Content Warning: weight, weight loss, body image
It may seem like a small thing, but it took a lot to not blur out the stretchmarks that you can see on my breasts in this picture. I’ve had stretchmarks on my stomach and sides since the onset of puberty (about 8-9 years old, I got my period at 10, which at the time seemed a fate worse than death) and I have had various other “tiger stripes” ever since. Some have faded, some have disappeared and been replaced. I’ve only recently felt self conscious about them which seems silly after all this time, but that seems to be the way that body image works: it ebbs and flows. The tide of body positivity that I often (not always) ride has been much more ebb than flow lately. I feel anxious about my body, about how it looks and how it performs. My upcoming routine physical and blood tests have me losing sleep, as always, and I’m extra nervous and annoyed with myself about this phobic response to medical care or even just maintenance.
I’m ready for this contentious relationship with my body to be over. I’ll be 40 in a few years and I want to get things in check before then. I’d like to turn forty at a healthy body weight (I don’t even know what that means anymore), with my mental health consistently moving in the right direction, my body self-image in line with reality, but it all feels so big and far away. I have been losing weight for a few months (on purpose) and I guess it’s positive but the ways it’s changing my body don’t feel great. Instead of feeling fitter and better, I feel saggy and weak and old. I always thought I’d age gracefully and embrace body change without issue, in fact, I looked forward to a more mature outlook, yet here I am, with teenage-level self consciousness, paralyzed with the fear that this feeling is getting worse despite making “better” choices.
So, no bare boobs this week. I couldn’t bring myself to take the pictures. I love Boobday and Sinful Sunday and I hope that by participating I can get out of this loop of negativity. Wish me luck, I’ll need it.