LETTER TO MY STOMACH

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Well, my mid-section anyway. You are part of it with the intestines but that’s not really relevant. You see you have a gangle of nerves and I have always felt all my feelings in you, shaking and quivering with fear so many times. And I hate throwing up so I would just hold it all in. And then I found out I could sedate then nerves with comforting carbohydrates. stomach

But that’s not all. You see I have beat up on you all my life. As the center of society’s demand for thinness, you were always the enemy, the villain. Never mind that physiologically you are programmed to carry the softness that a weary civilization needs for rest. Never mind that you shield the life force for our survival as a species. What is this obsession that you must not show up? Why is this so threatening to others?

I have been ashamed of you, been shamed by my ideas of you. As a young girl entering bodily changes of maturing,  any change was interpreted as “getting fat”. My growing breasts (insulted by words like “boobs” and “tits”) were because I was getting fat. My spreading hips giving me an alluring figure, rather than being an advantage, created fear that I would be noticed and victimized. But the stomach, the midsection, that under  no circumstances was to stand out at all.pregnant

So the dieting began. The compulsive sideways glances as I passed store windows and mirrors – is it sticking out today? How much? I did the sit ups. Why isn’t it going down?

I won’t be popular. I won’t get any dates. The boys won’t like me. I can’t wear a swimsuit. I don’t see any one else who looks like me, has my body. At least not anyone who is admired, is famous, or has boyfriends.IMG_1882

Now you cover where three children grew. You cover an umbilical hernia. You still stick out in spite of decades of punishment and rejection. What are you telling me? I joke about my epitaph reading, “She finally lost weight and kept it off.”

You are telling me that I deserve to take up space. My body is functioning and supporting me. The muscles have been stretched repeatedly. It is not a bad thing. It is part of being a woman. And I am blessed.

smiling

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