Some people talk of morning breath, bed head, morning hair, even…yeah, that. I like to think of myself having “morning body”. I think my body looks its best in the morning, right after I wake up, before the day and its cares have had a chance to stress and ravage it. My eyes don’t look tired or my mouth pinched in thought, the curve in my waist is gentle, feeding into the slope of my back, the “S” of my form from shoulder to thigh. I spent a good ten minutes this morning just looking at myself in the mirror, wondering over my lifetime and the changes my body has gone through.
When I was a child, I was a little stick, skin-and-bones. People used to comment and, yes, tease me about how skinny and small I was. When I grew into a teenager and my body began filling out, I remember not a great deal aside from that it was rather painful. I had a horrible time with my skin as well, though I got over it, even though it continued for a long while.
When I entered college at 17, I still felt very much like a child. I had not dated, the only “date” I had been on was a Valentine’s Day banquet with someone I had known since kindergarten and did not think of any deeper than a friend. No one had ever told me, outside of my family and perhaps a girlfriend or two, that I was lovely. I felt little, young. Of course, I gained weight my freshman year, which my mother failed to inform me of, since it is sometimes hard to judge for one’s self. It wasn’t until I saw the pictures of my summer that I realized, which, honestly, made me feel badly. Over the years, my weight fluctuated, not hugely but a bit.
In 2004-2005, during my first year of graduate school, the stress of the move and my new course of study stressed me to the point that I lost weight down to 97 lbs. I hadn’t been that skinny since….I don’t know when. But I wasn’t happy with it because I knew that something must be wrong. I started gaining weight again after I saw my doctor and got things figured out.
In 2007, I began belly dancing in order to get myself in shape and be active in some way that didn’t involve conventional exercise. Today, I have no idea how much I weigh and that is fine with me. I’ve worked hard on my conditioning and dance drills, yoga, and exercise this year (though I can always do more). As a result, I quite like the way my body looks. I like it! 🙂
I remember admiring my mother in her A-line dresses and running my little hands over the graceful curve of her waist from her ribcage down to her hips. Such a gorgeous hourglass figure. I remember saying to her, “I want to look like this.” And now I do. Perhaps that is part of why I like the way I look now. It reminds me of my mother at the height of her beauty. I still very much find my mother beautiful with her quirky smile and close-lipped laugh, her abundant dark hair, some of it a beautiful silvery grey now. I remember when she used to let it down and let me play with it; I’d hold its weight in my hands and marvel at it. I love my mother and always wanted to look like her.
I like my body the most in the morning, I like to be able to look at myself and admit that I do in fact like the way I look. It has been a long, long time in coming for me to say that, as most of you know. It’s a nice feeling, though.
Now that I’ve indulged in a little vanity, I shall go and kiss my husband happy anniversary and thank him for the lovely flowers.