Sunday, August 17, 2008

Age 32

My earliest memory of my body was feeling shame because I knew I was bigger than all the other girls my age. That feeling has never left me, despite the fact that I am a "normal" size, although it’s hard to really say what the word normal means any more. I imagine that some women would think my body was perfect and others would think I was too big. Either way, I have fought like hell to regain my self esteem and love myself. I now can say from an intellectual level that my body is normal, but the feeling of shame is something that is burned into my being. It’s an old wound, that despite years of healing, still bears its mark on my soul the way a scar will forever stay on a person's skin.

In my short 32 years, I have struggled with a 13 year eating disorder; been on every diet known to man; spent countless dollars (I imagine it is far into the thousands at this point) on products designed to make me believe I would love myself more once I consumed them; and wasted more time than I care to imagine hating my body for being something other than what it was. My body image has consumed me to the point that I can say it has probably gotten more attention than anything else in my life. That statement makes me sad just writing it.

I am not unlike any of you. If you met me you would find me "normal", with a good job, a nice home and a nice family. I am a typical American woman...and I am angry that I have abandoned myself in search of being "perfect." There are times I think this struggle is something I will live with for a lifetime, but if that is the case, then I am willing to fight. I will fight because with each passing year I am tired, and I am ready to finally love myself for being alive and being strong enough to put up with the senseless crap we women have to endure just to feel "good enough." I hope everyone reading this is fighting too. Hopefully, we can make small steps towards change.