The mirror in my hallway is a bit blurry these days. It’s not just the fingerprints from River and Oak–competing for the best angle. It isn’t just the glasses that I have needed to wear more often that not this spring and summer, it is not the mirror’s angle. (Though I have attempted that excuse.) And to be frank, I’m not sure it is the weight I lost (and gained) or the immense vulnerability that accompanies the release of a book and a book tour. There are many potential reason, and the awkward discomfort I am having within my body is so clear and blurry to me, at once.
I started noticing it when the tour slowed down, and I no longer knew how to position my body for a photo. Photos, that I’ve done for a living for nearly a decade. Then it was this sluggish continuum, that wasn’t just the energy I was putting into and taking from people. It wasn’t that I wasn’t getting dressed every day. I thought, it was exhaustion, manifesting into my body. I went to the doctor, wondering if it was something in my blood-inflamation rearing it’s head again. And while those parts of me never went away, really, it wasn’t that either. “You gained 12 pounds since you were here last..” she said with love and suspicion. I couldn’t think of anything that would cause it–drawing a blank stare. Then.. I remembered.. I got an IUD. Mirena to be specific.
In an attempt to take control over the path of this body of mine, and what it wants to do and shouldn’t do (I’m one of five and in my 20s, I know I can easily, without question, get pregnant. It is a matter of genetics, passion, and timing). The IUD was the easy answer. It hurt to put in, but would only hurt once. I wouldn’t need to remember pills. And better yet, I wouldn’t get pregnant. Both of which seemed like easy routes. I knew my body hadn’t done super well with pills in the past, hence every time I’ve been on them, it has been temporary. But an IUD seemed like the better of all the options for the road of my life. A permanent child-care fix, if there ever was one. My sensitiviy to life, body, hormones, etc didn’t feel like something to wager.
My doctor asked me more questions about how I was feeling. And while I think it could have been a general life feeling with inflammation, I couldn’t help but ignore the ache in my stomach that said it was my IUD. So, I got it out.
Since, I haven’t weighed myself since, I’m not sure where I stack up. I don’t care what numbers on a scale say. I want to unblur the mirror, swipe it clean. Again. Again. My eating hasn’t changed, but I’m back to pilates. I got a jump rope to help kick up my system. And more than that, I want to talk about the blurriness of bodies. Especially in seasons of transitions. A huge part of me feels like all of this is a conglomeration of everything I’ve been through the past few months (and years), and a undertone of the discomfort with what’s ahead. I turn 30 in two weeks. TWO weeks. In my twenties, my relationships, my work, my livelihood, my career, my life experiences, and of course, my body, has changed so much. Is the discomfort, the sudden shift of how to hold oneself part of that?
Sometimes, a body is a blurry space.
Living so blurry for the past three years. I had my second child at 35 and I’m now 38. In the business of life I’ve managed to leave my body as behind as I can afford to (still going for my checkups, etc. but not giving it all the attention it needs. It needs yoga in all the ways. Hoping for clearer views ahead! ❤️
Thank you so much for sharing, Rochylin! I hope you’re able to make the time this summer, but also just feel a little less blurry going forward.
Thank you for reading!
I absolutely love this…blurry. I never thought of it that way before but if it blurry and uncomfortable, something good is bound to happen soon. Cheers to changing and pivoting and trying to enjoy the ride!
Thank you so much Molly for reading. Maybe so! That’s what I’ve heard.
I had surgery in April. My body hasn’t felt the same since. I’m looking past the scars and working on healing my body. The transitioning has been hard mentally.
I’m also grateful that my body is so amazing and it’s slowly healing.
I’m looking at blurriness as beauty too.
Thank you Latonya!!
HI Lolade! I love that you are seeing the blurry as beauty. I was thinking this too, that this space of discomfort is beautiful. I am so happy you are doing well, and sending you love on this healing journey.
Thanks for sharing, especially during the season in which we critique our bodies the most. 💛
Thank you, Cynthia! Wanted to share during this time when I know we all are collectively a bit uncomfortable.
Thank you so much for this post. I’m working on being less critical of my body, and more mindful of how and what I fuel it with, as well as how often I move it. I’m one year and 2 months away from 40, in the middle of transitioning to reuniting with a long lost love of mine, as well as seriously pondering motherhood, all while dealing with the same body/self esteem issues that have lurked since early childhood. Thank you for your transparency, honesty and realness-it’s greatly appreciated. p.s., I too experienced some wonky side effects after having my 2nd Mirena placed, the most agonizing one being severe migraines, which ceased soon after I had it removed.
Thank you for sharing. Yes, it was so odd, because my own appreciation for my body and self comes from a long-run of things in my past that questioned it’s beauty. It was so odd to be in this transition of life and have all of that sort of come up again. And I wouldn’t call it an esteem thing as much as it was just a general “discomfort?” idk how to even describe. I think transitions and love bring these out too.
Oh, so one of the major things that kept happening, and I thought it was stress was the frequent migraines!!! So weird.
This hit me where it hurts. H is almost a year and my post partum injuries still wont let me run. Its hard to find time to get my blood pumping and I miss it. I fit into my old clothes but don’t feel right in them, never mind the breast feeding. I notice that when I feel the ugliest my nerve pain flairs and I feel the worst physically. I worked so hard as a much younger person to get comfortable in my skin, normalize my eating and prioritize my health. It’s really hard to feel so out of body again. To not recognize myself in any photo. When I look at you I see someone who is so radiantly beautiful and it amazes me that you, too, feel the blurry discomfort. I applaud your elegant introspection and really appreciate you sharing.
Thank you, T. Yes, i think the oddest thing (as someone who didn’t even regularly work out) was now living with these restrictions on how i could work out. Oak is five! and the injury really did me in and feels like it sort of set the tone of my discomfort. Its a unique thing… the blurriness so it was really good to write about it, because it also feels like its just where I am at right now.
You have a body that is strong, capable, beautiful, sensual, and powerful! Whenever I hear people getting down on their bodies, I always remind them of this true fact – you are a beautiful unicorn! We all are. It’s cheesy, but it’s my little reminder of how individually ours our bodies are – and how they are worth way more than some arbitrary number.
Thank you for your powerful words! I do believe all of this is true and important to say. I wrote something similar in my book. But i think what I’m touching on is just an acknowledgement of both parts. Like the discomfort is there, and I can’t really ignroe it. It isn’t a number on a scale (which now I don’t want to even look at) its just a work around with a body that has it’s own flares and stressors and needs to be left alone. I do feel myself slowly creeping back to the comfort, and maybe that will more fully happen after my birthday and this particular season of life. who knows? going to remember your words, tho! xo
Wow I really loved this – thank you for articulating it! When I got off the pill my body was unreadable and unpredictable for months; blurry is the word I didn’t think to use, but it’s so true. I ended up finding resources about how to track, eat for, and work with my hormones (not that I do all of it as much as I promised, but it did help to know what was going on in there, so much I didn’t know about my own body). Krystal (https://naturalfitfoodie.com/) was a huge source of support and info. Again, thank you for articulating this, and reminding me that my body is doing her thing
I love this! Thank you for pointing me in Krystal’s direction. I will look. I am trying to remember that it does take months for your body to resettle and find it’s way, and for you to map along with it.
Love your kindness toward yourself. Something we are not taught as women is how these methods impact us not only physical but mentally and emotionally. I’m sure many others have stories of the sudden side effects of one bc or another.
FYI, got the copper IUD (which I had to insist on bc doctors find it more convenient to suggest the more temporary hormonal options to women in late 20s) and it took 6 months before bad cramping and heavy periods, but for me totally worth the peace of mind without those hormones.