Surprise! You can turn hate your body moments into thankfulness

Greg packed his lunch while the newscasters blabbed away in the background.  My brain was wrapped in sleep fog but the cereal spoon was reaching my mouth through sheer muscle memory. I was oblivious to the Special K commercial.  However, Greg had been up a little longer than I had and his processing equipment was working well. We had both heard the commercial many times yet on that particular morning it triggered a Greg-question, "Is that true?"

It felt like the words were floating to me from somewhere far away, as if I was still dreaming.  I hadn't been listening to the TV so I was confused, "is what true?"

"That. That so many women hate their bodies and think about it every day. Is that true? Do you think like that?"

Still groggy I admitted to the truth, "Yeah.  Oh yeah.  At least once a day."  My answer surprised me.  I hadn't given it any thought I just responded to the question without any filtering.  As I was processing how that was possible, Greg revealed something precious, "I think at least once a day that I love your body."

That surprised me. It hung around with me for nearly two weeks while I thought about what was hidden in the layers of that micro-conversation.  I was reluctant to share my surprise because I wasn't sure I could relay the preciousness of his comment.  My fear was that it would be mis-interpreted.  I worried that the world would concentrate on the body part and miss the love and acceptance.  My body has fifty-four years of wear on it without the advantages of any enhancements.  It has wrinkles, lumps, and waffly-looking parts.  My body like many of yours wouldn't win any loveable awards if it were only judged by appearance.

I have worried and hated away many body moments because I didn't understand that when you are the recipient of love, you are seen as a whole entity without judgment.  You aren't just a pair of dimply short legs to someone who loves you.  You are a person with spunk and spirit who happens to get around just fine on those legs.  None of us have to wait for someone else to love us that way. We have the power to change how we think, one thought at a time.

Yesterday I practiced changing the way I thought as I tried on bathing suits.  If you want to have an I-hate-my-body-moment, go bathing suit shopping.  One day stores might learn to put lighting into change rooms that is flattering instead of that awful fluorescent light. Anyway, I was trying on bathing suits because I needed a new one.  Usually when I tried on bathing suits, I would look in the mirror, get disgusted and give up.  But I was determined to try to see myself differently.  I realized that I wasn't buying the body, I was buying the suit. I had to concentrate on the suit.  Did I like it?  Did it fit? Would it remain in place if I rode the water slide?

Asking those questions opened my brain to an encounter with thankfulness I hadn't expected. The suit was pretty colors and I had eyes to see that.  It fit well and the ruffle was in just the right place.  Both parts would remain in place if I rode the waterslide. My dimply short legs would work just fine getting me up the waterslide steps. The suit would serve me well when I took my grandsons swimming.  Heck it might even turn grandpa Greg's head.