Before hopping in the shower this afternoon, I looked in the mirror and my first thought, surprisingly, was "I am not disgusting."
There are many things I've been called in my life regarding my weight: pathetic, lazy, gross, repulsive...but the D word, disgusting, is the one that tends to stick in my brain the most.
It's the one I conjure up when I'm slipping on my swim suit to head to the beach. It's the one I repeat to myself when I am meeting new people, when I'm shopping for new clothes, and pretty much every single time I eat anything.
And it's the word I usually use to describe myself, in my own mind, when I look at my body in the mirror. But today I said to myself it's not true.
I decided to look at my body for what it truly is, beyond what may be seen with the naked eye. I looked at the parts that I usually look at with disdain and I thought about what they represented for me, as an individual..as a living, breathing human being.
My "huge hips"...they may be wide, but they aided me in delivering two healthy baby boys. They are perfect for slinging a toddler on or pulling my 4 year old's head into when he's scared or sad.
My breasts may not be as perky as they once were but they have provided nutrition for two sweet, tender lives.
My stomach is covered in stretch marks but those are my constant reminders of housing my sons, of my body making room for theirs.
My body holds a brain..a very intelligent one that has helped me through countless years of education and will lead me to obtaining my second college degree this year.
It's a creative brain..one that enjoys expressing itself through writing, one that loves to learn, one that remembers all the sweet details of my childhood, my friend's birthdays, my loved ones' most precious moments.
My body houses a voice that led me to discover my very first true love and passion--music, particularly singing.
My body houses a heart that in the literal sense keeps me alive every day to enjoy my life's many blessings. In the figurative sense, it loves deeply, it cares strongly, and it embraces thoroughly.
My body is much more than can be slipped into a size 18 jeans. My body is mine and it is not disgusting. It is quite the opposite.
My body also struggles to overcome the effects of a disease, PCOS. This disease makes gaining weight very easy and losing weight extremely hard, due to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.
But I am not trying to make excuses for being overweight or to even say that I couldn't stand to lose some weight for my health. I could. And I should. And I will.
It may take a lot of effort; I know it does because I've done it before. I also know that in order to make the changes I need to make, I have to believe that I am worth the hard work. I have to believe that this struggle is worthwhile and that I have the power and the strength to succeed.
That comes with believing that I am valuable.
To put it simply...
I am overweight, but I am not disgusting.
No matter my size, I have something to offer and I am beautiful both inwardly and outwardly.
From this day forward, I refuse to allow myself or anyone else to shame me into believing I am the D word.