This week the temperature soared to over 30°C so after a long day at work my flatmate suggested we go for a dip in the nearby marine lake. I explained that I wouldn’t be able to do much swimming because of my weak muscles but she reassured me we’d just have a quick dip to cool off.
My first concern was about my ability to go swimming. That should have been my only concern but it wasn’t. My second concern was how my tummy would look in a bikini. My body confidence has improved massively over the last year or so but as I mentioned in my previous post, I feel that my stomach has become larger recently. I was so concerned that I asked to borrow a baggy t-shirt from my flatmate.
So there I was, in the muddy, salty pool, desperately forcing my muscles to remember how to swim, sinking my feet into the silt as I had to rest from flapping around…in a completely unnecessary t-shirt. It floated up around me and weighed me down, it got covered in silt and it clung to my form as I climbed out of the pool. I felt so stupid and annoyed at myself that I’d let Ana win and convince me that my body was too big to be seen in public. I wrung out the wet t-shirt and vowed that next time I went swimming it would be in a bikini and I would be proud of my body and how amazing it is to be at a stage in my recovery that I can attempt to swim.
The next day I went to see Wonder Woman at the cinema. There has been a lot of talk in the media about how feminist or not this film is; I can only express how it made me feel and I left that cinema feeling fired-up and inspired. When Diana triumphed I felt pride swell in my chest, because she was a woman (a goddess) who was stronger than everyone and leading the way. I felt empowered to continue my journey to strength and fitness. I was reminded that there are so many things about me, and in this world, that are more important than the way my body looks.
Recently I have felt many surges of emotion and energy within me. I catch myself driving through the gorgeous estate where I’m currently living and bursting with joy at the beauty around me. I sang my way across the Severn Crossing as I conquered the motorway for the first time. My voice is louder and my smile wider. I get angry too and express my views. I cry when tragedy occurs. This energy is growing inside me and is finding small outlets but I’m searching for a larger vessel to pour it in to. I think back to a time when I spent days in bed, crying or just numb, barely reacting to anything but now, for the first time, I fully believe that will never go back there.
I am a body positive wonder woman, a chronic illness warrior! Hear me roar!