Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm No Super Model. Neither are They.

    I swear I was promised a super model body. Every diet/weight loss commercial on TV shows the before and after of how the super model found herself underneath her fat rolls. I started my weight loss journey with a preconceived notion that when I was done, I would be a super model.  I would have cut abs, a tight butt, and perfect boobs. My journey has been five years now and I've never woke up perfect; instead I have stretch marks, extra skin, cellulite, and thighs that still touch.  Reality is hard to face, somehow at the end I still felt like I failed.  I found myself at a cross road, a very slippery slope -  I wasn't happy with what I saw but I was healthy. How could I still not be satisfied? When do I stop fighting and start enjoying?

     I took a long look at myself in the mirror. I've never been kind to my body. I've starved it, stuffed it, abused it, and loathed it. I had to call a truce with myself. I had to stop hating myself - I don't want to spend my entire life not enjoying who I am and the package I come in.  This time it wasn't about the number on the scale, it was about love for myself and my body.        

     I accept the extra skin on my arms. My wings, my flab, my wabble, whatever name it goes by. No more am I wearing cardigans in 100 degree weather because I want to hide them. My arms are strong; they pick up, work out, and hug just like everyone else's. The skin is the remnants of a person who is no longer and will never be again. My arms show a part of my story. The extra skin doesn't represent failure, they represent a journey.  The skin is with me forever and forever is a long time to not like a part of myself.

   I accept my stretch marks. I remember when the purple lines formed on my stomach.  I stopped seeing my body after that. I felt ruined. I became a blur to myself, a quick change artist.  I had to listen to my own advice. I tell my son, who is shorter than most children his age, that it is a waste of energy to get upset over something you can not change. His height does not make him who he is as a person and neither do my stretch marks.  I am not kidding myself anymore; EVERYONE has stretch marks. EVERYONE!! They come about for all kinds of reasons and all are natural for the human body. No more will I waste my energy on what I can not change and is also NORMAL!!

     My arms and stretch marks are NOT flaws - they are what makes me human. I am not the only person with extra skin on my arms or stretch marks on my stomach.  Why are we trying to convince others that somehow we are the only person in the world to have never used our bodies? To have never grown, or had a baby, or gained weight?  Our body idols have stretch marks; Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce, Kate Middleton, and everyone else who ever lived. The vernacular used to describe the body needs to change. Erase the word "flaw" and replace it with "normal" and accept the body for what it does.

     I will never be a super model and neither will anyone else. There is no such person. I like this reality; there is a lot less pressure realizing no one has a blemish free body. I am done playing dumb to a culture that assumes I don't know models and actresses are being Photoshopped.  I will not allow these fantasy images to influence the acceptance of my body.  I am human, I am normal, and my body is healthy and strong.  I choose to love myself, to value myself, and to cherish my body.  I will now be removing the "sucker" sticker off my forehead. No one can make me feel bad about myself anymore.

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