As someone in recovery from an eating disorder I’ve been pretty nasty to my body over the years. I’m working hard to learn to love myself, including my body. And my body has two arms. Big fat arms, that I have felt ashamed of for most of my life.
My upper arms are covered in stretch marks; a patterned network of scars created through rapid weight gain and loss.
And gain. And loss.
Scars that show how much I hated myself, how much I used fat to protect myself. Scars that I have tried my best to hide, cover up.
Even my arm pits are fat.
I have been so paranoid about my arms over the years that even on the hottest of days I’d wear longer sleeves.
But not this summer. No. This summer I am learning to love myself.
Learning to love myself, means not being ashamed of myself any more, not being disgusted by my body any more. Learning to love myself means being vulnerable, and stepping out of the shadows, stepping out of fear. And although I am absolutely terrified of this, I know that it is the only way.
So prepare yourself, because the arms are coming out!
So there they are in all their pale, wobbly, fat, stretch-marked glory!
The other day I wore one of the pretty strappy tops that has been hanging in my wardrobe for years. And I wore it in public! To the supermarket in fact. I even wore a strapless bra with it. I expected small children to scream and point at me before running to their parents who would cover their eyes and shout at me in disgust. What actually happened?
No screams. No panics. No evacuations. No health warnings.
I strutted around the shop feeling a strange sensation of freedom. Liberation. I was the one who wanted to shout.
I have arms! I have arms! I have arms and I’m learning to love them!
Love Lou x