The beauty in a body
Oh, god. I look terrible. I can’t post any of these.
This was my first thought when I looked at the trick-or-treating pictures my fiancee, Anthony, sent me shortly after we returned home. Not, “Oh, geez! My son is the cutest little dragon ever!” or “What a pair we make!”
I look terrible.
I indulged the thought for only a minute or two before I saw the pictures for what they really represented: my son’s first experience trick-or-treating. Since he had refused to don his dragon costume unless I, too, donned one, I had thrown on whatever I could find and left with my bedragoned son. Trick-or-treating with him was even more magical than trick-or-treating for my own candy as a child, and it was with that magic in my heart that I said, screw it.
I posted one of the pictures.
And, wouldn’t you know it? None of the comments were, “Cover it up!” or “Oh, geez, I just lost all my candy!” Since I’m not a celebrity, I didn’t wake up in the morning to any headlines proclaiming:
FATTY MCFATTERSON AUTHOR REGRETTABLY BARES ALL
ANONYMOUS DOCTORS CONCERNED WITH AUTHOR’S HEFTY FRAME
I smiled at the sweet comments actually left on the picture and thought little more about the image until I went for a massage this morning, courtesy my super-awesome sister.
As the masseuse worked her magic on the knots in my shoulders, I thought, What an amazing gift it is, to be able to feel things like this. What an amazing gift it is, to have this body enabling me to live in, feel, see, touch and taste in this world.
I thought back to the picture of me and my little dragon and tears sprang to my eyes. Three years after giving birth to my little dragon, I’m still 25 pounds heavier than I was prior to my pregnancy. I’ve recently made it a priority to care for my body the way I did before, and to get it to a weight that will hopefully diminish my back pain and help increase my circulation. I made this decision for my health, not for my appearance. In the wake of the massage just finished, I hope I never, ever again make decisions about my body based on how it appears versus how it feels.
Because the truth is this:
This is the body that my mom birthed, and nurtured from infancy to adulthood.
This is the body that enabled me to run two marathons, and a half marathon in memory of my mom.
This is the body that sustained the little human being who is my life’s single greatest blessing, and whose lap holds that tiny body when he is hurt or in need of comfort.
This is the body whose hands enable me to stroke my son’s hair when he is falling asleep, and once to massage my dying mother’s back as her hands once massaged my own back, and almost every day to intertwine themselves with my fiancees’ to remind me tangibly how loved I am.
This is the body that allows me to know the goodness of the sun’s warmth on my face, the cool catharsis of rain on my skin, and the sand between my toes as I look at the ocean and think of the infinite awe of this universe.
This is the body that enables me to type posts like this, and to reply to the emails and comments of love other peoples’ fingers type to me.
This is the body whose arms held the niece and nephew my mom’s arms will never feel the weight of. These are the arms that anticipate the joyous weight of more nieces and nephews, and, if I am so lucky, another child of my own.
This is the one and only body I have to experience this world, and for the abundant privileges it affords me, it deserves my gratitude and love.
There are changes forthcoming to my body. These changes will be inspired by love, and ones that reflect my desire to do as well by my body as it does by me with every single breath I am blessed, so very blessed, to be here to breath.
These changes will not be because I hate the way my body looks now, or because I believe it will be more beautiful two, ten or twenty pounds lighter.
They will be because I understand, finally, that the beauty in a body is not in how it looks, but in the gift of life it grants.
This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.