I’ve been asked if I have sagging skin, would I consider surgery to fix it, would I get my boobs fixed?
What I used to see in the mirror was hard for me to reconcile. I didn’t FEEL 135kgs. That person didn’t feel like me at all.
What I see now is not perfect, which is perfect, really because I don’t want to be perfect – I’ve worked hard to be the me I am & to accept it as a new version of me. My stomach is not flat, my skin is not all smooth, my boobs look great… in a good bra & my butt isn’t where is used to be AT ALL.
When I see this in the mirror I now choose to see the babies my body has created & carried, the huge transformation my body has made over the past 2 years, the 38 years it has been good to me and what it can do – that is has stuck by me through all of it. The wrinkles on my face show the fun that I’ve had and the years I have lived. Not everyone has the honour of these things and I am grateful for every one of them. It’s a reminder of where I have been and of what I am capable of.
So again I’d love you to think about these two questions for yourself…
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
What words come into your head?
If I had started this post saying I was going to be going on about shame, you probably would have just decided to pin this to ‘read later’ – you’re totally too busy now right?
I know it’s not a comfortable topic. Nor is it one I have been interested in going into… before now. I realise that shame is what I used to feel when I saw my reflection. It’s not like I was even standing in my bedroom mirror looking at myself naked and thinking “Oh wow that’s not cool” No it was so much more subtle than that, so much more insidious. I’d be walking along with my boys, enjoying a chat, coffee in hand when suddenly BAM – there I was. My reflection in a shop window….. down down down we go into…. I didn’t know where but now I know it’s name. SHAME. Ruins your day & if you let it your life. You feel unworthy of more. Trust me when I say you are WORTHY of more than that.
This is what I have since come to learn about the topic and why it’s so vital that we address it in our own lives and why we need to know what it means for the people we love.
Shame vs Guilt
I’ve just finished listening to Brene Brown’s audible talk – The Power of Vulnerability… more about that another post – it’s sooooo good.
And in this talk she explains how her (HUGE amounts of) research has uncovered the difference between the two and what it means for us. So let me put it in my words – although her’s are better.
Guilt is… that was so stupid I can’t believe I did something so dumb.
Shame is… I am stupid I can’t believe I am so dumb.
Oh. My. Goodness.
So you drop your coffee… Of damn it, it’s all over me, that’s annoying I need to me careful.
Oh damn it, I am such an idiot, I can’t even drink a coffee right.
The first one might just means next time you get a coffee you are a more careful because you remember what you did last time. The second one means you are questioning why you even bother getting a coffee almost that you don’t deserve it because you’re completely hopeless.
Again I ask. If you’re best friend or your partner or child (someone you love basically) drops something – yes we probably get a little angry when it’s our kids because they do it all of the time – but would you tell them they were pathetic because of it? Or would you just recognise that it probably wasn’t the smartest thing they’ve ever done but whatevs it happens… or even laugh (I’m working towards this one – life too short huh)?
Same with the mirror thing. DO you see your ‘flaws’ as battle scars & normal or just what they are… not necessarily good or bad… who says we’re meant to have a flat stomach anyway? Who says wrinkles are gross… people who make money out of wanting to sell you something to fix it, that’s who.
Or do you see yourself as lesser than for not being what you think you should be.
Take it from me, a bra fitter. In a bra EVERYONE has skin under their arms. NO ONE has a 100% flat back. We have skin, we have muscle and yes we are meant to have those things. I know we ‘know’ no one is perfect and that we aren’t meant to be but we still expect it of ourselves, I know I do sometimes.
Ok obviously wanting to improve your health, fitness or even how you look is something I am all for. I love being able to do up my jeans – hell even wear jeans – without laying on the bed in a hot sweat to do them up. I love walking up a staircase without needed a resuss. I also get that there’s a way I got here and the fact that I’m still here is something to be celebrated.
You’re words to you are what drive you. Shame drives you to do destructive things. Guilt is different – it can encourage you to change your behaviour without changing your mind about yourself. My favourite friends are the ones that encourage me to be better, understands when I’m not at my best & laughs when I do something dumb, so let’s be that friend to ourselves & to those around us.
You are not your body, you HAVE a body. You are not your feelings, you HAVE feelings. What you ARE deserves love. Love YOU. x