My relationship with my whole self has always been tenuous at best. Sure, my hair is fantastic, the creative and analytical parts of my brain work happily in tandem and I can make my husband chuckle uncontrollably with my sarcastic humour, so there’s a lot to love. My body however, has never been on the receiving end of said love. Honestly, I never felt like it deserved it.
Years of disordered eating were followed by several more years of steady, excruciating weight gain and when many many years of feeling painfully unwell was finally explained by an endometriosis diagnosis, my disdain towards my body was solidified. My body gave up on me and in turn I gave up on my body. Why bother with kale and spin class when it was going to screw me internally anyway.
But then, one balmy June morning, whilst I was still waking up to the day, there were two little blue lines that jolted me awake and changed me in a truly unexpected way. I was thrilled. I was also trepidatious. I knew my limitations when it came to seeing myself rationally. The voice of my vanity was not one I’d ever managed to suppress and so I was fully prepared for pregnancy to send me into a self esteem tailspin. I’d be gaining weight rapidly and my body would change far beyond my control. The outfits carefully chosen to flatter my shape would be no good and there would be no smoothing of my silhouette with spanx. It was not going to be pretty nine months but knowing it was inevitable I girded myself.
Curiously however, that tailspin never even came close. For the first time in my life I looked in the mirror and was thrilled with what I saw.