Ever since I read about the exposed movement (check out other blogger’s posts here http://eatingjourney.wordpress.com/exposed/) I have been trying to work up the nerve to do it. It’s a scary thing though, exposing yourself to the world. Even with the most personal parts covered by a bathing suit, my tummy shows.
My self image has come a long way in the last few years. I am no longer ashamed to be seen by someone I know when I am in a bathing suit. I no longer believe many of the lies that were told to me when I was younger. Chubby people can be beautiful. Chubby people do fall in love and get married. Being chubby doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy dressing up and being fashionable at times. It does not mean I am unacceptable. It does not mean people won’t approve of me.
I thought I was doing pretty well. But the other day, I had 12 hours with a client who has advanced dementia. She didn’t have any idea what was going on. She didn’t know who she was or where she was. She wasn’t aware of the things that were coming out of her mouth. Some of it was funny, but some of the things that she said cut me to the quick. I went home and cried my eyes out, feeling fat, ugly and unnaceptable. The next day as I drove back to her home to care for her again, I asked myself why it bothered me. Why should the words of someone who doesn’t even know what they are saying be able to change how I view myself? They shouldn’t. They actually hadn’t. The reason her words bothered me is because somewhere deep in my heart I was still holding to a belief that agreed with what she said. She had simply shown me where I still had some work to do.
So here I am. Facing my body as a part of myself. Accepting it as it is. Attempting to kill those few final incorrect beliefs about my appearance and who I am. I am participating in the exposed movement to show the world that I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed to be a big girl. I am not ashamed of my thunda thighs. I am no longer ashamed of my squishy belly. I am not ashamed to be taller than most women, or bigger. I am me. I live in this body. I appreciate it for a variety of reasons. It is a gift. Your body is a gift too.