My Body: An Enemy Become My Best Ally

If you too are experiencing a strange relationship with your body, maybe my story will speak to you, make you smile and who knows maybe help you?

This morning I did a calculation: I have hated my body for exactly 8760 days. Yes as much…

It’s simple, it all started at 9 years old and I’m currently 33.

“9 years? But that’s super early!” you will tell me. And yet it was at the age of 9 that someone said to me for the first time something related to my body: “Louise stop eating, you’re already quite chubby”.

At 9 years old, what do we understand from this sentence? I am different ? What is it to be chubby? It seems like something wrong… Did I do something wrong? Why can’t I eat if I’m hungry? But actually my body sucks? Why is she frowning at me?

And this is how 24 years of hating my body followed…

I was a child and I was already afraid of how others looked at my appearance: when trying on costumes for dance shows, in school photos, in the playground… I had the feeling like I was a bad person because I didn’t look like the other skinny little girls. They were constantly valued. I was plumper, more solid, more formed like a woman. What was wrong with it in the end?

You know what’s the worst: when I looked at my health record, my weight curve was completely “normal” (if a standard really exists) and average. As well as my height. And because of this sentence I have made a whole film for myself over all these years…

At 11 I got my period and everything that goes with it: breasts, buttocks, blood-stained panties, body hair… I transformed myself and damn no one bothered me really explained what was going on. My mother gave me a box of sanitary napkins and said “you’re a woman now, put one on when it flows, if you’re wrong, tell me and I’ll give you Doliprane”. And go ahead, this feeling of shame has fallen on me. So not only am I not like the others because “chubby” and that’s bad apparently, but on top of that I’m the only one in the class to have blood flowing between my legs. But what is this madness?

Then came adolescence and my body became thinner, not enough for my liking. The other girls were always thinner, prettier, more popular with boys. I was lost, angry, in pain. I oscillated between “why not me?” and “but why should I be like them?”

Thank you to certain members of my family at the same time for having whispered to my mother when I could hear very clearly: “she has a good butt, Louise, eh, she doesn’t eat a little too much”, “it’s funny how that “She’s the plumpest in the family, yet we’re all thin, who does she get that from?”, “She shouldn’t wear that skirt, we can see her thighs.” It made me feel slightly worse…

And then we’re surprised that I had an adolescent crisis worthy of a Tarantino-style massacre scene!

Judgments upon judgments, lots of comparisons, too many injunctions… I come from a family of women who felt bad about themselves and for years I suffered with them and I hated myself. I must also say that I was not always surrounded by my best friends…

Around 14 I started my first diet. With all the encouragement from my family of course, I was finally going to meet the standard. At almost 33 years old, I can announce that I have done more than 20 diets… I have done them all. From the absurd thing to what we call “dietary rebalancing” (yeah…). Not a year has gone by without me making one. Or that I attempt extreme sporting challenges hoping to change my body.

And it’s known as the white wolf: all these constraints and all these diets have ended in failure and dazzling weight gains. Not forgetting the look of disappointment from my family at each failure. Each diet took with it a little more of my self-esteem and self-confidence each time.

I had a good period of bulimia too…a terrible memory. All that to fit into a 36…

In fact I didn’t need to change, I just needed to be told that I was okay the way I was. That every person is different. That the norm is an absurd illusion and certainly not an end in itself. That my strength is being ME. Not another one. Just me. And that’s what made me beautiful. But how do you expect these words to come out of the mouths of people who are themselves disenchanted with their own appearances…

How has my view of myself changed?

It’s both simple and complicated: I became a mother. And this body that I hated so much, that I didn’t respect, that I hated, hid too much… this body, this hero, this survivor… holy shit he gave life!

THE LIFE !

He created the most beautiful thing I have ever held in my hands: my daughter.

This body, the one that is “too chubby” as some have commented, the one that does not deserve to be shown, the one that has been denigrated, is the very one that said to itself: “Ok you don’t love me, but I love you Louise and I will give everything to create life in you. Don’t think about anything, I’ll take care of it and it will be fabulous.”

And for that I love him SO MUCH now! He didn’t blame me for everything I put him through and he brought me the most beautiful thing in the world in my eyes. My body is infinitely good and I blame myself for having inflicted so much on it.

I’m not saying that today I’m super comfortable with him, there is still work to free myself from the gaze of others and comparison, to regain good self-esteem. Reflex thoughts die hard, friends, but my view of him is now kind and gentle. And this rock-solid body is a FUCKING warrior. Her strength, beauty and courage through all the trials of the last two years are an incredible source of inspiration.

All this awareness is also because I don’t want to pass on my story to Ysé and I want her to be proud of who she is, in all her singularity and freeing herself from the gaze of others.

I’m going to live in this body for decades to come, so it’s time to love it, to cherish it, to take care of it and to stop suffering, to no longer feel guilty about eating what makes me makes me happy, to wear what I want and to no longer listen to (imagine?) the comments.

Defining ourselves by a clothing size or a weight on a scale is so reductive, we are so much more than that. The number of times I told myself that I would be happier the day I managed to lose weight. But it’s so stupid hahaha! Life is too short for that, right? I have so many other things to experience and make him experience.

This is my story. I put that there, probably as a kind of therapy.

And you, tell me, what relationship do you have with your body?

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