I’m a recovering perfectionist and the sad truth is that my body is not perfect. I’m finding it really hard to accept myself. When I look in the mirror I just see problems. I don’t see beauty or biology. I just look at myself and think I don’t look the way I want to look.
My body has changed since I’ve been diagnosed with Depression. My weight has fluctuated. I have gained approximately 9kg since I came out of the psychiatric clinic. Before I was admitted, I hardly ate. I was too nauseous and too unhappy with myself. I felt like I didn’t deserve nice things. I didn’t deserve to eat.
At my lowest point, I weighed a rather flimsy 48 kg. At 1.70 metres, this gave me a BMI of 16.6 which is rather pathetic. I was so skinny I had the body of an eleven year old asian boy.
I now weigh a much healthier 57 kg. The increase in weight signifies a huge improvement in my overall health and I should be really happy. But I’m not. Because now when I look in the mirror I see Sloth from the movie ‘The Goonies’
It’s been so ingrained in my mind that weight gain is something terribly undesirable. More undesirable than haemorrhoids. And they’re fucking undesirable…and itchy….apparantley.
Now, I know people will look at these photos and won’t understand what I’m talking about. You won’t see what I see. You won’t see all the soft, flabby, fat bits that I see. You won’t see the terrible cellulite, the tiny boobs, the ugly feet, the crooked teeth, the fat arms, the thin hair and the fat cheeks. I just see the bad.
I feel unattractive and thus, worthless. Because my worth as a woman is determined by my looks. By my body. I’m forever chained to the proverbial tread mill trying so damn hard to finally reach the promised land and become….
There are parts of my body that are so crap and flawed that they genuinely give me anxiety. I want my body to be visually appealing to the world. I want it to be aesthetically pleasing. I want to be perfect. I just want to be perfect.
But in wanting all that, I have totally forgotten about the biological purpose of my body. I’ve disregarded billions of years of evolution, of perfecting, crafting, improving and developing my body to make it work as well as it does. All because I WANT IT TO LOOK BETTER!!
My body is incredible. I mean the shit it can do. I could never do that. I don’t even know what it does half the time. I’m so glad I am not in charge of my organs because I have no idea what they do…If I was the general manager of my body parts I’d probably be dead within a day.
And I never stop to say thank you. All I do is criticize my body, hate it, slabber it in make-up and anti-cellulite cream. I don’t want that anymore. I want to accept my flawed body just the way it is.
So here is an open letter of gratitude and love for my under-appreciated body parts. All the parts that have given me pain, anxiety and deep disappointment over the years; that I wanted to slice open, cut away and fill with silicone; that I tried through vigorous exercise to change. To all the body parts that I’m so ashamed of and that make me feel insecure, inadequate and depressed… THANK YOU 🙂
My dear boobs,
Out of all my body parts you, have probably had the toughest ride. When you first started developing I was so happy and excited. Finally my life as a woman would begin.
But you didn’t blossom and flourish into what I had pictured. You decided you had grown enough. Meanwhile I used up all my prayers to ask for round, warm, soft, womanly mama balloons.
But my prayers went unanswered.
I hated you. I hated you so much. I was so ashamed of you. So embarrassed.
At eighteen I saw a plastic surgeon. He felt you up and avidly agreed with your inadequacy. But I couldn’t go ahead with the operation. I was too vain to leave you in the hands of a flawed human being. So life went on. I covered you in chicken fillets and strapped you in wonder bras and continued to despise you.
And then something happened. Out of nowhere I began to tolerate you. Out of tolerance grew acceptance. Now I have nothing but love for you. I’m so much more confident now. I’m much more like:
You see, I thought I needed you to make me feel like a woman. But I am a woman. I am a woman with breasts. They’re not perfect. They’re small and uneven. And covered in moles. But they are mine and I love them. I love them because they are healthy. I love them because they are little and because I don’t have to wear a bra. I love them because after all these years I have completely forgotten that their purpose is not to make me feel attractive and desirable or to make me fuckable.
Their only purpose in life, why they are attached to my chest, is to one day feed my babies. I am so sorry dear breasts that I forgot about that. I’m sorry that I got sidetracked and wanted to look like Kelly Brook. I’m sorry that I considered cutting you open and filling you with foreign objects all in the name of vanity.
So dear boobs, this is an open letter of appreciation for you. I love guys you so much and I just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me for so long.
All my love,
Dearest, most hard-working, most unloved, feet
My feet. My beautiful, strong and resilient feet. I have treated you so badly. Squeezed and squashed you into heels that didn’t fit. Forced you into shoes you didn’t like and coerced you to run when you were clearly aching.
And all this time, all these years, I have had nothing but shame for you. I didn’t want you the way you were. I wanted you to be small, and delicate and soft. I wanted you to be so soft.
All my life you’ve faithfully carried me. The most humble servant. Destined to be on the lowest end of the scale…You tried so hard to protect yourself from my evil ways. I violently forced you into shoes you didn’t like. Shoes that made you cry. You adapted by getting harder, by building bunions as your stronghold. But I didn’t like that because hard feet are not lady-like and I wanted to be a lady. So I kept you hidden. Found shoes that hid certain parts of you that I despised.
I just wanted you to be softer. I so badly wanted you to be softer and thank God you didn’t listen. I prayed for softer skin and you rebelled by getting harder and harder. Thank you for not listening to me. Thank you for carrying me all these years. For being being such wonderfully loyal body carriers.
I’m going to be honest with you now. I have found it really hard to learn to accept you. I don’t want to accept you. I don’t even know why you’re here. I want you to fuck off. I really, really don’t want you. I really don’t know what you do in the world accept make me feel like shit. I want to accept you. But I don’t know what you do. What do you actually do?! You’re like an appendix. You’re just in the way. You’re in my way. I could be perfect if it wasn’t for you.
I could be so perfect. You make me feel so fat. Fat and ugly and lazy. You make me want to hide.
I’m so scared of summer. Because in the summer my secret will be out. My dirty secret that I’m not who I say I am. I say I’m a runner. And from the front I am one. But from the back, I’m a middle aged, deep-fried-mars-bar-eating foster care mum. I live in a trailer. I eat ice cream straight out the tub and there is an ass shaped imprint on my couch. I haven’t seen my feet since I was born.
I feel like my cellulite just doesn’t fit with my image. My image is that of a young, athletic woman. And my cellulite somehow contradicts all that.
When I go to the beach I want to run up to people and explain the cellulite situation to them.
You see, I’m so afraid of not being liked. Of not being found attractive. I’m scared the whole world is constantly judging me.
I want to accept you cellulite. I really do. But it’s hard. Because I try so hard to be perfect. And it’s killing me. For now, perhaps I will start by tolerating you. Baby steps, you know? Maybe we can try again next year.
Lots of love and one or two farts,