I've always had a love/hate relationship with my body. From the time can remember, back to about 5th grade, I've struggled with my weight and always felt like the fat girl in my class. At the same time I loved thee fact that I could sing, that I had nice hair, and everyone always complimented me on my eyes when I was young, so there were things I liked. But the negatives always outweighed the positives.
When I got married and started having children I learned to appreciate my body in a whole new way. I made a baby! Not only did a child grow within this body, but I could nourish it after it was born and keep it healthy. I had four uncomplicated pregnancies and nursed those babies through their first years. Amazing!
Then in 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer. In that year I learned to love my body in a whole new way. Because I learned about the battle within and how it was fought not only with surgery and chemotherapy, but with my own body's system. How can you not be in awe of that?
For the past years I haven't concentrated enough on my body and it good health. I think I fell into the "If I'm going to die of cancer why not enjoy what is left and eat what I want?" way of thinking. But now, six years after my cancer year, I think maybe I'm going to beat it and now I want to take better care of myself. I want to feel good in my 80s if get there. I want to save my knees (which are already not doing well and I know less weight on then will help!) and I want my cholesterol to come down and keep my heart healthier.
Yes, there are image issues in my life. But at this age, where image in not quite as important as it used to be, I think its time to concentrate more on health and less on image. Its not about what I look like anymore its about how I feel. And that is actually a relief.