Am I body love failure? No. What I am is brainwashed from years of exposure to advertisements that promise a flat stomach in 10 days. It is so ingrained in my subconscious that I often hold my stomach in without realizing it.
Today, as I walked back to my office from my lunch break, I caught a glimpse of myself in a storefront window and noticed the top roll of my stomach protruding under my t-shirt. Suddenly I stood up straighter and did my best to tuck in my tummy. In that moment I was aware of my embarrassment about my by body being so big and so exposed. And then I was embarrassed that I was embarrassed, because duh, I'm a body-positive activist!
I think about this shit all day -- what Melinda Alexander calls "Getting Free." So, when stuff like the tummy incident happens I feel like I've been set way back. It feels like being punched in the face after having trained in the ring for years.
The truth is, I have not come to terms with the size and shape of my stomach. It's the biggest it's ever been. For the most part, I almost always had a pretty small waist and stomach, giving me an hourglass figure that made my body acceptable by mainstream standards. But not anymore. It's big enough that I just can't hide it, or disguise it, or manipulate it. And though I've made peace with many of my body parts, this one is especially hard for me.
Anyone feel me?
I know so many fat women who own their big bellies and wear clothes that accentuate them. I am not one of those women. Part of me wants to be at peace, and the other part of me just wants to have a small tummy again so I don't have to overcome another hurdle.
The reason I share this with you is because I promised myself I would be honest and upfront about my own body image struggles. My friend Jen at Plus Size Birth just posted something I resonate with on this topic too.
Thank you for seeing me and accepting me the way I see and accept you.
Perhaps I need a pair of high waisted Spanx.
Or an affirmation...
Or to surround myself with images of large bellied women reveling in their gorgeous glory...
Or maybe some combination of all those ideas until I start feeling better.