If you asked me to describe the relationship I have with my body, “it’s complicated” sums things up nicely. There’ve been times when I’ve hated everything about it and wished I could change things that fundamentally just are, but these limitations have never stopped my brain from creating an alternate, somehow “better” version of reality that never measures up to real life, which of course extends to feelings about… you guessed it. Enter: Never Good Enough Liz.
The majority of my twenties were spent fighting with my body, engaging in mostly unhealthy means of weight loss and generally despising who I was. Looking back at photos from ten years ago, I see my 25-year-old self and just ache: why did I wear those horrifically uncomfortable shoes/continue to pursue that awful guy/put so much stock into what some random acquaintance said to me that one time? It’s taken awhile, but I’m learning not to just advocate for myself, but to even like myself from time to time. Sounds basic I know: it’s so easy for me to tell my friends and family they’re beautiful and intelligent and mean every single word, but why is it so hard sometimes to say nice things about yourself?
Lately it seems as though my body has been failing me as chronic pain and back issues have kind of taken over my life. There’s nothing like debilitating pain to remind you that you are beholden to your body’s whims and idiosyncrasies, but in the grand scheme of all the crap that life can throw at you, my issues are relatively minor. Dealing with them has just made me hyperaware of my body’s limits, which hasn’t exactly been a fun experience, if I’m being honest. Getting older comes with a territory, I suppose.
Different day, different swimsuit. Same okay body.
I have a weird body*. It has stretch marks and scars and skin that wobbles in places. I joke with my mom friends that I’ve got mom bod without being a mom. My body has taken me places: it’s been through cross-country moves, it’s been to several different countries, it’s run half marathons and has experienced all kinds of foods and various substances that I’ve thrown at it over the years.
But my body is my body. It’s taken me years and a whole lot of negative thoughts to get to a place where I’ve made peace with it and appreciate it for what it is, rather than admonishing my body it for what it’s not or what it could be. I’m embracing the flaws. I’m posting a photo of me in a two-piece swimsuit: something that if you told 20-year-old Liz about, she never would have believed you.
Body stuff is sometimes not fun stuff. But I think it’s important to talk about the not fun stuff as much as I do the fluffy, silly things: I know that I appreciate when writers/bloggers/Instagrammers post and discuss the real, the gritty, the things that make them cry and the things they struggle with. It’s a balance. The silly AND the struggle. The good and the bad. Life is all of these things, and I want this space on the internet to be a reflection of that.
Thanks for hearing me on some real body talk, friends. I want you to feel a part of this as well, so please share your thoughts, your feedback, and if you’re comfortable doing so, let’s get some real body talk going among us.
*Note these photos were taken on an iPhone 6 and have not been altered or filtered in any way. I wanted all my perceived flaws there: the cellulite, the loose skin, the lumps, bumps and everything in between, This is my body and I’m done apologizing for it.