In the small hours of Thursday, I was sitting in the Emergency Department of our local hospital. Now I know that the Fast Track area was named by someone with a pretty wacky sense of humour. While I was waiting, I heard multiple times over the loud speaker “Cat 2” and a directed and unpanicked response to newcomers to the Emergency Department who needed help straight away. I’m glad that we have skilled professionals who can help, calmly and with focus. I felt particularly sad for the 92 year old man who came in with chest pains, and was whisked away into the hospital. I hope he’s OK.
I was amusing myself on twitter, trying to while away the hours in my Fast Track chair. This freak of fate meant that I was awake and reading when We Heart Life launched their annual I Heart my Body campaign. I remember looking at the posts that women bravely shared last year, and thinking “I wish I could do that”. But I’m too fat, I have a job which means I can’t, and on and on went my mind.
In this amazing initiative people post photos of their bodies, and declare 3 things they love about their body. Some are in their underwear, some are in less, some are in more. Most importantly they share their reality, and what they love about their bodies.
And this year, even though I am a couple of days late, I’m in. Because, despite all my insecurities and worries and wobbles and everything else, I really do heart my body. Those early morning hours at the emergency department proved it.
This picture is precisely why I heart my body.
Reason #1. My body is strong, resilient and has put up with a thousand mistakes.
This injury to my foot is the first thing that has put me in an ambulance. It is the first thing that has put me into an emergency department, and the first thing that has had me in a hospital waiting to see a doctor (other than having babies).
Despite all the silly things I’ve done in my 38 years, the times I’ve misjudged, been downright stupid and uncaring to my body, it has very rarely yelled NO WAY at me.
That night, I was attempting to sneak out of bed, at 2am, to go to the toilet. Yep, all of this over a badly timed wee. As usual, Sabrina was asleep beside me in bed, and I was trying to climb out of the bed, over Sabrina so I didn’t wake her. Somehow, I misjudged something, and instead of lighting greeting the floor and then creeping quietly around the bed, I smashed down onto the floor. I swear, no frisky business involved as my sister bravely asked me. As she said so well, you’re all saved from that gag and giggle moment 🙂
The last time my body said “no way” and broke rather than bent was a long time ago.
This long ago.
My body allowed me to fall pregnant 4 times, work through 4 straightforward pregnancies and birth 4 healthy babies. I truly Heart my Body for that. Strong. Resilient. Forgiving.
Reason #2 My body was made for yoga
I know that isn’t really true. But I love that I feel that way. When I’m in a yoga class, I have wonderful little thoughts that go along the lines of “I’m really built for this”. They’re pretty quickly followed by “but look at her or him. You’ll never do that”. But at least they show up, and I love the feeling from those thoughts.
Did you have a sport you played as a kid, where you thought that maybe just maybe you could be the winner of the world. When I was 10, I was playing tennis (like a ham) and having dreams that maybe one day I could win Wimbledon. Yoga, is the grown up version of that, for me.
I don’t really think that I’ll ever be “great” at yoga (whatever that means), but I love that yoga gives me those fleeting moments.
It means that I have moments when I love my body, I love looking at my body and seeing it’s strength and flexibility.
Reason #3 My Body has changed immensely and not a lot
Sometimes it’s easy to notice only the changes. The wobbly belly, and award winning tuckshop arms, the dark spot on my forehead (thanks Sabrina – that was an unexpected pregnancy gift), the wrinkles and the greying hair.
But in reality, my body has been pretty similar for much of my adult life.
Here I am, in 2011, after throwing on my formal dress from 20 years before.
I heart my body for that.
Are you brave enough? Do you heart your body?? Wanna share??
Check it out. I promise it’ll make you smile.
ps. My foot now looks like this.