Saturday, October 20, 2007
Love (Accept? Like?) the Body You Have
According to my writing comrade and a leader in the fight against women hating their bodies, Harriet Brown, today is National Love Your Body day. Check out her site and take the Love Your Body pledge.
One of my longish poems, about the role in my life of eating, food, binges and self-love/hate, is currently part of the Love Your Body art exhibition at Salem College Fine Arts Center, in North Carolina. This, plus Harriet's well-timed reminder, and Diane Morrow's Year of Love and Healing project, got me thinking about how mothers so easily discount and verbally disrespect our own bodies.
Since becoming a mother, I try to keep reminding myself that no matter what physical/visual shape my body has been in (and believe me, the scale has ricocheted like a roller coaster stuck between gears for years), that my body continues to serve me well.
My body, I must remember, has carried me through the pregnancies and deliveries of my two sons, and nursed them for months. My body provides me with enjoyment -- bicycling, long walks, the odd tennis game, swimming, hugs, and yes, even sex!
My body can lift and carry things -- sometimes quiet heavy things indeed (think exhausted seven year old in soccer gear and cleats, or grocery/baby seat with baby in it/purse/diaper bag/keys).
My body has been resilient and resourceful, healing after broken bones, a major cut, surgeries, and other traumas.
My body gets me where I need to go, protects and comforts my children, is there for a friend to lean on, and is the best reminder system on the planet, never failing to let me know when I need sleep, nourishment, mental stimulation, a good laugh or a cleansing cry.
Sure, my body continues to vex me, but it's the only one I will ever have. I have decided to at least appreciate it?
I'm working on the love part.