How to love your body when it's not loving you.
Being body positive is so much more than just about weight. We all struggle to accept certain things about our bodies that are outside of our control. Some things we’re born with, and others, we may develop over time. For me, I’m currently struggling with my chronic back pain. I have pretty bad scoliosis, and it’s gotten rapidly worse over the past couple years. I can’t walk or stand for long periods of time without my lower back almost feeling like it’s breaking. It’s affecting my mobility with being limited in some of my daily activities. I get radiating pain in my hip and down my whole leg. It can really get exhausting and irritable to be in pain constantly. It affects my mood, and I just get totally grumpy! You feel so helpless being in pain like that all the time.
A couple week ago, we went shopping for some home items. As it happens often, we needed to leave when I couldn’t take my back hurting any longer. When it gets to that point, I usually end up screaming from pain when I get in the car from just sitting down and bending. Tyler, trying to be helpful, asked if I should use one of those motorized scooters while shopping so I wouldn’t be in pain. I immediately burst out crying. He felt terrible because he thought he’d made me cry, but really, the thought of getting to this point and worse is terrifying to me. What if I can’t enjoy the little things in life anymore like shopping? What if I won’t be able to hike anymore? What if I become disabled? I have these terrifying thoughts regularly, and it’s mostly out of feeling completely helpless about my body. I’m at a loss of what more to do other than surgery, which is terrifying.
So how do we stay body positive when we feel our bodies are working against us? When we have a condition, disease or situation that we feel our body has abandoned us and is our enemy? I don’t know that I’ve found the answer, but for me, it at least helps for me to focus on what all my body is doing for me. It allows me to have life every day. I can breathe on my own. My heart is healthy. I don’t take any life sustaining medications or treatments. So, when I start thinking about all of the things that my body does for me, it helps me keep my back pain in perspective. Yes, my back hurts and affects my life, but my body does so much for me to let me enjoy the life that I have. I won’t say I have the answers here, because I do struggle with loving the things about my body that don’t seem to work the way they’re supposed to. I’d love to hear from others what you’ve found helpful. Share with me!