I Think I Love My Body

My husband knew I was The One when he first saw me. I (with a roll of the eyes) chalked up what he called love at first sight to the way the clothes happened to flatter me that evening. He stopped me in my tracks, though, when he admitted for the first time after 10 years together, “But I wouldn’t have wanted to marry you if you were fat.”

Now, he’s one of the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate people I know but apparently all that’s besides the point when it comes to attraction and mate selection. And call him what you will but I wonder. Doesn’t he have the right to want what he wants in a wife? Who’s to judge our sweet palate? Here we plunge into the politically correct thicket. How many people are more attracted to overweight people than to those who’re thinner? Let me preempt the comments. I am not saying large – or can I say it? – fat people cannot be attractive. I know big people who are pretty. And yes, I do believe some men (some) do want “more to love” of a woman. Nor can I say that the large couple over there doesn’t enjoy romance and abiding love. Add to the mix of disclaimers the cultures that are less obsessed with the Barbies of the developed world. So I’m obviously brushing with broad strokes. But do slimmer people, among women especially, really do have a better chance at love?

“I know I’m supposed to hate my body,” the patient said according to Kerry Egan, hospice chaplain and author, in a CNN article What the Dying Really Regret.

“But why…?”

“Well, Kerry, ” she looked incredulous that I even asked and laughed. “Because I’m fat!”

“The world’s been telling for me for 75 years that my body is bad. First for being female, then for being fat and then for being sick. But the one thing I never did understand is, why does everyone else want me to hate my body? What does it matter to them?”

Sometimes [what other people want them to believe is] based on their allegedly unattractive features. They might be ashamed of their weight, their body hair…It isn’t always the media and peer pressure that create this shame; sometimes it comes from lessons at home…Some women grow up thinking that their very existence in a body that might be sexually attractive…is cause for shame – that their bodies make bad things happen just by existing.

Clearly, we want to keep grounded in a sense of self that does not rely on our appearance and does not put too much premium on our effect on others (for better or worse). Not to withhold sympathy from this woman, but I don’t believe I am categorically lovely no matter how I look or how much I weigh. I just finished saying in The Obligation of Beauty that it’s a show of self-respect to take better care of oneself, and that means inside and out. But the self-love this article talks about turns a corner where it meets death.

There are many regrets and unfulfilled wishes that patients have shared with me in the months before they die. But the stories about the time they waste hating their bodies, abusing it or letting it be abused — the years people spend not appreciating their body until they are close to leaving it – are some of the saddest.

“I am going to miss this body so much,” a different patient, many decades younger, told me. “I’d never admit it to my husband and kids, but more than anything else, it’s my own body I’ll miss most of all. This body that danced and ate and swam and had sex and made babies. It’s amazing to think about it. This body actually made my children. It carried me through his world.”

It’s the very existence of being in a body, something you likely take for granted until faced with the reality that you won’t have a body soon. You will no longer be able to experience this world in this body, ever again.

So they talk about their favorite memories of their bodies. About how the apples they stole from the orchard on the way home from school tasted, and how their legs and lungs burned as they ran away. The feel of the water the first time they went skinny-dipping. The smell of their babies’ heads. And dancing. I’ve heard so many stories about dancing…I can’t count the number of times people — more men than women — have closed their eyes and said, “If I had only known, I would have danced more.”

Precious, isn’t it? Those drowning in the sea of mortality throw us pearls and we find their wisdom to be the simplest things. This one’s about love at last sight, so sad when the appreciation for self and breath and texture comes so late. The self-love we are encouraged toward isn’t a stout call to self-esteem but a fresh vision of beauty birthed by the anguished promise of loss. Recast in this light, the distinctions between thin and big people diminish. We all have a strong, strong chance at love.

191 thoughts on “I Think I Love My Body

  1. Beautiful Diana. You continue to surprise with the twists and turns of your explorations. How wonderful to appreciate our precious bodies and the gift of earthly life. A delight for body and spirit. May we integrate them here and now on earth.

  2. This is a very intense post, but oh so realistic! Body image is tied up in this as well. Most women I know, including myself, are hung up on their weight. I strive to eat well and exercise to keep my weight down. And no matter how hard you try, as we age, we put on weight. *sigh*.

  3. Well said! My hubby likes women with a bit of roundness, so that works out well for me. Yes, I do believe people, men, should be able to like what they like without having all these preconceived politically correct notions forced on them. Yes fat shaming is a real thing, but what about shaming men for being attracted to thin women? People don’t think about that, but that’s really kind of mean.

    I got food poisoning many years ago, spent six weeks in the hospital, and came out quite thin. It was funny because it was pretty hideous. I wasted a lot of years wanting to be that thin, but when I finally got it, not only was I unattractive, I couldn’t wait to put weight back on.

    What that article says about being sick or confronting death is quite true. All your body image issues fall away and you’re just grateful you have one, and a bit baffled by whatever it was that ever made you feel as if the body you have wasn’t good enough.

    • “Yes fat shaming is a real thing, but what about shaming men for being attracted to thin women? People donโ€™t think about that, but thatโ€™s really kind of mean.” Right. That’s what I was getting at in wondering if my husband didn’t have the right to want what he wants. (I love how you flip perspective. Classic insanity bytes.)

      Your ironic experience with weight loss shows us it’s not only thinness but the size and mass that give us the greatest vitality that really matter.

      “a bit baffled by whatever it was that ever made you feel as if the body you have wasnโ€™t good enough.” The folly we spend when we think we have the luxury of time.

  4. I loved everything about myself but my physique. I was thin . but as days passed I dint give much attention to what people said .. I always felt I had to be accepted my friends the way I am. And im doing good

  5. Telling others what they should and shouldnโ€™t be ends up being the problem here. People have their own natural beauty and natural attraction to others. Forcing anything is usually wrong.

    • Mmm…put that way, yes AJ. But I wasn’t talking about prescription so much as describing human tendency. It’s wonderful (and a relief) that many will find their own (love, partner) no matter their appearance. But as many were quick to point out here and as the article showed, “natural” beauty lasts only so long and letting ourselves go can, among other things, lead to sickness and a diminished capacity for many enjoyments of life. Talking with you all and reprocessing the post, seems to me self-care (on all levels) is a worthy and necessary effort for ourselves and in company, this last element that helps make life more fulfilling.

      • Prescription? I wasnโ€™t talking pills. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, yes, human tendency is a reality. And harassing people for their nature isnโ€™t welcome.

  6. As a man who is attracted to women I find this so profound. I have known those I think beautiful who don’t have the same opinion, and vice versa. Incidentally, although our culture is not quite as obsessed with men’s appearance, much of what you say does also apply to us – well, me anyway. Incidentally, I thought ‘the Barbies of the developed world’ quite amusing.

    • “although our culture is not quite as obsessed with menโ€™s appearance, much of what you say does also apply to us” So you feel it matters (to women) that men be physically attractive (which translates into a slimmer, or in this case, buffer body over an excessively large one)? Appreciate your input, Derrick. =)

      Diana

      • I think a man’s body type does matter to women, but perhaps rather less than the other way round. Actually my comment was meant to indicate that men are also self conscious about their bodies. I took me until my 50s to have any idea why women found me attractive – or even that they did.

  7. Those of us who work hard to maintain our bodies canโ€™t help but see in those who abuse them, a lack of will, an absence of self-worth and a surrender to the baser appetites. I should add that Iโ€™m aware of all the exceptions, such as genetic predispositions and I’ve got my bullet-proof vest on.

    โ€œsomething you likely take for granted until faced with the reality that you wonโ€™t have a body soon.โ€

    How true, although I think as we age we increasing come to detach ourselves from our body, seeing it rather as something we inhabit. If we have sense, at least for minor ailments, we begin to turn our backs on doctors, realizing that there are no cures for ageing. This process of detachment continues until eventually we are floating above our estranged bodies, looking down and viewing our blotched skin and stiffened limbs with surprise, because it’s certainly not the body we remember.

    • “no cures for ageing.” Ah. Acceptance. And yet while the others here are talking about embracing our body, you take us to detachment.

      “looking down and viewing our blotched skin and stiffened limbs with surprise, because itโ€™s certainly not the body we remember.”

      A strange wonder. We feel the keen lines where mind and heart enjoy their own being, and sadden that the flesh seems to lag. This is what had really gotten to me reading Tuesdays with Morrie yrs back. I think that’s one of the most frustrating ways to go, where you feel whole (at least whole enough) and capable in the mind but your body starts betraying you and the rest of you is helpless to follow.

  8. Body size apart, I think attraction as such is something complex, and interesting. I met my husband online, so there was no “first sight”, perhaps rather we got hooked to each other “at first thought”, via our intense mail exchange before we met. When we finally met, after a month or so, it just felt right. I will never know what had happened had he looked differently. This was 15 years ago. There is also this theory that smell is involved when we pick our mates. I hate that theory, because it’s not romantic, it doesn’t include sense of humour, voice and the rest. But who knows?
    Most of all I want to thank you for linking to the article. I’m currently visiting my parents for a few days, an extra trip before the planned summer holiday. My mother has cancer and although she is still fairly active and not yet in pain, no one knows how long her body will be able to carry her. Indeed, don’t we sometimes forget to be grateful for our bodies, just as they are?

    • You’re right. Attraction IS complex. I’d wanted to go into it but the question crafted itself out of the post, which took its own direction. I really enjoy learning your love story. *grin* (Why do we love love stories?) I like that. Love at first thought. It’s amazing, the feelings from and physiological effects of words and perceptions. But at least one of you must have words and communication as one of your love languages. Smell seems romantic to me (though you too sound like you’re not much of a bloodhound the way some people are so sensitive olfactorily). It’s another sensory input.

      So sorry about your mother. Glad you have these “better” days with her, while she is mobile and free of pain.

      Xxx
      Diana

  9. Diana. I love your posts. They are always so inspiring and sticks to the ground reality. No “chalking up or beautifying” there. Your posts show how beautiful life lessons can be just the way they are.

    • “how beautiful life lessons can be just the way they are.” Why we forget this I have no idea. =) Imagine not being able to enjoy all the senses and abilities we have. Appreciate the good word. (Didn’t know you felt that way about my posts, either.)

      Xxxxx~!
      Diana

  10. No-one wants to be loved solely for how they look but it would be naive to think that how you present yourself physically wont make an impact on how people respond to you. Although, personally I think confidence in yourself (not to be confused with arrogance) is one of the most attractive qualities someone can have regardless of how big their waistline is.

    • Well said, Pottsy. And how we respond to one another is very much the social fabric of our life, isn’t it? I like your note on confidence. We should be confident in deeper, unseen things besides a small waistline, too. =)

      Xx
      Diana

  11. This is very profound Diana. There is so much beauty in each one of us, but we gauge our beauty on society and/or our upbringing.

    Thank you for sharing this. There is a lot of wealth in these words! ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~Carl~

  12. My body used to be my benchmark for how successful I was. If it was lean and strong and full of energy, rushing through each day, being the best in a demanding job, flinging myself into the gym as often as possible, garnering compliments on how good I looked, then I was doing well. But what about when that all stops?

    I’m not old but I’m definitely no longer young. Years of symptoms that robbed me of the energy I relied on and the slimness I worked so hard to maintain have now been medically accounted for and left me with a different kind of body. But guess what? I’m finally learning that I am not what my body is, that success is not what I thought.

    Your post is profound and has opened a train of reflection that means I will revisit it, along with the various comments, over the next few days. Thank you.

    • What a beautiful testimony, dear Julia. I think many can relate. It seems natural that we would use our physical abilities – even our overall appearance – as a barometer of success because our body is what literally enables us to get all those things done. And even better if we FeeL capable and good in the process. But like all things, our body and everything that comes with it has a “best through” date and when something as basic as the things that had allowed us autonomy and productivity (by measure of our impatience. How many things I want to get done in a breath of time), it’s like we become a whole other person. We have to shift gears in our ambitions, self-perception, desires, and reach deeper for an impermeable sense of self. Appreciate your sharing so thoughtfully, my friend.

      Diana

  13. What a beautifully written and insightful post. This looks-obsessed society we live in is very much against us – making us hate our every imperfection. We dare not put on weight, grow old or ‘let ourselves go’.

    The following statement pretty much summed it up for me;

    “This body that danced and ate and swam and had sex and made babies. Itโ€™s amazing to think about it. This body actually made my children. It carried me through his world.โ€

    How amazing it is, indeed – we shouldn’t hate our bodies, we should celebrate them. After all, we only get one, so we better make the most of it.

    Thank you for sharing, my dear. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • We dare not grow old. I like that, Amanda. Dare not — but we are! Every. One. Of. Us. Yes, I like how you’re reminded to make the most of our body and capacities because celebrate shouldn’t mean vegging, letting it BE (surrendering to gravity). I think happy stewardship is the ideal take-away from the article. So nice to hear from you, AL.

  14. I met my husband later in life, as I was 42 when we first started dating. At the time I was a raw foodist and very thin/boney. Still my husband called me “adorable” when so many people were telling me I was too thin.

    Now, almost 10 years later, I could afford to lose a few pounds and he doesn’t even notice. If I complain he’ll say something like, “Oh, it’s just water weight.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    The bottom line is a naked woman is a naked woman — and a man in true love will love her as she is, thin, too thin, a few pounds over, chubby, old, menopausal, whatever! Chemistry is chemistry. You can’t question it. And love takes it a step further. It just grows deeper and deeper and goes beyond the physical.

    I feel so blessed to have found a man like my husband and count my blessings every day. In a cruel world where everyone is scrutinizing everyone, I can always count on kind words from my husband. Plus, we both embrace aging and growing older ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Love this, Maryanne. All of it. (And I have raw foodist friends.) Women really are more self-conscious and critical of our body than men are of us. A naked woman is a naked woman, LOL. Yes, I love your experience of love and how it chooses to look at us. I think the embracing again is key – while not letting ourselves go in laziness and lack of appreciation for our abilities. After all, our body is very much US, while we are more than it. Thanks so much for the lovely sharing.

      Diana

    • That is so lovely, Maryanne. I too have a husband incapable of looking at me with anything other than without-an-ounce-of-judgement acceptance. Just love. So blessed.

  15. I have something in common with your husband. How about that? A fat woman sat beside me on the bus – except she was so fat she was sitting on me as well. I didn’t care for that. Be fat if you like, but don’t pretend you’re not.

    • *Sad smile* Yes, Rod. That’s what I meant and hence the reference to the politically correct self-esteemers. I don’t buy that at 200 pounds I will be as beautiful as ever. Gosh, if I got there love me as a friend and tell me to wake up and get moving!

  16. I imagine there is a blessing inherent in working with so many who are preparing to leave their bodies, a gift that accompanies the challenges, and that you so often give evocative words to.

  17. Beautifully written with understanding and compassion. We can write and speak to volumes on why we behave or react a certain way but everyone has a story and every story cuts to the heart of life. Our lives would be much happier and fulfilling if we only understood a little more instead of judging what we don’t know.

  18. My dear Diana, whose name descends from the latin (dius) ‘daylight’ and (dium) ‘sky’ and who is ironically the goddess of domestic animals LOL. You’re unlike other “Diana’s” in my mind and I’ve only seen a couple of photos, the fun part is just reading your thoughts and feeling your energy as such. And I think you know how I feel about your energy. You wear the proverbial cool shades.

    The thing I like about blogging, connecting with others is that I don’t have to process all that body stuff. It’s really distracting actually. And the thing is once one is ‘connected’ to someone the body’s appearance is less relevant to the verity of one’s relationship.

    I know someone who cheated on his wife with someone skinnier but much less attractive in terms of her face. Ok let’s just say she was “ugly” to paint a more accurate picture. He wasn’t attracted to her looks as much as it was how she made him FEEL.

    Muchas gracias for surprising me with a visit over at my ‘casa’ the other day it truly made me feel SEEN.

    LS xo

    • You — you — ! You make me laugh like no other. HA HA HA HA. Domestic animals. I love this! (Minus the animals). Want to make sure I got you right. Please clarify:

      “The thing I like about blogging, connecting with others is that I donโ€™t have to process all that body stuff. Itโ€™s really distracting actually. ” So I think in context you were saying you don’t need to see a whole bunch bunch of (or enough clear ones of) a blogger because (I got the because).

      And are you referring to the way she made him feel inside or the feel of her thin body?

      LS, oh I see you. You are hard not to see. =)

      • Awww. Haha. I’m glad you I made you laugh. Well, in the blogosphere I don’t need to see pics of people to necessarily connect with them. Their words and the way the “emote” through their words, expressiveness is enough for me.
        And the guy who cheated wasn’t as interested in her body as much as how she made him feel which was like the most important person in the world.

      • Ah. “which was like the most important person in the world.” There is so much right there. We all want this in our marriages. But I think men esp need this. The interesting thing is instead of resenting me (strong word to get point across) when I am ill or faltering, my husband wants to care for me. Feels good for him to feel needed. But this is a smaller part of what you’re referring to, which is receiving the respect of attention. Did the wife ever find out?

      • I meant to add (little man wanted breakfast) that there’s a lot to think about in that last line, where we love someone not (mostly) for who they are but what they do for us (inside/out).

      • It can be a tricky balance. Wouldn’t it be nice for someone (before infidelity occurs) to be able to just come out and say “Look, this is what I need from you. Would you please do this for me?…etc”

        Why can’t one say what one needs/wants or just talk about why one is unhappy?

        Food for thought anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You just reached into my head and pulled that thought to paste here. A caveat is that there are cases where the clueless spouse is not able to or is ill equipped to respond and make changes in kind. All sorts of situations out there.

      • Or the unhappy spouse has made appeals – to varying extent – and the other has not really gotten it. That’s what we’re saying. We really don’t get things until the damage has been done.

      • I totally agree. Those are very unfortunate situations indeed when one comes across a brick wall and just can’t go through it, and instead chooses to just walk around and bypass it altogether.
        That’s when people just give up.

  19. So beautiful and honest.
    I have hated my body. I now appreciate it, and maybe love it even.

    I’m always amazed, looking at my son, that I made HIM. A boy came from me. So different, and so wonderful.

  20. I love this post! I recently lost 75lbs and found myself in a constant battle not to gain it back, and it just seemed like it would never end. I started to hate my thin body because keeping it that way became the focus and control of my life. I ended up letting myself gain back about 15lbs which is easier to maintain but allows me to enjoy life while still using self control. I am not perfectly skinny, but I love the fact that I can still love food and love my body at the same time without feeling bad about it! My hubby loves me for it too, because he enjoys a skinnier me than before who can still pig out with him sometimes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Sounds like the magical, healthy thing we call balance. =) We can become a slave to anything – esp when it comes to our body, sense of self, and image. So glad you’re at a place of peace, a happy husband to boot. =)

  21. It is interesting how my perspective about my physical “flaws” have changed over the years. I was a string bean with no figure as a teenage girl, but no complaints now (as I have no back troubles and tend to be leaner.) I think time in the form of wisdom and experience helps us to loves ourselves on the inside so we can love ourselves from the outside too. Lots to think about in this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Attitude is everything! Still, even though I posses an abiding, existential happiness, I’ll be happier, bodywise, after a Spring-Summer-Fall of cycling 75 to 125 miles per week. ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. Husbands do say the silliest things sometimes (or they don’t know how their “honesty” will make us wonder. Hum? What’s really in his brain? LOL) You are right – those people about to lose their “home” can teach us to appreciate our imperfections and learn to live with them. I don’t diet or excessively exercise but I do all in moderation.

  24. I gained a lot of weight when I ended up in a wheel chair and also quit smoking. I don’t have to use a wheel chair anymore and off and on I lose down to a respectable weight, but then gain it back. I didn’t really quit smoking, I just switched to smoking food. There is nothing to tell me the meal is over anymore, so once I eat each day, it’s all one long meal ๐Ÿ™‚

    However, with age comes invisibility for most of us, so we get to watch the men go by. Always that debate: which is my preference pecs or ass?

    One true story: A dancer/teacher of dance smoked. When she hit mid-life she began to have some breathing issues so she quit smoking and also happened sold her dance studio, so she gained weight. Her husband had a fit and bullied her into smoking again. I recently saw her in the grocery store on a motorized scooter carrying her oxygen tank. He was walking behind her and I wanted to hit him with the oxygen tank.

  25. It is sad how we don’t appreciate things until they’re gone. I am guilty of this as much as anyone. I always remind myself that every part of me is a gift from God. That if I criticize my body, my looks, my height, then I am criticizing God’s work. This gives me the right perspective and reminds me to take care of and appreciate this vessel. I slip up often, but posts like this one puts me back on track in a hurry. Thank you for the reminder.

  26. This topic is a compound and weighty issue that explores feelings that are deep seated. My thoughts about thin versus not thin is that everyone is free to choose how to live their life. And, all of us are free to choose what we desire in a mate. This is well written, Diana.

  27. Great digging and exposing Diana. Makes me think of this woman I know whose best friend died of breast cancer- she said that after her friend passed she never spent another moment wishing her body was anything other than healthy. And I do feel that people are entitled to have their physical types.

    • “anything other than healthy.” Beautiful.

      And that’s neat to hear you defend people (foremost men in this case) in their preferences along these lines. =) Thanks so much for the input, my friend.

  28. So many interesting points here and I enjoyed reading the comments left on the post too. I am very satisfied with my body but it took a long time to get there and it was only after I hit bottom that I came to find joy in it. Your post took me back and then I stepped forward back to today with a smile x

    • ” only after I hit bottom that I came to find joy in it. Your post took me back and then I stepped forward back to today with a smile.” I so appreciate this, Christy. Seems that bottom does it for many of us. Thank God it wasn’t the final bottom. Aren’t we grateful for second chances? =)

      Xxx
      D.

    • Interesting, your point on the direction of the piece. Because it went where it wanted to go. =) I had, in fact, wanted to explore love at first sight. Thank you for the support. =)

      Diana

  29. I was quite taken with the thoughts expressed about our appreciation for our bodies – or the bodies we once had – has death approaches.

    I think our thoughts about our personal beauty change as time goes on. When I was very young, I was very pretty, yet I could never ‘see’ it even though others did. When I look at photos from that time, I am surprised I was so critical of myself back then.

    Now I’m older. I have lines around my eyes and mouth, I need to lose 15 pounds, and trips to the hairdresser to keep my red/blond tresses red and blond are a necessity. But here’s the crazy thing, Diana: I feel pretty.

    When I was young and lovely, I was critical. Now I’m older and not nearly so pretty, but I feel beautiful. I thank God for my healthy body that does what I want, for my energy, for my life. It’s a beautiful thing.

    • I love this, Kate. You know it’s a seed for a post? LOL!! You’ve got your work cut out for you. Why WERE you critical then? Peer pressure/social measures (which you imbibed more than than others did of you)? Nascent self-identity? Conversely, why are you content (if not giving ha ha ha) with your appearance now? More sure values, deeper appreciation for who you are, what you are enabled to do and achieve, contentment with God and life. Beautiful you are.

  30. Finally someone said the truth. I’m still a teenager but I am learning to accept myself and my body. You helped me in the right direction. Thank you for that ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. “Love at last sight.” What a great line! It certainly is a commendation to live bodily. I think of children and the joy they find in their body’s movement and more. Somehow along the way we lose that, and do well to do whatever we can to get it back. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. Well, I’m going to put my two cents in… Beauty is in the eye of the beholder whether you’re looking at yourself or another. And to try and second guess the ‘beholder in each of us is a deep well. Too many times society tells us what to think especially about one’s appearance or what we see in another. When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the meds I started taking caused me to lose weight. Well, I suddenly loved the way I looked and I felt better. When my mother and sister saw me… they wanted tie me down and force feed me. And I guess with me it’s a little different, when you’re diagnosed with a degenerative disease you either hate your body or you start to appreciate what you can do. Anyhow, as Joe Cocker sang, “you are so beautiful to {me}! emphasize me..
    I loved the post and thanks for provoking the old gray matter to shake out of its comfort zone.

  33. Such a thought. Beautifully blogged once again. Try to see the best in everything, even in yourself. I guess not many of us see that until it is too late, but it has to be the happiest way forwards. Thank you for a lovely read.

  34. The intro made me think this was going to be a preview into the Wayfarer’s love life. Then transitioning into the the regret of realizing what was always there only when it’s lost, became a detour I did not expect. Late continuing the post reminded me of how it all comes down to the pride that is motivated by the belief that the prized possession will always be there because it will never be lost.

    Dancing though. An interestingly intriguing perspective on love.
    Love at last sight. They can be grateful that they even lived long enough to gain the opportunity to give their last love.

    • =) Yes, I followed the post where it led, though I’d actually wanted to explore love at first sight (not necessarily my husband’s, LOL). I wrestled w/ it a bit but lost and followed the trail. I know…dancing & love (incidentally, how Mr. W and I met). In this particular context though, of those wistful for more of those dances, all I can say is dancing engages all of you, and brings great joy and laughter.

  35. Awesome post Diana.
    “It carried me through his world.โ€
    –And that’s just it, isn’t it. Our bodies carry us through this world. Then we depart. And our journey through this world is so brief. We worry about so many things that – in the end – what the heck for?
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. A great post on an important issue! Society makes it so difficult (by focusing on our bodies) to retain our love of self, something we may all be born with. It’s so sad that many years often pass by until we accept and love ourself again!

  37. Interesting questions – I do think our attitudes to our bodies change as we age, hopefully becoming more accepting and I do believe thinking about what our bodies can do rather than what they look like is the best way to get that acceptance.

    • Great distinction, Andrea. “what our bodies can do rather than what they look like”. What a shame, all that energy society/media pour into body image. You think we’re done after high school but TV and pop culture online say otherwise. Thanks.

  38. Wow…
    You made my day…
    Thank you so much…
    I never felt uplifted this days- but this is UMMM-Wow… Maybe I’am being dragged-exhausted lately in what we call life hahahaha…
    —-It’s so good to be alive…
    Thank you again….

    Hugs-
    Random’d

  39. Wow, just wow. This post really choked me up because we do take so much for granted. I saw a quote not too long ago and I’m paraphrasing but went something like this: all the gold in the world can’t buy a dying man one last breath. It’s so easy for us to be judgemental when on the opposite side of any given situation. Before I lost my vision I din’t think about the blind but now things have changed. But maybe that’s part of the point of it all. We live, we learn, we grow. I could be attracted to an overweight person if I got to know them and likewise I could grow to dislike someone who is attractive because I got to know them. This was deep and deeply moving. Thank you Diana.

  40. Diana I love this piece it is written so well. Indeed we all deserve love, BUT if we cannot love ourselves than how can we possibly love another? I am the happiest I have ever been in my life and yet when I was a thin young thing I was never truly content. I guess ageing fixes that and we feel that clock counting down on our own mortality. So, I just want to be me and I will try to preserve my health as much as I can.

    • “I am the happiest I have ever been in my life” Love this, Kath. Why can’t enough people say this? You, too, expressed the passing of time in such a lovely way. Thank you for sharing these precious reflections borne of your experience.

      Xx
      D.

  41. So the big question to your hubby: “Would you still love me just as passionately if I was fat?” After all post- pregnancy (or pregnancies) for some women, adds an additional challenge for weight loss-maintenance.

    My partner has told me that he is thankful that I’m not fat. I think he would tolerate 10 lbs. overweight in me..since he himself has regained some weight after 50-lb. loss about 20 yrs. ago. I don’t really watch my weight for him. It’s more for myself, for my own health. I am responsible for my own health, not him. So I have to take control over this.

    “There are many regrets and unfulfilled wishes that patients have shared with me in the months before they die. But the stories about the time they waste hating their bodies, abusing it or letting it be abused โ€” the years people spend not appreciating their body until they are close to leaving it โ€“ are some of the saddest.”

    This is a very sad observation by the chaplain from patients. There are different definitions of body abuse…where eating too much…which might be quite pale compared to domestic violence or self-cutting. His observations seem to provide telescopic insight, if fragmented, on what makes us happy the most during a lifetime.

    • He’d love me to gain weight – and I didn’t gain much postpartem – but he wouldn’t want me fat either. What I wasn’t crazy about in the article was what sounded like license to abuse one’s body, that society was automatically wrong to consider fat people ugly. The first woman the chaplain spoke with was obese and had had cancer a long, long time. We don’t need to do that to ourselves. There is beauty in self-discipline and not giving ourselves over to our baser appetites. Really appreciate your closing sentiments on the article, Jean. Thank you.

  42. Yes, the eternal struggle with body image. There is nothing more beautiful than a confident woman, comfortable in her own skin, without issues of size. I was one of those strugglers in my early life and after the evil menopause dragons inhabited my body I still struggle with the five pounds that forgot to leave, but I’ve learned to be much more grateful for the things my body as survived. ๐Ÿ™‚

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