I was trying on the new "miracle suit" at Nordstrom the other day. I wanted to see if I really did look ten pounds lighter in ten seconds. Here's what I saw. If I had been gazing not at myself but on some other woman in the black cross over one piece, I would have thought, "she looks nice, elegant, sleek, handsome, not a waif, but a woman, full and lovely". What I thought of myself was... I am wide, very wide from behind, my skin is lumpy, dimpled and discolored with bruises and spider veins, and where did my real body go? You know what I'm talking about. The body that was free and easy in a bikini. The body I used to self consiously wrap a towel around for the trip from my beach blanket to the water. Where is my real body? Why is this memory of my former self the model of comparison? I haven't looked like that in many years. I am thirty seven now. Still comparably young and younger than I will ever be. I realize that my body is still beautiful and my gift and absolutely deserves to be cherished even in its lumpy, puckered, blotchy form. It still allows me to be comfortablt mobile, to wrestle my children into submission, to travel, to enjoy things like food and wine, flowers and stars. My body can hear music and still dance to it. My body can make jewelry and write this essay. My body could even be one of the Dove models in the campaign for real beauty, which I love, by the way.
I didn't buy the miracle suit. I have a cute halter top and skirt left over from last summer that I can hit the beach in this summer. I am experimenting with the Go Gratitude (www.gogratitude.com) symbol in sterling silver wire as a reminder of my gratitude for my beautiful, perfectly healthy and functional body.