I don’t hate my body. It doesn’t disgust me.
It just feels not mine.
When I look in the mirror, I see lopsided breasts, folds of skin laying on each other like tired seals lounging at the beach.
Thighs with stretch marks. Hips that somehow tripled during my pregnancy and have just felt comfortable staying that size. A double chin. Age spots and alligator feet that look like my grandmother’s. Skin that’s always parched and a scalp that’s perpetually flaky.
When and how did this happen?
Ever since I got pregnant, I stopped seeing my body as a compilation of perky breasts, taut midriff, toned arms, and luscious eyelashes. My body became a vessel of nourishment for the life growing inside me.
When the OB told me not to worry about my weight gain and eat whatever I wanted, I did just that… gave in to all my cravings, didn’t deny myself that fourth scoop of ice cream or third helping of butter chicken. I ate heartily.
I also exercised an adequate amount, but mostly, I relished in the freedom that came with eating without judgment.
I’ve always been a “healthy” weight for my height.
Even now, with all this excess skin and stored fat, I am by no stretch of the imagination overweight.
My doc says my BMI is “perfect” (for what little that’s worth).
But my mind says I’m anything but.
I’ve always struggled with the amount of body hair I have… It pokes through socks if allowed to grow wantonly, attracting sneers from classmates in tweenhood and comparisons with my dad.