If only we could take a second to calm that noise. It is not a shout or a scream. More a kind of electrical humming, white noise fizzing in the background. It has become so commonplace that I am not even consciously aware of it. It whispers disgust when I look at certain photos and prods my rounded tummy with judgemental, accusing fingers. I don’t allow this voice to stop me doing things (apart from wearing a bikini to the park on a hot day) but it does control me more than I like. Because it tells me I must bear the shame of being too much and not enough, all at once. I am a rational woman who I know is more than a vase to be looked at or bought flowers for. But still I spend a large portion of my time in conflict with my body. A healthy body capable of great things.
When I was an underweight teenager or size 12 twenty something I hated my body more because I had lots of work to do on my mind. I carved hateful words into my skin and shouted into the mirror, attacking myself. Years of therapy, finding love and having children (and losing one of them) has taught me many lessons. I have learned that when I’m in a dark place I must find the strength to walk towards the light. Away from self destruct, negative self talk and harsh judgement. Away from destroying myself and towards nourishment whether that means reading a good book, listening to empowering music, exercising, getting enough sleep or cooking a healthy and comforting meal.
I really hope my children are able to grow up and find their way in this world without this humming buzzing around their brain. I hope they feel like they can do anything and whilst they are doing great things I hope they don’t feel like their body is a battleground.