The Body Project

 

Week 8

I can squeeze it all in my jeans, cover it with my shirt, all the size, the tummy, the stretch marks. No one can see. Two children and 43 years, I am no longer that stick thin, straight haired, string bikini wearing little girl.

I would go to work on construction sites and heads would always turn, comments would be made, "nice you know what...," and I would cringe. Is that all you see??? With one of them, one of those gawkers, I fell in love, "You're fat," he said again and again, it made me so sad. How could you say that to me??? Did my sons hear him calling me that, I don't know, but one day they will grow up and find love, not grow up to hurt another with their words. I teach them to understand difference, that each of us is special and unique in our own way, beautiful. 

I turned that corner and haven't looked back, I'm a beautiful person, a beautiful mom, beautiful to my sons, and like it or lump it, I am me, love me and and my body for what it is and what I am, or forget about me. 


Week 7

I've been called cute, chubby and fat all my life; never felt as though I'm beautiful and sexy. Never said “damn! I look hot”. It has always been “ok, I look passable today”. As I've gotten older, and have been bombarded for years by what society perceives to be the ideal body, face and image of the present moment, I have gotten fed up and said no more. I've had enough. I will never look like the models in the magazines; the clothes will never fit me how they do on the models; my hair will never do what I want; and people will choose to love & respect me or hate & disrespect me no matter what I do or how I look. Thus, my present aim and ongoing project in life is to be the best I can be and love myself just as I am. To love all the love handles, dimples and cellulite. To love every curve that I've been blessed to have. To not let another person's ideal body image affect my self worth if I fall below the criteria deemed desirable. I will strive to be the best I can be. I will tell my reflection every day that I am loved and beautiful just as I am. It's still a work in progress, and there are moments where I critique my body negatively, but I'm learning to love and accept myself in totality.

I've been called cute, chubby and fat all my life; never felt as though I'm beautiful and sexy. Never said “damn! I look hot”. It has always been “ok, I look passable today”. As I've gotten older, and have been bombarded for years by what society perceives to be the ideal body, face and image of the present moment, I have gotten fed up and said no more. I've had enough. I will never look like the models in the magazines; the clothes will never fit me how they do on the models; my hair will never do what I want; and people will choose to love & respect me or hate & disrespect me no matter what I do or how I look. Thus, my present aim and ongoing project in life is to be the best I can be and love myself just as I am. To love all the love handles, dimples and cellulite. To love every curve that I've been blessed to have. To not let another person's ideal body image affect my self worth if I fall below the criteria deemed desirable. I will strive to be the best I can be. I will tell my reflection every day that I am loved and beautiful just as I am. It's still a work in progress, and there are moments where I critique my body negatively, but I'm learning to love and accept myself in totality.


Week 6

I don't remember thinking much about my body growing up.  I wasn't self conscious and I wasn't proud of my body - I just didn't give it much thought. I never understood girls who obsessed over their weight or felt really awkward about certain body parts. I was blissfully unaware  and I now realise how lucky I am to feel comfortable in my skin. My mother always commented on my butt. She didn't like that I had such a big 'Caribbean' bum, it wasn't considered attractive where she was from. But I didn't really care what she thought and now that I'm older I appreciate my curves. This lack of concern for my body is a double edged sword because I didn't really give my body the love and attention that it deserved. Now that I'm older I'm fighting a bit of a battle with myself to take better care of my body. Sports were never a priority for me because I was always told that I'm too clumsy to do anything, which isn't true. I'm learning new things about my body everyday, and I'm capable of so much more than I ever imagined. It's a work in progress.

I don't remember thinking much about my body growing up. 

I wasn't self conscious and I wasn't proud of my body - I just didn't give it much thought. I never understood girls who obsessed over their weight or felt really awkward about certain body parts. I was blissfully unaware  and I now realise how lucky I am to feel comfortable in my skin.

My mother always commented on my butt. She didn't like that I had such a big 'Caribbean' bum, it wasn't considered attractive where she was from. But I didn't really care what she thought and now that I'm older I appreciate my curves.

This lack of concern for my body is a double edged sword because I didn't really give my body the love and attention that it deserved. Now that I'm older I'm fighting a bit of a battle with myself to take better care of my body. Sports were never a priority for me because I was always told that I'm too clumsy to do anything, which isn't true. I'm learning new things about my body everyday, and I'm capable of so much more than I ever imagined.

It's a work in progress.


Week 5

It's never really good enough in my eyes, but I still love my body. I know sounds contradictory. I wish I had been cherishing and taking care of it more and was less self-conscious. I think it's so important to value your body and free yourself from the limitations you may put on yourself due to insecurity. I feel like I'm making progress in being more accepting, but I'm not quite there yet.  Most of my life, teenage to young adult life, I've had alternating feeling when it comes to how I feel about my body. I used to be very self-conscious and insecure about my body. I hated my level of hairiness, my lack of hourglass figure, my not-as-big-as-I-want breasts, and my lack of strength and definition. But I've learnt to accept myself more and learnt to not be afraid. I still want a flat stomach and to be naturally less hairy, but after having gained a lot of weight and lost it, I'm not longer afraid of being fat, and I'm not longer afraid of not being loved and accepted because of the features I'm not entirely happy with. Getting back into dance and fitness after a few years of only putting work and relationships first, remind me how energizing and empowering it feels to take care of yourself and decide to love your body despite any perceived flaws. 

It's never really good enough in my eyes, but I still love my body. I know sounds contradictory. I wish I had been cherishing and taking care of it more and was less self-conscious. I think it's so important to value your body and free yourself from the limitations you may put on yourself due to insecurity. I feel like I'm making progress in being more accepting, but I'm not quite there yet. 

Most of my life, teenage to young adult life, I've had alternating feeling when it comes to how I feel about my body. I used to be very self-conscious and insecure about my body. I hated my level of hairiness, my lack of hourglass figure, my not-as-big-as-I-want breasts, and my lack of strength and definition. But I've learnt to accept myself more and learnt to not be afraid. I still want a flat stomach and to be naturally less hairy, but after having gained a lot of weight and lost it, I'm not longer afraid of being fat, and I'm not longer afraid of not being loved and accepted because of the features I'm not entirely happy with. Getting back into dance and fitness after a few years of only putting work and relationships first, remind me how energizing and empowering it feels to take care of yourself and decide to love your body despite any perceived flaws. 


Week 4

I truly believe that my body is my temple. Everything in moderation and exercise.  Body goals and expectations? I just want to be a fit granny.

I truly believe that my body is my temple.

Everything in moderation and exercise. 

Body goals and expectations? I just want to be a fit granny.


Week 3

"I have been the victim of racial prejudice to the point where I felt palpable fear for my life, yet I love my skin colour and it's tone and I would not change it even if I had a choice. My stretch marks make me feel as though I exchanged my womanhood for motherhood and I feel immense loss; that feeling has made me either compromise or over-compensate in relationships with men that would be shocking to my pre-pregnancy self.  Daily I pretend convincingly that I have made peace with the flop, the sag and the battle with the bulge because I pray that in doing so a legacy of acceptance of the natural changes of a woman's body will be passed onto my daughter and my son.  Lastly, and by no means least, there is hardly a better way to affirm body image than becoming a piece of art-- tattoos rock, everyone should have! (That's not a fourth sentence, that's a call to arms!)"

"I have been the victim of racial prejudice to the point where I felt palpable fear for my life, yet I love my skin colour and it's tone and I would not change it even if I had a choice.

My stretch marks make me feel as though I exchanged my womanhood for motherhood and I feel immense loss; that feeling has made me either compromise or over-compensate in relationships with men that would be shocking to my pre-pregnancy self. 

Daily I pretend convincingly that I have made peace with the flop, the sag and the battle with the bulge because I pray that in doing so a legacy of acceptance of the natural changes of a woman's body will be passed onto my daughter and my son. 

Lastly, and by no means least, there is hardly a better way to affirm body image than becoming a piece of art-- tattoos rock, everyone should have! (That's not a fourth sentence, that's a call to arms!)"


Week 2:

It’s all about 118. That’s my magic number.

I love my body when the scale says 121 because I’m on my way to 118. I hate it when the scale says 127. What a difference the number 6 can make.

I know I have a problem, that may or may not be fixed. I have to live with that. All my problems go away with 118. 


Week 1

A boy called me a whale when I was nine years old. Since then, no matter how many wonderful things have been said about me, I can't get that reference out of my head. Three pregnancies have taken their toll on my tummy. It is my biggest insecurity.  I have girls and I constantly worry about the message I am sending them- I never want them to be as insecure about their bodies as me.

A boy called me a whale when I was nine years old. Since then, no matter how many wonderful things have been said about me, I can't get that reference out of my head.
Three pregnancies have taken their toll on my tummy. It is my biggest insecurity. 
I have girls and I constantly worry about the message I am sending them- I never want them to be as insecure about their bodies as me.