To this point, I’ve used my blog, “Mia Kerick: Love is What I See”, to discuss my books, to host “sleepover parties” where I visit with other authors and discuss their books, and to let you know what I’ve been up to. And I will continue to do those important things with my blog, but I’ve been somehow called to explore a different kind of topic. A topic that is in no way new to me–in fact, I’ve been plagued by its existence since junior high school. Maybe you’ve been plagued by it, too.
It was in junior high that I noticed I wasn’t perfect. My skin wasn’t “peaches and cream” by a long shot, my hair was a bit straggly and winged up in the wrong places. BUT the BIG PROBLEM with ME was that I wasn’t a skinny and boyishly built as was cool in my neck of the woods. I was actually quite average in terms of height and weight.
Hamilton, where I grew up, was a preppy town, and in regard to that, simple classic clothes were the ideal–pastel-colored Izod polos, your brother’s worn Levi’s boot leg jeans, khaki-colored Chino’s, wrinkled white button-collar oxford cloth shirts. Thin was in. Narrow hips like a boy’s, flat chests, skinny thighs. And voluptuous curves were OUT. In fact, all curves were undesired. We, as preteen girls, lived in fear of the time we’d have to wear a bra. Nope, boobs were NOT COOL.
Popular culture further enhanced our craving to be thin. Naturally, Seventeen Magazine spotlighted absolutely NO FAT GIRLS and MTV featured waifs. The lifeguards at the local beach rated us. We held our breath, and ate nothing but lettuce and water, until we received our ratings.
The message “skinnier is better” assaulted at me on the home front too. A sincere belief that good mothering meant keeping one’s children thin was responsible for years and years, and I’ll say it one more time, YEARS, of discouraging me from eating until I was satisfied. I had no idea when I’d had enough. I also had no idea that my body was already perfect and beautiful, just as it was. I just dieted my way from the time I was ten, until the day before yesterday. Trying to solve my body problem was all I knew.
That’s right. The day before yesterday. I don’t know how it happened, and I hope my commitment to end my quest to diet my way to the “perfect” body remains strong. (It has only been 48 hours.) My mind blurs a bit when I try to remember where I got this miraculous inspiration. All I know is that when I left to drive my daughter to college on Tuesday, I was on yet another diet. On Wednesday morning, I ate fruit and a bit of cottage cheese for breakfast before I helped her move into her dormitory. But then, on the way to the parent/student meeting in the performing arts building, I took a bad fall–I fell flat on my face. I was hurting and mentally shaken. (Not only is my wrist sprained, but my breasts are bruised, if that tells you anything about the harshness of the fall.) And my resolve to eat salad for lunch and soup for dinner wavered. It slipped, and then it just plain old left my heart and my mind and maybe every part of me.
In the hotel that night I came across a board on Pinterest about plus size bodies being beautiful. And when I looked at the women-not skinny and angular, but full and lush-flaunting their beauty, their confidence, their BODIES, it hit me that I could BE ONE OF THOSE WOMEN if I allowed myself.
And so I am starting on a journey to the acceptance of my body. I invite you to come along with me. I don’t think it will be an easy trip, as the picture below suggests, because I am so very far from my goal. I am forty years’ of every kind of diet you can conceive of, endless critical examinations of my unclad body in various dressing room mirrors, and dreaming of when I’m finally skinny, away from my goal. But I really want to find the freedom that will come with the love of self.
“Really want?” I am a writer, and I know those words are too feeble for the passion I will bring to this endeavor.
I hunger for the conviction to accept myself as I am, as in, right now. Today. Just as I am in the pictures below.
Join me on my rocky path. Say hello. Tell me how you feel.
Mia ❤ ❤
LOVE IS WHAT I SEE…including love of MYSELF and MY BODY!!!