When I first started dating my husband I felt like I hit the jackpot with this young buck athlete. Just being in his presence had me feeling some kind of way. Add to that the high level of arm candy he provided and I had a winning recipe.
Until the day he saw my midsection in the light for the first time. Soft and scarred up like a “roadmap” from having 3 babies.
He didn’t say anything. He showed no signs of care at all about it. But I felt disgusting. Unworthy. Damaged. Fat.
I sort of felt that maybe if he had been the boys’ father, he might find the stretch marks sexy somehow because of that bond and what they represented. Instead, I was just some middle aged marked up lady trying to snag a younger man.
It took me many months to tell him how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. How the mom pooch and stretch marks were basically what defined me when I didn’t have clothes on. He’s a man of few words but he said enough for me to know he thought I was sexy just how I was and that he would help me to see that in myself however he could.
We’ve all heard that from our partners tho. And it just feels like a canned response. Well duh, you have to say that… you picked me
Over the course of our 10 years together, I’ve been 160lbs - 138lb. And it doesn’t matter how lean I get, those stretch marks are still here… and he still doesn’t care.
I suspect holding on to this “flaw” for so long gave me a reason of why I’m not worth demanding a certain level of treatment and respect from my partner. You see, if I don’t demand that then I won’t have to leave when I don’t get what I deserve. Hello deeply ingrained dysfunction from my previous marriage.
The real eye opening moment was when I got to the leanest, fittest shape I had ever been in and still hated my midsection. I had achieved something pretty remarkable, yet I wasn’t good enough for myself. It was time for counseling and some serious mental game work.
The internal dialog is key. No one will love me or care for me more than I will. So if my standards for how I treat myself are so low that I can talk shit about my body, that I allow myself to say I’m disgusting and literally curl my lip when I catch a glimpse of my stomach, what message does that send to other people and what they can do or say to me?
Our negative thoughts about ourselves, about our bodies, are never actually about our bodies. There is always an underlying force that feeds that negative talk. Finding it and working on it was my path to peace, or should I say, my “roadmap” to happiness…To loving myself.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.