Welcome: Why Did I Start This Blog?

                                                                                              Little Me, circa 1987

                                                                                              Little Me, circa 1987

My personal journey with my body has been a story riddled with love/hate. As a little girl, I remember feeling intense anxiety every year in grade school when we would get weighed, knowing I would be one of the heaviest kids in my class. I remember comparing my body to the women in magazines (who looked nothing like me), and criticized my young self for not mirroring the same standard.

After being diagnosed with Fairbanks disease young, a rare genetic disorder that causes bone deformities, my insecurities only got worse.

After each corrective surgery, my self-esteem and relationship with body became more intricate. Underneath my smile and childlike rambunctiousness, I internalized being different from the other kids in my class and the stares I'd get because of a pronounced limp. I remember bouts of frustration and embarrassment sitting on the sidelines, unable to do activities with the other kids, like run or walk long distances. 

As I blossomed into my own womanhood, my body changed. I became obsessed with my weight, going so far to check my weight hourly and struggle through eating disorders throughout high school and college. 

Fast forward to now. My relationship with body is completely different. I am kind to my body--appreciative of all it has withstood over the years. I am in awe of how it heals itself. 

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain." * * * #LongPost Alert: So I had the opportunity to be a part of Shonda Rhimes' @Dove #RealBeauty campaign, where I share how my chronic illness shapes my perception of beauty. My health is not something I'd typically talk about, mostly because there were traumatic memories attached (some shame if I can be honest) and it's just something that I never wanted to define me. Peep the past tense. * * When I was young I was diagnosed with Fairbanks Disease, a super rare genetic disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 newborns (I picked the lucky number lol). I've been through a lot, and I have the scars to prove it. People are always astonished when I do open up about my health, which is strange to me because I just live my life. I have my good days and bad days (like the last few) and there is not a day that goes by that I am not in pain. But here I am. I'm still here--bouncing around the most densely populated city in the country by foot no less lol. In talking to @Dove, I really realized the power in sharing my experience, and how empowering it has become. There is a power in sharing the pain I've overcome, and the same is true for you. We all have a something - a story- that can help other people while liberating ourselves. Visit the 🔗 in the bio to see me and the stories of other women (re)defining beauty their way. 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

Me sharing my story, taking part in Dove's #RealBeauty Campaign, 2017

 

Even at my heaviest, I love my curves and am gentle and patient with my body in a way I have never been before now. So even though I am not quite the same young girl, I still owe her. I owe her an apology. I owe her a new way of defining beauty and I am taking this opportunity to highlight other women who have struggled with loving themselves--and won. 

This blog is for the little girl I once was, and this blog is for you.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. 

With Love,

Lenora