This image has no editing apart from flipping it so you can read the words on my body.
Ironically written, with the last of the felt tips pens my youngest had when he and I shared drawing and colouring as a hobby, they put into picture the words I hear when I look at my body in the morning light.
Four kids, periods of over eating, no exercise, and the menopause have all had their effect on my body. Sorrow and stress have too. I am sixty, soon to be sixty one and questioning my judgement regarding posting naked images for much longer.
We don’t like older people much. We don’t like to think of them being sexual ‘like us’. I often don’t like my body too in spite of bring grateful for its strength and good health.
I am much more comfortable naked though because it doesn’t remind me so much that I don’t fit as when my clothes gap and pull. I refuse to be a size 14 again so I adjust, pin, hide, crop, filter, and keep you all at arms length.
At the height of my unhappiness, in the midst of the difficult transition to this new life, I was a size 10. Fitting into shirts with no problem was a joy that felt like a consolation prize. Being able to buy dresses was a gold cup presented in an otherwise apocalyptic scene.
Devastation everywhere but look at my toned shoulders.
The cycle of approval/disapproval towards myself has to change. I do not want to look young, or ‘good for my years’. I do not want to hear ‘still would’ because that has within it the seeping away of an approving gaze until it changes to ‘ugh no’.
I have no answers except to trust my instinct that seeking pleasure, listening to my appetites, and working harder than I ever have at anything before to approve of myself for simply being, present, here, and visible has to be my way forward
This post has been written for #sexbloggersformentalhealth