In May 2017 I had a surgical procedure to shrink multiple uterine fibroids. For over two years I had insane menstrual bleeding which completely took over my life. I tried unsuccessfully to heal myself naturally, with herbs, acupuncture and elimination diets. I repeatedly had accidents and could barely leave my house, my bleeding went on for weeks and would surprise me out of nowhere when I finally thought I was safe.
After the procedure, things weren’t magically better. I had such severe pain that I ended up in the emergency room a week after the surgery. Even morphine couldn’t touch the pain, it was excruciating. For about a month, I was holding an ice pack to my stomach. And the larger stomach that had grown with fibroid tumors, that I thought would shrink, was slowly growing larger. It’s now six months since I had the surgery and I am bigger that I’ve been in many years. My stomach is just as big or bigger than it was pre-UFE and my breasts are exploding out of my bra, they’re heavy and painful. Thankfully, the bleeding is much better, although not back to what it used to be. But, I am able to leave my house without the fear that I will leave a trail of blood behind me or notice a river flowing down my legs.
I am struggling with my body and how I feel about it. I am physically uncomfortable in my skin, I feel bloated and I’m burnt out. In addition to my chronic back pain, this just feels like too much. I haven’t been working out as much and I can’t stand to think about what I am eating. For two years, I tried to adjust my food, eliminate toxins, don’t use plastic, add vitamins and herbs, tried acupuncture and xi gong. And now I am just tired. I notice that I am not eating as many salads, I occasionally have ice cream and I can’t stand to cook meals. And I don’t know if I can help anyone in coaching them to a healthier life or being more accepting with their body. Because I feel like a fraud. Because I don’t want to cook and I don’t feel ok in my body. I don’t love it, I feel betrayed by it.
I see other body positive women of all sizes post pictures of themselves online, sharing how they feel love and acceptance for their bodies. I think it’s amazing that this movement is making progress and helping people feel more accepting of themselves in a world where beauty and thinness is the ultimate goal. I do notice that most of these people are young and they are growing up in this world where social media plays such a large part of their lives. I am not that young, I am a 47 year old mother of adult daughters. I didn’t just start feeling uncomfortable a few years ago, I’ve been uncomfortable with my body and trying to change it for about for 40 years. So, now, after working on myself emotionally and physically, I’m over it all. I’m frustrated. I don’t want to try to eat healthy anymore, I don’t want to have find acceptance with myself, I don’t want to have to work out even when my back hurts and I have to continually find new ways to exercise that will help my strength but not cause me pain. And I am not a naturally overly positive person. I am a realist who has been through a lot of crap in my life. I have tons of knowledge and experience, but I don’t know that I have much acceptance for my body right now. I’m thankful that I’m not hemorrhaging any more, even if for one day a month. I still can’t trust that a tampon will keep me dry, even after all I’ve done for my body, it seems to not be supporting me. And maybe that’s where I am now, in sadness and exhaustion. Those feelings are just as valid as acceptance, even if they’re not as appealing, even if they don’t make me desirable, but they’re very real and I don’t know how to be anything but authentic. This is where I am, as someone who struggles with how they feel about their body, as someone who has chronic back pain, as someone who continues to struggle with anxiety and depression, as someone who overdosed twelve years ago but is still here.
I wrote this two years ago after having a Uterine Fibroid Embolization. I stepped away from blogging and coaching but I’ve recently decided it’s time to come back. I continue to struggle with all of the same things, except for the dangerous hemorrhaging. Illness, pain and getting older aren’t easy and I still find workouts particularly difficult with chronic pain. I’m still kind of annoyed that it seems hormones have had such an impact on my weight. And, yet, I still think it’s important for me to share my experiences so other people don’t feel so alone. Even after the repeated struggles and restarts in my life, I continue to be pretty healthy. I still eat a mostly plant based diet, I continuously try to find new movement that is enjoyable and not painful for my body. I’m not perfect at meditating, but I find peace when I roll on my ball in my living room or stretch with my headphones on a foam roller at the gym.
Life will continue to throw new challenges your way. What I’ve learned over and over again, is that I can’t measure my success or worth with the size of my body. I’ve had to adjust to different changes in my body due to injury or illness and I’ve had to learn a lot about acceptance.
I’ve had to learn again to adjust to what my body needs and to find true love and appreciation for myself, even if that meant stepping away for a while.