Andrea Blythe (blythe025) wrote in selfinthemirror,
Andrea Blythe

All of Me

It's funny. I don't ever remember thinking of myself as pretty. My body was always this thing that I looked at with disgust--the fat of my stomach always standing out clearest in my mind. How many times did I look down at my stomach and hate it, hate it, because it was not thin or sexy like it was supposed to be? Even now I can call up vividly the emotions of despair and hurt every time I looked at myself in the mirror growing up.

But January's theme (Personal History) for Self Portrait Tuesday has allowed me to look back at my old photos and see myself in a different light. I was thin. Well, not a twig, but somewhat athletic. I looked good when I was younger.

I'm startled by this realization. How come I never saw it? How could I have twisted and distorted myself image so badly? I mean there I was, sitting on the porch with my dad, crying over how ugly and fat I was, how deformed. And he, trying to comfort me, trying to point out that I was thin, that it was just the way I was sitting, that I was pretty. But I wouldn't listen. He didn't understand, I told him. He just didn't understand. And I held my stomach to hide it and cried and cried.

These days, I'm heavier than I've ever been, and I still don't think very good thoughts about my stomach. But I've learned now to check them more and try to immediately replace a negative thought with a good one. It doesn't always work.

There was a perfect symmetry in themes for January and February. February's theme, All of Me, is supposed to focus on loving yourself exactly as you are, and letting all your flaws show.

So here I am--the younger me, whom I never loved enough, and my beautiful stomach, in all its glory, which I promise from this moment to love and appreciate more.


x-posted to my journal.
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