My Body

My Body

I never leave home without it. Like my shadow, it stays with me.

Sometimes, my body and I get along swimmingly. There are also times when we argue and then have to make up.

In the whole scheme of things, I will take my body. After living 66 years inside it, I know it. It talked to me. It grumbles and growls and gurgles and coughs and farts and hiccups.

It is its own symphony.

There have been times when I have been out, observing people, and I have seen women with ‘good-looking’ bodies walk by. I have asked myself, would you want to trade bodies with them?

Nope. That has always been my answer. For whatever its issues, it is mine. It contains a brain I love, a heart that knows love, good tastebuds, and a sniffer of a nose that is quite acute.

There is a divide, a conflict, with my body, that I deal with. There are the society expectations of what my body is supposed to look like to be accepted, and my wanting to give society the bird, on many levels … including expectations of women’s bodies and how they look.

Here is the history of my body … Redaer’s Digest version.

I am tall. Was 6 ft, until gravity, stopped shoulders and aging got ahold of me.

I always was concerned that I was fat, even when I wasn’t. I had and Id’ say, still have, a skewered self-image of my body. I just live with it.

I have a wonky immune system, which first played out with mono in high school. At 18, due to a lot of stress, I got ulcerative colitis … which affects your intestines, makes you feel like crap and has much to do with the immune system.

Back-tracking, I was the bomb when it came to physical activities. I could run fast, jump high and far and was coordinated. I loved that and that is what I miss.

In my forties, my immune system decided I It was time to attack my eyes, in the form of histoplasmosis. I still deal with that. It has been a scary and hard to deal with part of my body.

Oh, here is a good one. My right leg was an inch and a half longer than my left. (I was good at walking in circles).

By the time I was fifty, my right hip needed replacing. Could it have been because I used to jump off swings while going high and jumping from the top stairs to the basement?

The surgery went fine but a ligament got messed up. Swimming helped that.

Now … let’s talk about my 60’s. Some of the nutmeg has hit the fan.

Gallbladder removed after a year of feeling yucky. Eyes have gotten worse. Breast cancer came-a-calling. Luckily, it was caught very early. In January, I had a lumpectomy and as of today, I have had nine out of twenty radiation treatments.

Tomorrow, I get my monthly shot in my eye. The pollen is affecting my immune system by way of my eyes.

Now let’s get to my nemesis. My battle with weight, poundage, fat.

Seriously. Shit. Un and down. Up and down. I told Nick … I am good gaining weight, decent at losing weight, but shit when it comes to maintaining weight.

For ten months last year, I ate no gluten and very little sugar. And then something clicked. Do I really want to live without some of that stuff? The answer was no. But moderation is something I haven’t mastered. There is something inside me has me on the Titanic diet. That is, the ship is going to go down, so eat what you can.

So, daily, I battle weight and eating. It feels like a failure.

But I also won’t let it define me. I won’t let anybody do that. My writing and how I treat people, my creativity, and, I hope, generosity of spirit,are what hope people think about if they hear my name.

So, in the end, and when all si said and done, I am very thankful for this body that I have. It is the vessel that contains my brain, heart, taste buds, emotions, and energy. It has served me much better than I have served it.

And I wouldn’t trade it for any other.



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