I am Afro Caribbean, a mix of strength, beauty, black, brown, white. The planet lives in this body. European flare, a taste of Taino, the ease of the islands, the sun of the Caribbean, the robust curves of Africa, divine womanhood, in God’s image.
I’m done being angry at my body. I’m done with angry with God about my body. It is what it is.
This body I have, which I cannot exchange for another, has grown with me. Literally. Figuratively. I was born in it. Learned to crawl, walk, and run with it. I have walked so many roads in this body! This brain, the only one I have ever had, has weathered so many storms! I can’t believe it is still able to learn new things, weather more storms, dream new dreams. It is amazing.
My breasts have fed three babies. Kinda gross when I think about it – I made milk. But isn’t that really marvelous, too? My body knows how to sustain the life of a baby, without any instruction. More marvelous yet is the fact that my body made babies. Literally. Figuratively. As much as my body is mine, my body is also its own. It knows what its doing. It speaks to me, It is good to me. It is not perfect, but it is good.
These legs are the bomb. I often think they are ugly. Too much. Too big. Too sexy. Grotesque. I wished they looked different. Like someone else’s thighs, of course. My thighs are imperfect, and I wish they weren’t. I have danced so many awesome songs, with such beautiful people. I have walked stairs, climbed hills and little mountains. I have worn kick-ass heels and cool shoes that added to my sense of beauty and gave me courage to rock the stage – more than once. These sun-kissed thighs have hugged bodies sensually, and lap-danced and ran half marathons, too.
And now my eyes get teary. Why be angry? Some people struggle to gain weight. They try so hard, and feel so uncomfortable with their thinness. Here I am, feeling uncomfortable with my thickness. Other people try hard to gain – and I see their struggle, and I recognize that truly it is not their fault. Why do I shame myself and my body? I work at it, I try hard to lose – how can I show myself the same level of compassion that I show people on the other end of the spectrum? How can I stay true to my body, and myself?
I have Hashimoto’s Hyperthyroidism. For the life of me, I know my struggle is real. People have opinions and doctors have pills, and my friends have the perfect diet plan and take this shake and do this exercise routine and just wait and see and it works for everyone else it will work for you too…I’m done with it.
Here is my truth:
My body needs vigorous exercise, daily, in order to work right. If I stop exercising, my body doesn’t know how to stay balanced. Some will say that everyone needs to exercise. Yes, it is true. I also know plenty of healthy-weight people who exercise far less than I do, or don’t at all, and their weight is in place. Their bodies know how to do that. My body is imperfect in this way. I can fight it, I can deny it, I can pretend it is different. Or, I can commit to giving my body what it needs, to helping it. My body needs me to commit to vigorous daily exercise.
My body needs water. Lots of it. Every day. There is no way around it. Gotta drink my water.
My body thrives on protein, and does not do so well on carbs. It’s not about Atkins or Keto or Shakeology or Herbalife or SlimFast or Mediterranean or Glycemic Index. My body tells me what it needs, and I don’t always pay attention. My cravings are meaningful. My hunger is my body speaking. When I pause for just 10 seconds, I know if I’m hungry or not, what foods I need to eat, I know if I have eaten enough.
My Wakanda body is thick and muscular and strong. The colonizer scales and ideal weight ranges and BMIs and numbers and food pyramids don’t apply. Period.
I, the being that lives in this body, knows what this body needs. I can trust myself to take care of this body. My body needs me to take care of it. This includes providing rest, recreation, sleep, and knowing the difference between the three.
I can be angry that my body needs me. But that only breeds cynicism and self-sabotage. Every body has their challenges, and this one is mine. My attitude is now going to be one of love and care, acceptance and commitment. Sure, I can wish my body was different, and I can be upset that it isn’t. I can sit with the thought that it is unfair that I have to work this hard. That has not been helpful. Ever. And it is time to stop that self-talk.
Here are my affirmations moving forward:
- My body tells me what it needs, and I listen.
- I give my body what it needs, including indulgence and moderation.
- My body is imperfect and strong. Together we beat the odds every day.