Ode to My Body


Last night’s post has really got me thinking.  Sometimes we can be so tough on ourselves!

I’m dedicating this post to BEAUTIFUL thoughts (or if you are a man HANDSOME thoughts), and to celebrating our bodies. 

Merriam-Webster defines beauty as:

1 : the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness

Last time I checked there were five senses, and the sense of sight was not the strongest, nor was it the most important one! 

So, why do we put so much emphasis on believing that beauty is simply what we see or how we look?  What about how we feel, or how we make other people feel ? 

Beauty is so much deeper than what we can see on the outside. 

I know.  You’re thinking oooooo-K, Miss clichéBut it is true!

So often, when we think about our body, or of our looks, our thoughts go something like this, “I should have worked out longer,” or, “I shouldn’t have eaten that donut,” or, “I wish I looked more like Jennifer Aniston.”

 

But, what about changing that pattern of thought into appreciating what our bodies do for us?  Just think of what we put them through on a daily basis????

In my latest Shape Magazine (Feb. 2010, Vol. 29, No. 6), there was a featured article called, “What I Love About My Body.”  Six women shared how they learned to accept and embrace their “favorite” body part. 

One quote really hit me hard:

DSC01245

You can ask anyone who knows me: I am most self conscious about my appendix scar.

In 2007, my appendix ruptured while vacationing in the OBX.  I had an emergency appendectomy once I returned home– almost three days after my initial visit to the hospital at the beach where I was told I had a stomach virus. 

To this day, the scar is wide, lumpy, and pink. 

DSC01233

But rather than thinking about this as an“ugly” scar on my belly, I need to learn to appreciate what the scar represents. 

This scar represents strength and perseverance.  I could have died, but my body pulled me through three days of toxins ravaging my insides.  It pulled me through an invasive operation, and was strong enough to heal quickly afterward. 

This scar represents love and dedication.  It was while I was lying in the hospital that I realized how much it means to have friends and family who care and worry about my wellbeing.  Larry and I weren’t even married at this point, but he held my hair while I was getting sick, saw me at my worst, and cooked countless meals at home until he found food that I could hold down…  and he still wanted to marry me!  My mom slept upright in a metal hospital chair, so I wouldn’t be alone at night.  My aunt walked laps around the hospital floor at a snail’s pace with me, so I could get some exercise.   And countless friends visited me from all over the state.

It is hard to type this and to not get a little choked up.  This scar is  beautiful, and I am almost ashamed for having hated it at times.

So, let’s take time to learn to love our bodies and what they are capable of.  Let’s look at our scars and think of strength.  Let’s look at our belly rolls and think of the good times that led us there!  😉

If we want to feel beautiful, let’s appreciate the beauty around us with all five of our senses.  Take time to taste and smell the beauty of fresh grown produce, and of whole grains baking in an oven.  Take time to listen to the beauty of children singing, birds chirping, and of our loved ones talking.  Take time to feel the strength of our bodies, and of being loved. Take time to look at the beauty that is already around us, and appreciate what we have. 

Makes it hard not feel pleasurably exalted in the mind or sprit, huh?

What do you love about your body?  Are there things about your body that you are still learning to love? 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Ode to My Body

  1. Tara Sculthorpe

    It’s funny, your story is a lot like mine…I also thought I had a stomach virus and was at home for days before finally going to the emergency room, only to find out my appendix had ruptured. I remember being more scared of the scar left behind than the actual surgery itself. Isn’t it funny how superficial we can be sometimes?!?!?! Over time I have come to LOVE my scar. Often times I forget that it’s even there but when I do look at it, I realize just how LUCKY I am!!!

    • It’s amazing what our bodies can endure!!! You were one of the friends that came to visit me in the hospital… only days before Leah was born!!! That meant the world to me! It’s been hard for me to love my scar, because I don’t feel like it healed properly. But, it’s something I’m working at.

      How many more days ’till little baby boy comes????

  2. Danielle

    I loveddd this post 🙂 I have that issue of shape too & I loved reading about the women who are proud of their “quirks.” Honestly, I think the little imperfections are what make us beautiful! lol now I’m getting all corny 😉

    I love my legs. They are strong and can haul ass!

  3. Emily Patrouch

    I LOVED this post….of course not about your surgery, pain and recovery but about your acceptance. I had to have a c-section and it devastated me, absolutely devastated me. How could I not give birth? Something that is supposed to be natural, something that my body was designed to do? But in time I learned it was my duty to get my child in to this world as healthy as I could. My scar lets me know that I did just that. I am pretty lucky in that my doctor did a great job, it’s actually a beautiful scar (if there is such a thing!). I think with life happening around us it’s hard sometimes to find self-worth when you aren’t a size 1 or wearing the latest fashion trend. But reading blogs like yours can really help a gal out! Thanks Jen!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Emily! What an awesome way to find acceptance in what must have been a very scary, though extremely rewarding, experience! We are so fortunate to live in a society and time when medical treatments can provide us safer alternatives (i.e., c-section, appendectomy, etc.) 100 years ago we may not have made it! There is absolutely such a thing as beautiful scars! Your battle wounds tell the story of your life 😉 It’s hard not to smile when you read comments like this!!! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Tiffiny

    I am recovering from surgery and scared about my scars…..i am only twenty and have been told my whole life what a beautiful body i have. I am ashamed for ever even thinking such a vein thing. They are just three little scars that saved my life and after reading that post i’m not going to lie….it made me cry. it put me in check and made me realize how beautiful my life is….not my body. Thats what counts!!! so thank you!

    • Tiffiny, I’m so glad you are safe and healthy. It is amazing what our bodies do for us! You might want to try Dr. Blaine’s Somplete Scar Care to reduce the scars’ appearance. And remember your body is STILL beautiful even with three tiny scars! 🙂

  5. Alice

    I just thought I would like to say thank you. I myself have a scar that is identical to that, as I had appendicitis when I was about 11 and since then I have been embarrassed and ashamed about it. It’s funny as I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t mind being different however it still effected me greatly. However now I know I’m not alone, and even more people are embracing it it’s given me confidence to enjoy all what it symbolises.

    Thank you.

  6. Bernard

    I too had an appendectomy scar but my story is a bit grimmer.
    I was, at the time, a college student in NYC. A cousin who taught in a local medical school told me to go to a particular hospital — what he didn’t tell me was that it was a “teaching hospital”, so my appendectomy was done by a resident, not an experienced surgeon.

    Before the surgery I was very concerned with getting a small scar, but the scar I ended up with was roughly the shape of yours, but a bit longer and purple. And the pain wouldn’t go away. I bounced around from doctor to doctor – they all took x-rays to see if the hospital had left a scapal in me, and when the x-rays showed nothing, they diagnosed me as a hypochondriac or psycho-somatic because I was vain about the scar.

    I badgered my parents (who failed to show up to see me in the hospital) mercilessly until they paid for me to see a bottom-of-the-barrel plastic surgeon (whose real specialty was noses), who did a very superficial scar revision – which promptly developed the same configuration as before but with a mild pink color instead of purple, and the pain remained. I started believing that I was crazy because of vanity.

    Then a favorite aunt died and she left me a few thousand dollars — she had children and grandchildren, so this was completely unexpected and spectacularly generous. This was twelve years after the appendectomy. I had a reason to see a plastic surgeon (who specialized in finger reconstruction) and when he told me that he couldn’t do much for the problem that brought me in, I pulled up my shirt and showed him the app scar — Yes, he said, I can do something for that. So, for a mere $700 (this was 1982), in outpatient surgery, he cut all the way to my diaphragm around the scar. Despite the novacain, I felt tremendous pressure in the location of the scar. Yes, he said, you’ve got a stangulated hernia. They never really closed you up underneath the skin. As soon as he stitched up my diaphragm the sensation of pressure vanished. Then he stitched each layer of skin in turn. The scar healed to near invisibility – the adhesion did not reappear and the pain never returned. I remain very bitter about what happened before I met that plastic surgeon.

  7. Anonymous

    you’re hot…you know it.

  8. Thank you for honoring yourself and others by making a public declaration.

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