Last night some of the most wonderful women I know were talking about their bellies. The conversation started in response to this post by Lolli at Better in Bulk, which she wrote in response to this post on Babble.com written by Moosh in Indy about postpartum bellies.
Back to last night’s girl talk. It wasn’t just talk, actually. They were showing their bellies, regardless of size, shape, color, scars, stretch marks and holes where belly rings used to sit. There were flat bellies, pregnant bellies, belly button rings and more. And they were all beautiful. One of the women even remarked about how proud she was that we could show the bellies which held the future generation.
Well, not all of us could.
I was amazed at their courage and bravery for showing their bellies. And I was embarrassed and saddened by how much I did NOT want to show mine.
In reality, I know I had nothing to be ashamed of. My belly would have fit in just fine with all the others. Yet the idea of showing it scared the living crap out of me. I guess I just have body issues.
All my life I’ve thought I was too heavy. Even when I was at my thinnest, I thought I could have been thinner. Oh, it’s not like I would have ever gone to any extremes to make that happen. I am too lazy and I like food too much. This is more about how I have always felt about the outside of myself from the inside. And these women unknowingly reminded me that I am still way too hard on myself. Like I said, I have body issues.
Recently I was at dinner with a couple of friends and at one point they were discussing what it is like to be fat. Those were their words, NOT mine. Two of the women couldn’t have cared less because they were truly, genuinely happy with themselves. I sat there quietly, thinking they would so not believe me if I told them that I (at a size 4-6) am not. Assuming they would think I was just fishing for compliments, I listened to their conversation without saying a word. While they were talking I was wishing that some of their self-confidence with their bodies would rub off on me and I vowed to never forget that conversation.
When you read this, you may be nodding your head in agreement or you may be thinking that I am an ass for feeling this way. Regardless of whether you can relate, I am merely choosing to tell you about my journey and my body issues.
Last night I was sad. Today I am invigorated. I have some work to do both mentally and physically. Once I do, I am going to photograph my belly. Even if I am scared to death, I am going to show it to those women so I can be as brave and beautiful as they were last night. After all, this belly housed two members of our future generation and for that alone I should be proud to show it to my friends.