Monday, 3 November 2014

That not a reflection of your self-worth

Can I get an Amen!?

Last weekend I  had a coffee date/meet up with Megan and T.

These two are amazing. They have both lost over 100lbs each. And they probably have the most adorable "how we met" love story ever (*literally got chills listening to it*). We chatting life, love, and fitness that day. And I am not exaggerating when I say I could have stayed and chatted all day.

One of the recurring themes that came up while we chatting was body image. And our conversation left me thinking about my own journey to body love and self acceptance. So I am going to get up on my feminist soap box for a second here.

I talked a lot about body image pre and post double mastectomy. I struggled with the idea of losing my breasts because they are a feature that is uniquely tied to our idea of femininity. They are a symbol of our sexuality and our identity as a women. I questioned how I could ever see myself as beautiful or sexy walking around looking like a hacked up Frankenstein covered in scars and parts that don't really belong to me.

But I ultimately decided that Health Trumped Beauty and took the plunge anyways.

So here I am 2 and half years later. The dust has settled and my scars have healed. And when I look at my body now, my overwhelming feeling is "Meh". I know that sounds strange to say. It is not exactly a glowing tribute to acceptance and body love. But since losing my breasts and changing my body the lesson that has been most profound is that the way I look has absolutely nothing to do with my value and my self-worth.

We have been taught that our body is a reflection of who are. And the way society objectifies and marginalizes women is so pervasive that most of us don't even see it. I have fallen into this trap myself. And because these ideas are so deeply rooted I often find myself getting sucked back into that mindset and that negative cycle.

So while I preach this healthy lifestyle rooted in fitness and running, please know that the overriding message I hope is convey is Health. I want you to love your body. I want you to feel great in your own skin. I want to take that gym/yoga/running selfies. And I want you to be proud of the process and the effort that you put into your health. But I also want you to know that you are SO MUCH MORE than this.

Perhaps it is possible for a woman to offer the world intellect, strength, kindness, and character rather than merely breasts, bedroom eyes, and sexuality. And maybe if we lived in a world that actually valued woman rather than one that objectifies them, this would be a whole lot more obvious.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,