When I began to take blogging seriously, I was blog-hopping one afternoon and came across a badge on the sidebar of a blog that caught my attention. Little did I know that it would become a major stepping stone in finding my niche and growing my blog as well as becoming more active in social media.
The badge that caught my attention was one for the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. How can you not click on that? Soon after I was a part of the Sisterhood and my jeans were shrinking!
One of my favorite things about joining the Sisterhood were the challenges! Some where individual and some were group but the goal of the challenges was to become a healthier person on all levels (this community was a big inspiration behind Sharing Our Spoons).
One of the challenges included taking part in the Exposed Movement. Having the guts to expose my body to the inter webs was a huge step for me. It is much easier to broadcast the flaws we see in our bodies versus affirming the strength and beauty of our bodies. One of the factors in giving me the courage and confidence to participate was knowing that I had a community supporting and encouraging me to become a stronger person and learn to embrace and celebrate my body flaws and all. It was a very freeing and affirming experience.
When I look back at the picture from my Exposed experience, I notice something blatantly missing – my obstruction scar. I have previously shared that my first real memory after having my emergency bowel obstruction surgery was that of the nurse removing the surgical dressing and seeing the incision and staples. Saying that it was a traumatic experience may seem a bit much but it was definitely one of the most difficult moments of my life. I think it made the severity of the situation and the reality of what could have happened had I not went to the emergency room when I did sink in.
This was my sixth surgery and I had had my fair of scars and while this was one huge, I assumed it would heal as nicely as the others and after time passed it would become less and less noticeable. Unfortunately that was not the case and the incision developed into what is called a keloid scar. A footlong incision can make you feel self-conscious to start with but it is even worse feeling like the monster Dr. Frankenstein created.
When summertime and bathing suit season rolled around I knew that it was time to try to regain the confidence I felt like I had lost after my latest surgery. I took a girls’ trip to the beach with Abby, my niece, and my mom and decided it was now or never. After receiving so many lovely and encouraging words on Facebook, I stepped out on the beach wearing the same two-piece I wore from the Exposed challenge:
I did it!
While I can’t say that I am completely over my body issues or that I don’t occasionally worry what people aren’t staring or whispering, I would be lying but I definitely feel like I took a huge step in the right direction. I even bought another two-piece! Little by little I am regaining my confidence and knowing that my scars don’t define me. They are just a part of my journey into becoming the person I am today.