I’m sorry to say that I really sort of fucking hate my body at the moment.
Body hatred is nothing new to me. I spent the vast majority of my 20s basically on the verge of an eating disorder, over-exercising (1.5 -2 hours at the gym every day without fail), and trying in vain to overcome my physical self-loathing. And let me tell you, living in Los Angeles did not help.
As I exited my 20s and entered my 30s, though, things got better – and moving to NYC did wonders to improve my relationship to my physical self. Women eat here. They order appetizers and dessert. And while people are physically active there isn’t the same obsession with bodily perfection as there was in LA.
But I have to say that the pinnacle of really accepting my body (after what at the time I thought was the pinnacle of hating my body whilst dealing with infertility the first go around) came with being pregnant and then becoming a nursing mother. It sounds cliche, but for the first time in my life I wasn’t worried about how I looked, or how much fat I had on my thighs, or whether or not my arms were sculpted. I was thinking about what I could do. I truly felt in awe of my body, that it could grow an entire human being, and then nurture this other life. It was amazing.
And short lived.
Because now I’m back to hating my body. And while I try to fight it it’s really, really hard. This time it has nothing to do with my weight or my measurements (which, I’ll admit, still aren’t where I’d like them to be in comparison to where I was pre-motherhood). No, now it’s because my body seems to be in complete fucking revolt. Month after month, year after year we try and get pregnant – with a shit ton of medical intervention, mind you – and month after month, year after year by body is like, nah, fuck you.
It’s insane of me, but I’ve truly come to feel separate from my body in a way that I’m sure is not healthy. There is what I want, and then there is what my body is willing to do. Notice that I’m not saying capable, I’m saying willing, because my experience is that my my body is basically a sullen teenager that does whatever the hell it wants. In fact, if I recall correctly the other day I told my husband that my body was, quote, a stubborn bitch.
Which has lead to me wanting to punish it. I long to put my body on a 10 day cleanse. Hell, a 30 day cleanse. That one with lemon juice and cayenne pepper. I feel the need to exercise it harder than I normally would. Kickboxing? Yeah. Cross training? Yup. Intense, heated yoga? Bring it. Over an hour of cardio? Done. I’ve even been contemplating getting a tattoo, which isn’t something I’ve ever been that interested in before, and given that I can’t actually come up with a single thing that I’d like to permanently ink on my skin part of me has started to wonder if it’s the sheer pain of the process that has drawn me to the idea.
Eating is hit or miss. Sometimes I eat whatever I want, because shut up body, you’re not getting organic produce today. Other times I do the opposite and am overly strict, like, nope, you do not get the luxury of indulging in gelato. Same thing with caffeine. I try to limit it, but sometimes I feel like I’d like to just drown my veins in coffee, and screw whether or not its healthy for my system.
And I’ve noticed that things that might be healing and self-soothing don’t seem to interest me. I keep telling myself I’ll get a massage, but I can’t seem to get it together and actually do it. I don’t bother with manicures or pedicures. I rarely go to acupuncture anymore unless it’s for an IVF transfer. And I have to think that this is all because some part of me feels that my body is not deserving. Like, maybe if it gets its shit together and actually gets pregnant then I’ll get it a fucking massage, but until then it can just suck it.
Yeah, it’s not great. I’m aware of that fact. I should probably talk to my therapist about it. In fact, I’m rather certain I’ll be talking to my therapist about it. But I have to admit that I’m even resistant to that idea, because I know it will likely lead to me feeling kindlier toward my body…which I don’t want to do!
Sigh. It’s just really fucking hard to not give into the darker parts of yourself, and to actually push forward and be a grown up.