So in light of an upcoming speech I’m giving about body positivity this weekend, I wanted to share the flip side of body positivity which is a struggle. Social media can sometimes become the rose tinted glasses version of our reality and I wanted to be open and honest. I always try and be open and honest with you all because it all ties into who I am. It’s a struggle I know a lot of people face daily and sometimes, things are a lot harder than others.
Since my op in August, I’ve really been struggling with my body positivity more than I have in quite a while. Its been a weird place to be in. Most of the time I like myself in my outfits (though lately I’ve taken more off than I used to) and being able to wear my foundations has definitely helped lift my confidence clothed, but seeing myself bare and as I am is gut wrenching difficult. I’ve been avoiding my bare reflection in the mirror like the plague and find that I’m feeling less comfortable in my own skin that I had felt for a long time.
This is ultimately for a number of reasons.
The first was my diagnosis. I have a name for what I went through now and while I’m trying to be optimistic that this will help manage it for quite a long time, there’s always that undertone of what if. What if the treatment doesn’t work? What if this doesn’t settle? What if? I put these thoughts aside a lot but they’re always there, like a nagging that’s barely audible but loud enough to make me unsettled.
The second is my Mirena. I’m still in the ‘adjustment’ phase of having it in and my hormones can still swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. Any woman whose gone on the pill or had an IUD will know this cycle. It takes time for the body to adjust and in the meantime you can go from feeling sky high to an emotional mess over something you know is irrational. This is different to natural hormone mood swings I find and its really impacted my body positivity as when my moods have been swinging to feeling bad, my brain has defaulted to an old learnt behaviour of berating my body.
The third is physical changes I’ve seen since my op. Despite my weight not actually changing all that much, my body has definitely had a shift since and I put it down to the Mirena as well. My waist has ballooned a bit. My stomach is sitting different and with 2 dark purple scars currently forming keloids there, its not a pretty sight. I also picked up a number of new stretch marks during my op and the accumulative affect of these has meant that I avoid looking at my tummy at all costs. I already had a strained relationship with my tummy, but this seems to have tipped it somewhat.
The emotions I went through in the month post op were very self negative. I felt horrid. I felt revolting as my body recovered and while some of this has shifted. Some hasn’t. I’ve felt urgency to make drastic changes. I’ve felt not good enough for the things I love and enjoy. Its been a challenging 6 or so weeks.
Being aware of these kinds of thoughts is the first step towards changing my mindset. I’m actively trying to be more patient with myself. I’m working to be kinder with myself and to do what I can manage. Reminding myself that my body isn’t a static thing and that it will change and grow constantly. That I’m addressing struggles that impact what I can manage to do like my time management and working to remember I’m beautiful as I am. I know it’ll take time for the thought to stick but I’m persisting. My body and I have been through a hell of a journey the past 3 years and patience is sometimes the hardest thing to we do in life.
I just wanted to share this recent struggle to remind other ladies they aren’t alone. I have bad body days too. I have body struggles just like everyone else. And that’s ok. Because everyone does at some point. Its important to be aware of where your head is at, give yourself care and kindness when you need it and to stay positive.