Get Uncomfortable

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Recently I was asked, “are you uncomfortable with the way you look?” 

My initial reaction was no, absolutely not. I love the way I look! 

But then I had a nagging feeling. The one you get when you know you’re not telling the whole truth. That answer isn’t the whole truth. I love the way I look, but there are days I struggle.

As a person who identifies as a woman, I have to acknowledge that my relationship with my body is complex. It’s complex we [cis women] have to inherently understand and accept that our bodies will always change. Not only will they always change, that change can and will be commented on by other people. 

I’m sure we all remember having the talk and wondering what would come for us. Then we watched. Suddenly two skinny legs and a training bra suddenly become two fleshy thighs and a size “L” t-shirt to accommodate new boobs. Maybe you had a clear face that was suddenly ravaged by acne. Maybe you were the “late bloomer” that was still just as skinny. 

Did that go unnoticed? Did the kids at school give you a pass? 

Or did they call you common nicknames like, “pizza face”, “flat”, “melons”, “thunder thighs”? 

Change for a woman is never unnoticed. 

Or maybe you are a mom and you carried your baby in your body (there are a lot of ways to be a mom, but I’m talking about this specific experience). Maybe you were a woman who gained weight, maybe you have stretch marks, maybe you worked out the entire time and now have a 6 pack. Maybe your body just expanded.

Did your friends and family comment on your belly? Did they compliment your “snap back”, or lack of? 

Change for a woman is never unnoticed.

In addition to realizing that everyone around you is focusing on your body, we also have the internal struggle of how we focus on our bodies. I had an idea of what I should look like at 18. I had an idea of what I should look like at 25. I have an idea of what I should look like at 28. 

So when my body doesn’t change in the way I think it should, I get angry. I get frustrated. I think to myself, what should I do to be the way I want?

What should I do to be the way I want?

This is the heart of the question. How do you balance all these internal and external expectations and find a way to be happy with how your body is changing? To me, it almost sounds impossible. Sometimes it feels impossible.

Which is why I have to be honest and tell my whole truth. I still struggle with the external expectations of a woman’s body. I still pull my stomach and think “muffin top”, I still chastise my arms for looking like a “bat wing”, I still look at my legs and say “thunder thighs”. I fight myself like a school yard bully.

But, the wisdom I feel I’ve earned is that none of us can go backwards. Change is inevitable, and the milestones that transform our bodies should be celebrated. 

Getting your first period. Puberty. Maturing in your 20s/30s. Being Pregnant. Baby weight. Baby BODY. Menopause. Everything in between. When we acknowledge that our bodies should be celebrated based on what they can do, not how they LOOK, is when we will change.

I’ve started to thank my body for the ability to run. I’ve thanked it for the ability to carry me through a pandemic. I’ve thanked it for enduring fad diets, and I’ve thanked it for responding to a healthy routine.

When I started thanking my body, and loving it in spite of any template I have in my mind, or other people have for me, I started to say “I love the way I look”.

When all women can get to that place, and share our experience, I will stop seeing questions like, “are you uncomfortable with your body?”. Everyone will know and understand that the answer is yes. YES. We’re all uncomfortable. We’ve been uncomfortable! But we can wake up every damn day and thank our bodies for the things it does. We can be happy that we get to wake up and move, breathe, live another day.

I want every woman to know, at her core, that you can be uncomfortable with your body and still celebrate everything it does.

About Meghann

I’m just like you. My life can be hectic and cooking, cleaning and getting that workout in are sometimes the last thing on my mind. But, I’m here to share my tips and tricks on how to make adulting a little more enjoyable.

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