Hating Your Body is a Complete Waste of Time (Just Ask My Tumors)
Aside from my occasional bouts of hippie fever, I’m entirely conventional in many ways, the least fortunate being that I’ve spent a good portion of my life turning my dissatisfaction over my body into a science. At any given point in my life, I could answer “what would you change about your body?” with a detailed wish list of ways my body had disappointed me.
Most of the noise of that negative self talk was silenced when Aaron found out he had cancer. There was something about seeing his heart and his brain and his blood with my own two eyes that put me in absolute awe of the human body. I mean, 12 hours after another human being had put his hands on my now-husband’s brain, we were laying in bed watching the Lord of the Rings. If that isn’t a testament to the miracle of the human body, I don’t know what is.
A humbling dose of "Perspective"
Bodies are incredible, and instead of shaming mine over its lack of cleavage and comically large feet, I have started to treat mine as well as I treated Aaron’s.
So it makes total sense that when I’ve decided to finally love my body unconditionally, it decides to give me a little punch in the face by letting me find four tumors in my left breast. And after three doctors and one surgery to confirm that they are benign and to get them out of there, I’ve come to two conclusions: big boobs are totally overrated, and every moment I spent hating my miracle of a body was a complete waste of time and energy.
In my past I’ve been a middle school girl who hated my nose and tore photos of Christy Turlington out of magazines to share with my imaginary plastic surgeon.
I’ve been a high school girl so in awe of and terrified of a basketball team of beautiful Amazons who pushed my six-foot body around the court that I prayed every night for an extra growth spurt. Let me repeat: at six feet tall, I would pray to the Lord my Heavenly Father for a growth spurt because I was getting my butt kicked by a group of athletic supermodels who intimidated me with their hair and their skills.
I’ve been a late-blooming teenager so horrified by my inability to fill out a prom dress that I spent a small fortune on padded bras filled with everything from foam to water. Yes, water.
I’ve been a college girl so self conscious and socially awkward that I spent four years trying to disappear, leaning on one leg and curling my shoulders forward to make myself shorter, rationing every bite of food and punishing myself with hours at the gym until I could count my ribs and feel my hip bones digging into my mattress at night.
This is the kind of stuff coolness is made of, kids. NOT.
I’ve been a young professional who thought nothing of treating weekday hangovers with weekday happy hours, sneaking cigarettes in the middle of the day and trading the recommended 8 glasses of water per day with 8 glasses of Diet Coke.
And in between I’ve spent innumerable hours saying horrible things about myself. For instance, did you know that I have fat knees? It’s true, you’ll never see my bare legs. Ever. Did you know that I have a weak chin? That my ears are way too big and also shaped kind of funny? That I have wispy Jesus hair that is neither curly nor straight? That I have adult acne and my teeth are too big?
No matter what kind of a girl I was in my past, today I am a 29-year-old woman who has her honest weight on her driver’s license. I read (hippie) nutrition books that help me see food as medicine rather than as an enemy. I exercise consistently enough that my blood pressure elicited a “holy shi*t!” from an impressed nurse. I sometimes still accidentally rip the belt loops off my pants by trying to force myself into things that don’t fit.
It turns out that 5Ks and cycling are much cooler than flip phones and Lucky Strikes
Making memories with family - also very very cool
It’s all a process.
I think you’re all beautiful and perfect, but I want to know: where do you fall on the unconditional body love scale?
More by Nora
More on Health, Relationships
You May Also Like
Love this article <3
Such an amazing article, Thanks.
The particulars are different for each girl, but the message is a very important one. After years of hating my body, I've started to think about all of the things it can do that I am grateful for. Thanks for sharing your story.
Wow, that was a very honest and touching article. It puts body image into perspective and makes me want to do some self reflection because I was in the same boat, doing comparisons and wishing I had attributes that were a waste of my time.
Great article! It's amazing how even the most beautiful women can be so hard on themselves. I help dress women every day at work and each and every one of them has a negative thing to say about their body. No matter their shape or size each one will swear she's weirdly proportioned. Thank you for your honesty :)
@caitlyne even more disturbing is all the thinspo stuff on pinterest...yikes. love your story. <3
This story is absolutely wonderful.
Join Our Newsletter
Best of Beauty (65)
Blogs We Love (61)
Career & Finance (65)
ChickAdvisor Events (103)
ChickAdvisor Newsletters (17)
ChickChat TV (8)
Eating Out (73)
Eyes, Lips, Face (483)
Fan Mail (14)
Gadgets, Media (37)
Gift Guide (71)
Hands & Feet (97)
Makeup Tutorials (53)
New Features (27)
News & Issues (119)
Parties & People (80)
Posing Wall (120)
Product Review Club (74)
Runway Fashion (196)
Shop ChickAdvisor (6)
Skin Care (162)
Street Style (44)
Style Guide (358)
Videos We Love (59)
Weekly Roundup (79)
Would You Wear This? (52)