Sunday, October 15, 2006


I was messing around with the camera a few nights ago. I took some self-portraits (actually, that's a stretch - I just took 'some pictures of myself'... nothing portrait-y about them) before the battery ran out (I meant to take pictures of my house for my mom... sorry mom! Hopefully this week).

Here's one:

I think I like it. I'm practicing and practicing at self-acceptance. Sometimes I look in the mirror and all I see is a big nose and hips so big I'm amazed that they fit into any pants at all.

But I am trying to learn to be gentle with myself. Frankly, I'm tired of hating my body. That' s my main task of my 30s... loving my own body, as it is. To stop being mean to myself... and not only to tolerate my body, but to LOVE it.

One of the first steps of this is to stop beating myself up about exercise. If I do it, great. If not, who cares? The only person it hurts is me. I want to do yoga at least three times a week. I haven't made it yet, but I'm going to try very hard this week. I might even get up early tomorrow with Terri and go to the gym in the morning. I think that would be a good Monday and Friday thing.

So that's one thing. It's okay to like my body even if I didn't exercise.

I like my eyes, and I like my lips. I am undecided on my nose, but I've decided that it gives me character. I think my face, overall, is pretty good.

Other things that are pretty good: my hands and fingers. They're going to be really good old-lady hands. I think they are artist hands. I like that. I also like my the shape of my feet, although I don't like how dry they are. So I'm trying to treat them nicer and make them less dry.

I am trying to see my arms as strong and lovely. My hips as curvy and beautiful. My thighs as strong enough to carry me through the world. My belly as a source of womanly power. I'm trying to be proud of every single part of me, and when I look in the mirror and start saying those mean things to myself, I'm trying to stop and say loving things, instead.

It goes something like this:
"Yuck. Fat, fat yucky hips. Oh, wait. Um... curvy, pretty, healthy hips that I love."
"Look at those upper arms. Chubby baby-doll arms. Wait, scratch that: strong, huggable, capable arms. Strong arms that can carry anything."

It's silly, but sometimes it works.

Practicing love in all ways means also loving myself. It's amazing how a simple exercise like that makes me realize that I really, truly am my own worst critic and the only thing that's truly holding me back from doing anything I want, is me.

Self, I love you! You're pretty fab.

1 comment:

Amy Zaleski said...

I think this could qualify as "portrait-y"...even if it is just a photo of yourself. It really fits with the post. be an American woman raised in the last 20 years. I wonder what it is like to grow up in another part of the world where we aren't taught to hate our bodies so much? Well, I'm 35 and all I can say is that it becomes harder every year to try to "stay in shape," but every year that passes I realize that if I don't treat my body really, really well, it's going to flake out on me. Eat those fruits and veggies, do yoga, walk, whatever it takes to make you feel good about you. And your art is great!