Ya wanna see my scar?
(Please, I’m not going to show you my scar on the internet for the whole world to see. Or am I? After all, I tell you everything and you never seem to get queasy. I guess we’ll just see how I’m feeling by the time I finish this blog post.)
Weirdly, I’m not that self-conscious about my scar. I don’t think of it as ugly. I think it’s kinda cool. It’s a badge of courage. It’s a piece of art made by a gifted surgeon. It’s actually a miracle.
I’ve been seeing some really good things about body image lately. Have you seen some of the same? Like this lovely music video that moves me and helps me form a new definition of physical beauty.
Or how about this TED talk during which a woman undresses on stage. Now that has got to get your attention, right? I love her. I love some of her comments like, “It’s an absurdity that we get caught up in all of this.” The “this” that she is objecting to is our excessive grooming and our obsession with our own physical appearance. She speaks to women, and there is no doubt that this is a quite particular issue for women, but I don’t think anyone should obsess about their appearance. We certainly shouldn’t be spending our time feeling we don’t “measure up” physically because of things beyond our control.
This does not mean that we shouldn’t strive to be as healthy as we can (or, unfortunately, as healthy as time and resources allow). Check out this great video with dozens of very real looking women getting their healthy on. I think that’s pretty much me running up that hill.
But do it for your health, do it because it feels good, no matter what you look like!
I lost some weight during my cancer journey like everyone says you will. I kinda looked forward to that little cancer perk, that little pearl in my cancer oyster. There is definitely such a thing as a cancer pearl, like the bagels at the cafe in the Lemmen-Holton center and all of you. I watched the weight come off week by week during radiation. Then, in what I have to admit is a healthy turn of events, it all came back with a little interest, like everyone says it will.
So since New Year’s Day I’ve advanced on a lifestyle change. It involves free weights, walking the track at school and less wine and chocolate. The results, shall we say, are less dramatic than during radiation. Sometimes I would swear that we don’t have any control over this at all, it’s all genes. But I’m not giving up yet. As John told me today, “Just keep exercising more and cheating less.” It’s a process. It might be a lengthy process.
In the meantime, however, I’m about done looking at myself in the mirror and feeling self-hatred. (That funny little form in there has been through a lot and has hung in there with me pretty good.) Even when I see this…
(alright I’m chickening out, mainly because it doesn’t photograph well – you’re welcome).
Only love, only love can leave such a mark - But only love, only love can heal such a scar, Magnificent, U2