Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Mish's original Exposed post. Please go read the story about Exposed in Mish's words, because she does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could. Last year, I followed along with all of the "Exposed" posts as they turned up on various websites. They were so inspiring! All of these wonderful people were posting pictures of themselves. Believing in themselves. Finding peace in the fact that their bodies were exactly as they were supposed to be, and that their value and self-worth was not based on an extra crevice, dent, or roll. People were publicly acknowledging that the value of their lives were worth so much more than the aesthetics of their body.
I watched, I read, and I constantly envied everyone for their courage, but there was NO WAY IN HAIL that I was posting a picture of myself on the blog with my stomach exposed in any fashion, much less posting pictures of myself completely naked, as some were brave enough to do. I was jealous that even after I had been through 2 years of treatment for my eating disorder, and done countless exercises to build my self-worth and esteem, that I still couldn't comfortably wear a bikini.
As I read all of those initial Exposed posts, I owned the fact that my body was not perfect, and that I've lived my entire life striving to "lose those extra 10 pounds" (like the womens magazines constantly tell us that we need to do).
Then, one day in February, I stopped. I thought. I tried on some bikinis. I took some pictures. I posted them on the blog...
And proceeded to tell you that "I'm pretty fu@k!ng awesome. Back fat and all."
Even though the Exposed movement is a year old, it hasn't quite been a year for me since I posted those pictures. However, I am insightful enough to realize that I have a different perspective on things than I did 8 months ago. Have a I "lost those extra 10 pounds"? Nope. Do I care? Nope.
In fact, at my last doctor's appointment, I had gained 8 pounds.
I was also six weeks pregnant.
Waiting to have a sonogram completed so that I could see my empty womb.
I didn't care about what that scale said on that day. I was only concerned about my health, praying that I had a viable baby inside of that belly that I have spent my life hating, and wishing that life wasn't so difficult sometimes. The number on the scale didn't phase me at all on that day.
Eight months ago, I was worried about my back fat. Today (although my back fat and I are still not besties), I know that everything else in my life is so much more important. My body is just the thing that holds all of the wonderful stuff that I'm made of. I'm made of love and compassion and kindness. It just doesn't matter if my belly hangs a little more than I'd like it to, or if my bra leaves lines on my back.
There are more important things in my life.
Eight months later and eight pounds heavier, my life is eight million times richer. My love is stronger, my friendships are more beautiful, and my life is more complete.
So, that makes me like eighty billion times more fu@k!ng awesome. Back fat and all.