried because I am done. I am done letting a number follow me around and distract me from the amazing gifts my body has THANKLESSLY and endlessly given me. Despite all of my years of hatred and abuse, my body loved me enough to give me four healthy, beautiful children. As if that wasn’t enough, working arms to hold them, working feet and legs to chase them, balance and coordination to care for them, breasts to feed them, a soft lap for them to sit on, strong shoulders to lay their sleepy heads on and fingers to grasp theirs.
Dearest, truest and most generous body of mine, Thank you, thank you. A million times, Thank You. You are so loved and I’m going to start acting like it.