Photo by Exposing 40
This post has been totally inspired by the Wicked Wednesday prompt, Sugar.
*blog update* Marie chose this post as one of Wicked Wednesday’s top three – I am so thrilled as it’s such a personal post and something I’ve hesitated to write about for a long time x x x
I wasn’t expecting this outpouring at this time but I’ve gone with it and please be aware that it’s a personal story and doesn’t have any shagging in it (sorry… though hopefully some of the food descriptions turn you on…)
It touches on eating disorders and self-criticism so watch out if you need to avoid.
Sugar – The Good and The Bad Times
I am a sensual gal. My life feels like one big sensual exploration of what my body reacts to and feels. The way trailing fingertips over the crook of my elbow makes my mouth water. Or how squeezing foil coffee packets in the supermarket to release the aroma has me spiralling off with my eyes closed as I inhale my way to heaven right there as folks carry on shopping as if nothing was happening.
I’m kind of an all or nothing gal when it comes to this. For example, sounds. I need either absolute silence or the music cracked up to 11 while moshing or twirling around until I’m spluttering for breath.
The same is true of food. Food, sensual food. Sugary delights, salty delights, I adore everything about consuming and enjoying the sensation of eating. I love cracking the top off a cherry liqueur between my teeth then wrapping my tongue around the cherry inside, fishing it out while sweet sticky liquor dribbles down my chin. I love simple chips and salt, or bread and butter. I love beef Wellington and complex spice combinations in curries, I basically haven’t found a food I didn’t like.
But this prompt, has triggered some things other than my enjoyment. It has also brought with it my sadness about not loving myself the way I wish I had been able to.
A throwaway comment from an adult when I was enjoying chocolate ice cream as a child made me suddenly realise I wasn’t perfect. In that one moment I went from a carefree kid who enjoyed everything to a self-critical abstaining worried adult.
I saw I was chubby. I felt it too. When I licked a lolly, I felt cells growing turgid with fat and shame.
I hated photos of myself. They confirmed the truth.
Now, can I explain something here, one of the reasons I never feel able to write and show these things is because the guilt of believing that you might think if I’m judging myself and my life so harshly, perhaps I’m judging you. That’s simply not true. You are perfect. Every nuance of your body makes up the whole of beautiful you. I adore people. Inside and out. I adore studying the all-consuming lush gorgeousness of the human form. Just not my own. (This sentence is causing me problems to write.)
So… years of eating disorders and self-loathing later, I discover that looking back on these photos, something magic had happened. They had changed over the years. What I had once viewed as a hideous demon, had turned into a normal girl/woman having fun and smiling.
Oh the time wasted on inner cruel thoughts!
I’m telling you all this because these feelings don’t leave, but I have learned to keep them at bay by being creative.
One of the things that I’m most glad I took the leap and joined was Sinful Sunday. I shared images of myself that I trembled to post, but did it anyway. The community is so supportive and wonderful and full of participants’ sexy, sensual, gorgeous images for me to satisfy my visual craving.
Another hugely epic thing for me was to hand over my tight control of photos of myself to Exposing 40 and her body positive project. We have taken two sets of photos together.
The first set I had been watching what I’d been eating and was pretty bloody stressed out about it all. The header image is one from that day – which I adore for its simplicity and slight sadness.
The second, I’d been indulging in cakes and wine for months without a care, and thought I’d be uncomfortable with the shoot. I was much more relaxed and actually loved the photos more. I can see the changes in my body in a year and instead of being horrified by ‘letting myself go’ as I would have chastised myself before, I see a grown woman enjoying the glory of being alive and celebrating it in the most wonderful way, with friends *and* cake.
Thank you Sinful Sunday community, Exposing 40 and Wicked Wednesday for being a safe and inspiring place for me to explore myself and become a better person.
For more sugar, Click the Circle x x x