Posted on | October 20, 2010 | 7 Comments
It’s National Love Your Body Day and I wanted to post in celebration after reading a blog post of my dear friend, Keri. I realize that over the past twenty-one years of my life, I haven’t been as nice to my body as I could have been. Those of us with Celiac Disease tend to have certain issues with our bodies. Some of us can’t lose weight, others can’t gain. When we eat gluten, our bodies attack themselves. We grow weak and sick and it shows. So maybe I didn’t love my body.
I was the type who couldn’t gain weight. Throughout high school, I struggled to get to that triple digit on the scale. People thought I was crazy. I never ate healthy. My friends knew I was a food junkie who ate all the chips, ice cream, and candy I could get my hands on, hoping it would do something. Why? I understand it would seem ridiculous in a society where the emphasis is always on being thin. I had been told by some jerk kids in elementary school that I was wimp, that I was too thin. I grew uncomfortable with myself. I didn’t feel like I looked good or healthy. To this day, when I jump out of the shower, I rush to get clothes on because I don’t feel comfortable unless I’m covered. I know how to dress my body to make it look good but without that, I feel a bit perturbed. But I’m working on it. I’m getting better.
Then I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I felt even worse. My body was trying to hurt itself. It’s an odd idea to get used to. However, when I started eating gluten free, I felt as though I was taking care of my body for the first time.
My trial now is to get fit. I keep telling myself to go buy running shoes and hit the gym. Then school work avalanches onto me and I completely lose track of all the things I want to do for myself. I start eating smaller, quicker meals that perhaps don’t have as much nutritional value as they should. And that’s not right. As my friend Keri wrote today in her blog, “Your body is the only one you’ve got and you’re going to be stuck with it for a long time. Treat it right and celebrate how amazing it is. Not just today but everyday. Be proud of yourself and love yourself. Whenever you smile, you’re automatically perfect” (http://bit.ly/bCfnLI). And she’s struggled a lot more with her body image than I have. I look to her now for inspiration (Keri, you’re my foodie muse! <3)
So in celebration of Love Your Body Day, I'm going to sit down and plan out my meals for the next couple of weeks, making sure I'm getting all of the nutrients it's going to take to keep this body strong and healthy. I'm also going to get off of my butt and start getting active. (Anyone want to recommend a brand of running shoe for a lady with high arches?)
I have to say, though, I'm pretty lucky. I have a group of girlfriends who make me feel beautiful every day of my life. Before becoming friends with them, I was a pretty lonely person. They accept me for who I am and I have thrived, being their friend. Some days, we just sit around and tell each other how beautiful we are. It sounds corny and silly, but we like it and it has made me a better, more confident person and someone who loves her body more than she ever has.
Thanks to Kat, Keri, Sam, Mandy, Jennifer, Laura and my newest bestie, Heather, I can give you a list of ten reasons why I love my body:
1. I have a face for short hair and hats. My short hair has changed a lot for me, oddly enough. Chopping it all off was a marker that I felt confident enough not to hide behind it.
2. My legs...I have to say, I get some nice compliments on these gams.
3. My stomach. Even though it tries to kill me for eating gluten, it has indirectly led me to making so many friends in the blogosphere.
4. Though I dislike feet as a principle, I guess my feet are nice. They small and narrow so they fit into heels pretty nicely. Could do without those high arches but hey, they're my high arches! (Seriously, can anyone recommend a good sneaker for me?)
5. My eyes and ears for allowing me to experience the world around me.
6. My hands. They’re large but with thin fingers that allow me to type, write, play the violin and put food in my mouth.
7. My height. At 5’5” I’m average. Jennifer told me yesterday that I’m at a perfect height for hugs.
8. My eyebrows because a lot of work goes into these! I was also made fun of for my monkey brows when I was a kid. Oh how my Italian genes failed me. Still, I learned to make them what I want them to be and voila!
9. My rosy cheeks. I used to pile on makeup to hide them but I’ve been going for a more natural look because they’ve grown on me (pun pun pun pun pun).
10. My mouth for allowing me to express my beliefs, to talk to the ones I love everyday and to experience the world of food.
There you have it. If you’re out there reading this, think of ten reasons why you love your own body. I’d love to hear them.
So to all of you men and women who look at yourselves and think you’re not good enough or attractive enough, think about why. Is it because you don’t look like Angelina Jolie or Jude Law? If you want to change the way you look, do it for yourself, to become healthier and happier. Not to look like someone in a magazine. Do it because it makes you feel good. And know that whatever you chose was right for you, not anyone else. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful because you are.