I believe in my body.
It has set records, healed wounds, and allowed me to live my life the way I want to. I can depend on it to get me out of bed the morning and make it back to my bed at night.
I know I’m not the only one, but I don’t always like the way my body looks. I get embarrassed about my muscular arms and thighs and my curves. Mirrors become my worst enemy and my strongest critic. Sometimes wish I could be just like those lanky, thin, busty models in Victoria’s Secret magazines and on MTV. I get frustrated, angry, jealous, and hurt.
Then, I think about all the things my body has overcome and accomplished. I am an athlete. My muscular arms have scored the baskets, thrown the implements, and spiked the volleyballs earning me the most valuable player awards for my high school sports teams. My strong legs and arms give me the power to lift heavy objects in my daily life and even heavier weights in the weight room. Most of the time, it takes but one look at me for people to decide whether or not they would pick a fight with me. Needless to say, I’ve been in very few.
I often compare myself to other girls. Sometimes I’ll judge and tear them apart in my mind. Other times, I’ll just marvel at their beauty. Most of my peers do not have the kinds of bodies you see in the media, either, but they are still just as, if not more, beautiful. I wonder sometimes why I really care at all. Real women are beautiful because they are just that- real.
Just recently, I did a detoxifying juice fast and didn’t eat solid food for four days. I drank water and fresh juices from ripe fruits and vegetables, exclusively. I lost about six pounds. It was extremely difficult to prevent myself from eating, but wasn’t even the nourishment that I missed, it was the pleasure I got from the tastes. Although I missed the enjoyment of eating, I felt fantastic. My body and my mind were at peace with each other. Most people couldn’t believe I was surviving without food, and also professed that they didn’t believe they could survive themselves, but regardless of the negative feedback, I felt empowered by it. Millions of people go weeks without food, and there was no reason I couldn’t last for four lousy days.
Even though I don’t look like the small percentage of women who have “ideal” model bodies, I know what my body is capable of. I’m stronger than most girls, and I’m even stronger than many guys. I’ve put thousands tears, poured gallons of sweat, and endured immeasurable amounts of pain to have my body. I’ve abused it and spoiled it, loved it and hated it.
My body is not perfect, but it is mine, and it is strong. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.