I know some of the Salties have taken the challenge and run this summer sansashirt. I’m not at that place. Partly for the safety of other runners who could have their retinas burned from the bright whiteness of my skin; I’d be afraid that all of the many seniors I pass along the way would mistake my belly for the light they’ve been trying to hold off from seeing as long as possible. But, it probably has more to do with complete self-consciousness of the fatness and jiggles that brings.
Now, I’m not a total hater when it comes to my body. My lips are okay and my teeth are pretty straight for never having had braces. I’m trying to appreciate my body for what it does and not focus so much on what i perceive to be aesthetic flaws, but boy is it hard! Baby-steps, baby-steps.
Seriously (or my best attempt at being serious on the subject of body image), I’m pretty proud of my legs. If you don’t count the upper thighs, I think of done a good job with the rest of them. They’ve been able to carry me this far in my life. And, despite years of being apathetic toward exercise, they have maintained a certain amount of the muscle I developed from playing soccer and some ice skating. My husband thinks they are pretty nicely shaped, as well. I’ve even accepted some of the evidence of my tomboy-hood that I never completely outgrew. I’ve had my share of bruises, cuts, and scrapes with the scars to show for them. But, those scars are reminders of the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences along this journey of life. See, I’m getting there!
When it comes to my arms, I have a much harder time seeing the good they’ve done for me and not focus on what I’d like to change. I like my freckles, but if I could get them to blend together, they’d give me a nice tan. But what is the deal with my upper arms? What is that flapper all about? My work in retail started out with A LOT of heavy lifting, but the flab happened anyway. Don’t even get me started on stretch-marks with which the wings are decorated. UGH! WHY? I don’t like it; I don’t want it. Yeah, I’m going to have to work harder to appreciate these arms.
I guess I can’t avoid it any longer…the part I’d prefer not to see and would prefer for no one else to, either. This is the part that is always going to be hardest for me to accept. It’s the dreaded torso area as a whole. It could be worse, I could still have my horrifically gigantic boobs. The reductionwas a great decision and the scars from the initial, post-op Franken-boobies aren’t so bad. Below the ta-tas is bad news for me. When I look at myself in this area, I see lumpy, dumpy, and plumpy. Those are my names for each layer and roll. The jiggling and feeling the need to suck in the belly are the worst to me. I hate to think about what others have to witness as I run by them on the trails. When I pass toned and svelte people, I judge them as judging me. Sometimes, I think that they are thinking, “Ugh, why does she even bother?” I know, that for most of them, I’m just putting my thoughts out there as if those were their thoughts. It’s a struggle, not going to lie!
But I’m trying and running is definitely helping. I’m a work in progress, putting one foot in front of the other. Starting to run is part of becoming a healthier me. Each day brings new lessons, new challenges, and maybe even a little self-acceptance and appreciation for where my body, lumpy and bumpy included, takes me…while I keep my shirt on…for now.