Body Love: Z is for Zest

Body image and body love
Image from Pixabay

The A to Z challenge has taken me much longer to finish than I had expected. But I am not a quitter, so here I am with my last post for the challenge. I think that writing these 25 posts has helped me understand more about why I have such body love and body image issues and what specific things I need to do to feel better about myself. It has given me the zest (see, I found a z-word that describes what I want to talk about!) and motivation to actively try to work on a more positive body image.

I think for a long time I was convinced that my feelings and thoughts that I had about my body were the truth. They were aligned with what the general majority of people expect from bodies in terms of attractiveness after all. While I have always appreciated some of my body’s functions, I have simultaneously hated the way my body looked. My body is flexible and has gotten me through some really rough things. And I know that I am lucky to be able to have multiple orgasms and to squirt.

But there are also the illnesses that make life so very difficult for me. I sometimes feel like I am at war with my own body because I can’t even do the most basic things on some days. I know that the best way to handle chronic physical illness is acceptance, and to just go with the flow. Routines and self-care are important. And I have been doing that. But some days I am still extremely frustrated that the chronic fatigue syndrome and the Hashimoto’s make me tired, that the diabetes doesn’t allow me to eat pasta, or the PCOS giving me terrible PMS.

I think I like when I can actively do something without having to rely on health professionals. It makes me feel like I have some sort of control over what is happening. I have been able to get things back under control after a terrible IBS flare up. And I am now vegan as a result, have lost about 20 pounds and my blood glucose numbers are much better too. Physical chronic illness sucks, but the ability to make a change has empowered me to try to continue with the routines and to do better with self-care. I want to show my body love. I have mistreated it for many years, and it has been mistreated by others. It is time for a change.

The struggles with my physical health and acceptance are not as bad as the struggles I have with changing my body image. I am sure that that is related to many years of fatshaming and bullying that I had to endure during my childhood and my adolescence. My body was not okay. It was not accepted. It had to change in order to be allowed to be visible and be deemed attractive. The shape of my boobs, my weight, my Iranian facial structure. They were all wrong.

So I internalized those words and thoughts, and I started to hate my body. I hid it, I never dared to be naked with others. The shaming and bullying resulted in me hating myself. And they were not alone: everywhere in society you can still today see what sort of body is arousing, lovable, accepted. Young, slim, flat stomach, perky boobs, white. And that is not my body.

Funnily enough, that is not the sort of body type that I find attractive in others, if I now would primarily pick my partners based on looks. Which I don’t. So how come that I can see beauty in all sorts of bodies and would always find something wonderful about another person’s looks, but I can’t do that with myself? Why can’t I accept that there are people like me out there, who see beauty in everyone?

It is odd that I think I am the exception to that rule. It is a sort of cognitive dissonance that I have become more aware of when writing these posts about body love and body image. Logically, if I see beauty in everyone, and I accept that different people have different preference, surely, there must be beauty in me too, and there should be a fraction of people who would be attracted to me? Yes. That is the logical conclusion. And that conclusion stands against years of indoctrination with lies and hate.

It will take time for me to change my thinking and my feelings. I am realistic and I know that I will never be able to embrace every aspect of my body. My first goal is to change the language that I use and try to not judge. Instead of thinking: “I look fat in that dress” I could think “This doesn’t look very flattering.”. Or instead of thinking “No one would ever enjoy having sex with me”, I could turn that into “I feel like I am not attractive. That is my subjective emotion and not a general truth.” I think this is doable and something I can actively work on. And I have the zest and motivation to do so.

The reflections around body image have really helped me understand myself better. And they have given me the push to want to actively change the view I have of my body. I will need to question years of internalized body shaming, so I will need to do it step by step. I might be able to do this.

I am doing the A to Z challenge during the month of April (and apparently May and June too). My theme isΒ Body Love. So you will get 26 posts from me, following the alphabet, related to the topic body love. You can check out more about the to A to Z challenge by clicking on the banner. You can find a list of sexbloggers participating in the challenge onΒ Mrs Fever’s site.

2009-2020 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

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13 Responses

  1. PurpleSole says:

    Well done for making it to the end, such a trooper πŸ™‚. The ‘perfect’ body type is always different in everybody’s eye, so there is no use in aspiring to the common consensus. Do what makes us happy ☺️

    • Yes, I finish my challenges, even if late haha πŸ˜› Yeah, I think I need to sort of see that there is no one size fits all when it comes to anything, and that everyone has beauty in them, even if they don’t care to the mainstream with their their body type.

  2. Mrs Fever says:

    First: YAY, you made it! This was a fantastic A-to-Z!

    And second: I think it’s really awesome that you were able to take your topical insights about body image over the past couple months and find motivation to love yourself better. What a positive takeaway!

    I really enjoyed your A-to-Z explorations over the past couple months. Thank you for sharing!

    • Yasss, I made it, haha. I do’t give up, but I tend to finish late πŸ˜›
      Thank you so much <3 I really hope that I can stick to it, small steps, but I really am tired of looking at myself in disgust. :)

  3. Mary Wood says:

    You’re smart and I suppose you’ll find your inner sources to change the way you feel about your body. By the way, I am one of those people who sees beauty in others but hardly finds it in myself πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you, Mary <3 You know, it is all about questioning your automatic thoughts, really.
      I think most people are somewhat like that: they see beauty in others but not in themselves. We are really our own worst critics πŸ™

  4. Congratulations on making it through, Devie! I love that these series have helped you πŸ™‚
    ~ Marie

  5. I tend to find beauty in everyone. I certainly find it in you. Stay safe and be kind to yourself.

  6. You made it to the end and I’m so proud of you for not giving up! (Yes, I’ll remind you not to participate next year though I’m not sure you’ll listen to me lol)
    It’s quite incredibly that this project, or the dedication to this topic has helped you find the motivation to try and love yourself that little bit more.

    • I can’t believe I managed to finish the challenge. I shall never do it again πŸ˜›
      Yeah, I am definitely more aware of my own thoughts and feelings now, and I am trying harder to battle those negative statements that are swirling around in my mind.

  1. July 2, 2020

    […] the last few years, has helped me appreciate my body more. Right now, I am in a place where I actively want to work on improving my body image and fight my internalized fat phobia. And I think becoming a sex worker will help me a lot with […]

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