Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Heart My Body 2012

A seemingly simple question: what do you love about your body? But given that I, as I imagine many of us, could write reams and reams about our bodies and our relationships with them, it's not such a simple question. I will try and keep it simple, however. 
I wouldn't say I love my body. Nor would I say I hate it. It's no longer something that occupies a lot of space in my head. Which is a welcome state of affairs, I can tell you. 
I don't think I've ever hated my body but for a long time we certainly weren't the best of friends. What I wanted from it (ie a few more inches in height, and many, many fewer inches around the thighs/bum area. Some of which could have migrated to my boobs, if they so desired) was vastly different to what it wanted to give me (the classic pear shape. With bonus cellulite). 
Somewhere along the way I stopped making such ridiculous requests. I guess I just accepted it for what it is. I try to be kind to it, and as my definition of it 'being kind' has changed, I can see that it is kind to me in return.
A few events had a hand in this transition.
1. I heard my grandmother, who was in her 70s and very trim, say she needed to lose weight. I remember thinking "god, am I still going to be worrying about weight in 50 years time? I fecking hope not" and vowed to stop fretting about it there and then. Which worked. Kind of. 
2. I left a job in which what you wore to the office was a daily consideration, and discussing fashion and female beauty part of the workload. Instead I started work on mine sites, where everyone wore the same gear and if your body ever came up for consideration (which was pretty much never), it was for what it could physically do, not how it looked. I didn't make this change with body image in mind, but it was an unexpected beneficiary.
3. I grew up. Realised there were better things to do than worry about a number on my jeans tag. 
In my dredge operator's uniform, circa 2009.
With an extra generous serve of grime
(I didn't normally get that dirty).

40 weeks pregnant in April this year.

So, what about my body makes me happy?
Aesthetically, my shoulders. My calves. My waist. As for other things:
1. It seems fairly resilient. I've never broken a bone, don't often get sick and my skin doesn't get eczema or other irritations, and copes well with the sun. 
2. I was able to get pregnant, be pregnant and then breast feed quite easily. My heart goes out to women who discover they don't have this luxury. 
3. The cursed pear shape can actually be a blessing, in health terms. Because extra fat makes a beeline (at the speed of light, it seems) to your butt, which apparently is better than having it build up around the organs in your mid section. 

So, here's my 'I Heart My Body' pic, taken last night in my togs.

After a week of balmy weather last night was bloody freezing.
It was a very quick photo shoot!

How do you feel about your body? What do you love about it?

Linking up with We Heart Life for this year's body love campaign.

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