I don’t know how accurate my title is, and I may change it once I’ve typed the thoughts rambling in my head, but, for now, it is Body image and health.
I have always hated my body, sometimes the whole, sometimes in part. Recent health problems have proven to me that image is also tied to how I feel. When I feel great, I look differently at my body. Sometimes that even rubs off on others, other times, you still have assholes (usually, but not always, men) that feel the need to comment on what you need to change because “you aren’t attractive enough”.
Thankfully, I have reached the age where I could not give a single shit what people like that think. Sure, it stings some, but mostly I get mad because I SUCK at come backs. Frankly, it only matters what I think of my body, and to a smaller degree, my husband. There are only two areas that I am not sure I will ever like, the flappy back of the upper arms(the “bye bye arm – I wave hello, they wave goodbye …), and my stomach. And for THE longest time, it was just my arms.
My recent health problems have really changed my outlook in regards to my stomach. I know I didn’t really look 9 months pregnant all the time, but it felt like I was, and so to me, I could see that size in the mirror.
Tonight that damned depression cloud threatened again, and I took a good, LONG look at my body (without clothing) in the mirror. I don’t mean in a critical way, though it was difficult to push past that. No, I deliberately looked for the good stuff. I smoothed my hand along areas I liked, pinched areas to ignore, things like that.
I came to a realization (for a short time), I can not ignore my stomach. I hate it with a passion so deep it could honestly drive me mad if I let it. But I just stared at it. Swollen (still) from work, burnt from the over use of heat bag, and the scars from giving birth, hysterectomy, and the latest surgery. And then I did what many women must do when staring at their “fat bellies”, I attempted to suck it in.
Here’s the kicker. I could. Sure, the flabby pouch just above the c-section scar wouldn’t budge (doctors have told me that will never truly go away, reduce maybe, but I will always have a bulge there), but the rest sucked in. See, when I was sick I couldn’t do that. If I even thought about it I would become nauseated, sometimes even dizzy, from the pain and pressure in my abdomen, stomach, and bowels.
I had only half-heartedly tried to suck it in because I expected pain. But when I found none, I tried to REALLY suck it in. You know? Where you suck it in so hard and tight you can’t breathe and everything aches! I did that. I COULD do that. And when I did, guess what I saw? No bloating, no swelling, (minus of course the lower areas and around my incisions … which were odd as they sort of popped out from the flatter areas! made me giggle) AND I could see my ribs. I even had areas that were curved inwards.
I then let it go, just to the point where I could breath comfortable, but still holding it in, and I damned near cried. Not from pain, not even from vanity. No, from relief. I have been so focused on the swelling of my stomach and the pains from after work, that I never gave much thought to what would happen if I train my muscles, or tried to hold it in. I just let it hang because I HAD to when I was so sick.
Okay, yes. I still have some ache, and bruised feeling in the whole area, similar to when I was sick. But the surgeon warned me it would take 6 weeks to recover, and that is not including me working (she said that BEFORE I asked to go back to work, and she wasn’t thrilled with that idea, but grudgingly allowed it with reduced hours), so could be even longer by a few weeks.
I have made my self a promise, perhaps almost a threat, to start holding in my stomach, even just sitting on the couch. I NEED to train my body, and mind, that those muscles CAN and WILL work again. Even if it is just a tiny bit, just enough so I can feel the muscles working, even if the stomach doesn’t move.
It’s odd. It has really lifted my spirits. I don’t think I realized how much I was worried about the swelling. I mean I knew, I just don’t know that I knew how much? Well, at least that’s my theory, that I was worried?
I am, I am so fucking scared of the pain and that hell coming back. I am pretty sure I am waiting for the other shoe, so to speak. So to have this “test” of sorts, to know that I am okay, it is a relief.
I think I’m going to be okay guys!
Still going to buy looser pants with some give in them tomorrow (for work). Because having my breath cut off, and the stomach ACTUALLY get pins and needles from circulation loss near the end of my FOUR HOUR shift, I need to solve that before I start my 8 hour shifts in a week!! I may also buy some cheap stretchy “granny panties” that won’t be so tight. The ones I have now start out loose (because I am not so swollen all the time), but after 2 – 3 hours at work they dig in.
Yep. I need comfort. If I am going to make it to the fully healed point without hating myself/body, then I need some comfort in which to survive! hehe
aaaaand I just saw the clock, umm 5:20 am is way to late for me to be awake. And I wonder why I am so tired all the time. Idiot! Thank fuck I don’t work
tomor … today.