It sounds so simple. Just give yourself a mental hug! So logical. After all, who in this self-centered culture is better than Numero Uno? Yet, more this week than perhaps any other, I have found myself looking in the mirror and struggling to love the girl that looks back at me.
|Sometimes the mirror isn't so friendly...|
I could blame it on mere hormones. As countless novels, TV shows and parently complaints have shown, estrogen and growing pains don't coexist peacefully. Instead, they fight, they burn holes in our confidence and they trigger some intense bonding sessions with a tub of Ben and Jerry's.
But it's more than that. When I look in the mirror, I don't dislike seeing Casey. I hate seeing celiac's fingerprints all over my reflection. I see celiac in the bony shoulders that protrude through my t-shirt, uncovered by a 15 lb weight loss that I still haven't fixed. I see celiac in my skin, which still lacks the nutrients to be clear and smooth. And I see celiac in my tears, which have stained my face this freshman year of college far too often.
|Gotta love this post-hospital photo ops!|
Yes, part of my issue is pure vanity. I want to be beautiful - to feel beautiful - just like every other girl. Beyond this vanity, though is anger.
Anger at the body that I fill with nutritious fuel - meats, vegetables, fruits, nut butters and more! - yet refuses to gain. Anger at the body that still doesn't have the reserve or joint health to run. Mostly, though, it is anger at the adolescence this body conveys. I walk around campus and can't help but stare at the other girl's curves and shining faces - so mature and wordly compared to my own.
As I stare in the mirror, I ask myself how I can love a body that has betrayed - is still betraying - me in these ways?
But now, I want to ask, how can I not?
How can I not love the body that has fought - and is still fighting - for me? The body that survived a freshman year at college and hospitalization when my doctors had doubts? The body that allows me to feel the sun on my face, taste banana ice cream on my tongue and laugh with my friends?
Self love isn't as simple or logical as it seems and neither is celiac. That doesn't mean that they aren't worthy goals. Or that they can't live in harmony.
It's true that right now, the girl in the mirror doesn't fit my mental image. She isn't athletic or mature or conventionally pretty. But she is strong in determination, old in experience, and beautiful in resilience. And I can't hate her for any of those things. Instead I must - I will - love that self, the self that I am today.
And with this love, who knows who will stare back at me tomorrow.
Has celiac ever affected your self image? What are your tips to love your body, despite its faults? Comment below!
Check out my link of this article here!