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#loveyourbody

Screen shot 2015-02-20 at 1.44.50 PMThere are many reasons I’m wicked excited for the re-release of Kimber Simpkins’ book, Full. Scratch that. There is one reason: Kimber’s book made me a better, more mindful person and gave me tools to start the long-overdue process of loving all of myself, from the brains in my head to the toes on my feet to that torso area I tend to want to cover up with a potato sack most of the time.

Loving my body has never been my forte. Appreciating it, sure. I’m thankful my body picks up new movements quickly (want to teach me a dance move? Great! Have some fancy new swim stroke? On it! Cartwheels after years without practicing ’em? Done!). I am thankful that my body has reasonably good balance. I am thankful that my body does not seem seem sports injury prone. But love? Do I love my body?

As a child, I was worried about my weight starting around third grade. I’d stare up at the paper mache sea lions hanging from our classroom ceiling and wonder if I was comparable to them. I’d think about dieting, make lists in my diary of acceptable foods to eat, and no acceptable ones. A friend told me I was incapable of walking quietly, which I took to mean I was too heavy to do so. I read books about anorexic girls and wished I had enough willpower to not eat.

I’ve told my best friend no less than a hundred times in the last year that I feel like I look like a man, that my face feels fat, and that I’m getting rid of clothes because they are “too clingy.” I’ve not said this in a compassionate tone, but rather a joking one meant to mask the fact that it’s all true.

An ex of mine used to laugh at me when I’d put on a bikini and then immediately cover it up with a loose t-shirt and long board shorts. “It’s so cute you’re so modest,” he’d say as I tried to pull a tank top wider or wish there were magical clothes that both covered every inch of my arms down to my wrists while still maintaing ventilation for 90 degree weather.

I’ve told my best friend no less than a hundred times in the last year that I feel like I look like a man, that my face feels fat, and that I’m getting rid of clothes because they are “too clingy.” I’ve not said this in a compassionate tone, but rather a joking one meant to mask the fact that it’s all true.

I’m pretty sure until early last year, love was not a term that was even on the table to enter the equation of how I felt about my body. And honestly, try as I might now, it’s still not often slipped in, though at least now it exists as a variable.

However, two things give me hope. The first being Kimber’s story, and the chance to not only purchase but reread it as many times as my heart desires. The second, is that I know other people do love my body. Namely, former boyfriends. Boys who sent me emails like this:

This certificate is valid for:

One day of not worrying about how you look or how you feel.

To be redeemed in the presence of Weather System.

This certificate has no cash value and does not expire.

And boys who would, when I would say, “I feel fat” to him respond by touching me gently, like a doctor probing a patient – my arms, my neck, my back, a curious look on his face like he was feeling for something before replying, “Nope. You just feel sexy.”

If Kimber can do it, and others can see it – I know it’s there.

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