My body and me…a love hate relationship

my body’s been through a tough time. It’s lived with Ehrles Danlos syndrome all it’s life, causing dislocations in every joint from hips to fingers, tears in skin from the bottoms of feet to gums, pain from ankles to neck and complications including a ruptured womb and recurrently dislocating neck. In recent years, it’s also had Chronic heart disease, angina, POTs, vascular digeneration, Pomphyx eczema. And Raynards disease to add to the daily challenges. You could say it’s been through the mill. You could say it’s amazing, strong, determined and remarkable.

you could also say it’s a huge disappointment; imagine being given something to travel through life in only to discover it’s broken, over and over again.  Imagine wanting to do so many things with your life only to discover that you have to stop half way through and acknowledge, “I won’t be physically able to do that.”  Think about the frustration of spending a large proportion of your daily life asking people to do things for you that should be simple, like putting on shoes, brushing your hair, lifting your baking out of the oven. After a while, you’d be incredibly strong if you didn’t stop doing some things simply because you’re tired of asking for help.

My body is also curvy and ‘larger than life’; I think the last time I fit into a size 12, I was about 12 years old! The fact that I have large hips, curves and wobbly bits and a fairly impressive bust, are the very things that attracted my husband to me when we first met, back in our teens. He has a true love of my body to this day; he appreciates everything about it that makes it, in his words, “womanly”; “I’d have chosen to be gay if I liked the way those models look,” he always tells me. “i want to cuddle something, not take an eye out” he assures me when I comment that I should probably work on my core.

And there’s my dilema. In a society where our bodies are meant to conform to a certain size, shape and propotion, my remarkable body doesn’t fit. It’s curvy and wobbly, I have large hips and as once described in Bridget Jones, I have a bottom you could “rest your pint on and park your bike in”!  (That always makes me chuckle).

How am I meant to love my body when I’m bombarded with the constant message that ‘fat’ is evil, an indication that I live a lazy life, eat too much, have no self-control? How can I be in awe of this amazing, tough, miraculous body, that has got me through so much, achieved it’s own miracles by walking and surviving everything my illnesses have thrown at it. How can I be proud and celebrate when all the messages tell me I should feel shame?

So, I find myself skipping over pages in magazines that show stick-thin, under-fed models, I ignore the adverts for weight loss clubs where you’re made to feel guilt at a whole new level and I listen to my husband; well, in truth, I’m still learning to listen, it’s an effort some days more than others. I’ve reached the point where I know it is true for him when he tells me I’m gorgeous and sexy, and that’s good enough for now. Me? I’m learning to believe it, learning that I can love my body. It doesn’t have to be a love-hate relationship.

how are you getting on in your relationship with your body? Have you got any tips that helped you?

dinah x

4 thoughts on “My body and me…a love hate relationship

  1. Rose Tinted Ramblings says:

    I spent my adult life being a curvy size 12 until i hit 30 and had a baby… since then i’ve slowly grown ‘curvier’ – its all just bigger curves but its not what i’m used to. The things i dislike are how uncomfortable ALL bras are when you have large boobs ,; that you simply cannot go out in public without a bra and that ‘larger sized clothes really don’t fit curvy (booby ) bodies as they are just scaled up versions of stick people clothes… I hate that if you are a size 14/16 you have to buy clothe labelled XXL or go to a specialist PLUS sized outlet. So back to slimmer would make shopping easier. HOWEVER… i love dinner parties, cooking, social drinking, buffets etc and i don’t want to weigh my portions or watch my diet. My cholesterol and blood pressure are both fine and i enjoy all the activities i want to partake in , so the MEDIA and my mother-in-law will just have to live with it. My own John still loves me so thats OK
    I wish for you that you had better health but you strut you stuff and shine your light in so many energetic ways.
    i personally think you are gorgeous and love you just the way you are. x

    • Dinah says:

      Gorgeous Bernie,
      You’re spot on and, as you point out, we’ve never been and never will be labelled to fit society’s way of thinking. Totally agree about the bras too! And why can’t they makes ones for our size that do up in front and still look pretty?!
      You’ve had a huge positive impact on how I feel about my curves and John says I’ve been celebrating them like I used to, a long time ago, since I’ve known you.
      Keep being curvy and gorgeous, love you xxx

  2. Jonathan N Hughes says:

    Dear Dinah. I LOVE reading your posts. This one reminds me of what my dear mate Tim said to you once – something along the lines of ‘your boobs have great chi’. I think your other half John speaks some very wise words in this article. As do you. Big love. I WILL travel over there at some point. JNH X

    • Ruth says:

      I love this post. It’s important to believe you are beautiful, something I use to struggle with a lot. I am now sick and care less about what I look like, in fact I often feel like I hope I have enough fat to get me through this.
      In the end, the body is a vessel and what matters, what truly matters is what we have inside that gets us through day to day trials.
      Keep your head up!

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