I have had 15 surgeries, a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in my brain and a condition called Hydrocephalus. Growing up, I really struggled with loving and accepting my body because of the scars those operations left me with. When I first got my scars, I was quite young so they didn’t bother me. That was until I wore a bikini for the first time and my friends noticed my scars. I got so upset I asked my parents for plastic surgery – I was 10 years old.
As I got older, more problems started to arise in changing rooms, during PE lessons and in the dormitories (I went to a boarding school). I remember when I was 15 y/o, I was walking with a friend past a door and she exclaimed, “freak, I’m fat”. Interestingly enough I had always thought this girl was gorgeous and it made me sad that she couldn’t realize that. It was in that moment, I decided I never wanted to be that girl. I didn’t want to be the person who constantly insulted themselves and couldn’t see their own beauty. I decided that I couldn’t change my scars and that I needed to accept them before anyone else was going to. So I made a decision to stop complaining about how I looked.
It was easier to change the things I was saying than what I was thinking so that is how I started. In changing what I was saying, I started noticing the beauty in my body. If you are struggling with appearance understand that your body is a vehicle to allow you to do the things that you want to do in life. Whenever I have been hospitalized, I usually can’t walk for months, and for me that’s where my appreciation for my body was born. Every morning, that I can put my feet on the floor – I am grateful, because for many months and in many instances, even that wasn’t possible.
Be appreciated for what your body allows you to do – and never let your body limit your mind.
Check out Michelles journey here: https://instagram.com/