By Signe E. Land
Soaking in the tub on Christmas Eve, I studied my naked body. My two sons were on a trip with their father, and I live by myself, so I had plenty of time to reflect on the noticeable weight I had gained after a recent surgery. My breasts had grown larger and were pleasantly round with a fullness they hadn’t had for a very long time. My stomach and sides had grown thicker too. I considered some pros and cons of the weight gain. Pro: my butt was rounder, not as flat. Con: my butt was not as perky. Pro: my breasts were larger, pleasingly heavy when I weighed them in my hand. Con: I had a little pot-bellied tummy. Pro: I felt surprisingly more grounded in my body. Con: I had to buy new jeans.
In the past, I had always abdicated judgement of my body to others.
Now single, for the first time I was the only one experiencing my body; I was the only one who would decide if the changes were good or bad, ugly or beautiful. In the past, partners had taught me that a fit, trim body was acceptable and loveable, though they had said they would love me “even if” I gained weight, whatever that meant. Judgment of my body was for others, including my mother, for whom my body had never been quite right: for her, I had always been too heavy or too thin. Now, as I considered my new curves and softness, I was surprised at the lack of horror and shame I had always felt before when I had gained weight.
As I considered my new body, a word popped into my mind along with a question: Cherish. Do I cherish my body? Continue Reading…