You’d think that with the name “Before & After” this blog would be all about what I look like. I’ve had people tell me that they’re disappointed because I don’t have actual “before” and “after” photos of myself posted somewhere on this blog. I’ve also had people tell me that they think I must be ashamed of how I look because I regained some of the weight I had lost.

I admit that I have “ashamed” moments, but they are fleeting and occur a lot less often than they used to. But here’s the thing: for way too long my life was about my weight and my looks. Somewhere along the line I decided to stop trying to fix my physical self, and start healing my emotional self. I knew that if I took the time to know who I really am on the inside, to nurture and love the inside me, then who I am on the outside would respond in kind.

A little over a year ago a woman named Mish started the “Exposed” movement because she was tired of hating the way that she looked and wanted to celebrate her body. I now join Mish and all the others (there are more than 100) who have participated in this very empowering movement.

October 2010

October 2010

This is my almost-48-year-old body. The most important thing that it does is house “me.” For many years I abused my body by hating it, by eating too much food, and by not moving it enough. As a result, it and I suffered. Five years ago, I started to love it more and it responded by releasing excess fat. But I fell back into hating it and so I pushed it and hurt it and abused it some more.

My mission, since the beginning of 2009, has been to make peace with this body, to make sure it is safe, healthy and loved. It feels so much better now that I am not ashamed of it. I challenge it, but don’t push it too hard. I feed it well. And as a result, it is capable of many things and allows me to live a life that is more in alignment with who I am.