I. Love. My. Thighs.
This Jesus Love of my thighs hasn’t come fast and easy. It took until my early thirties to learn to appreciate my second set of ladies. You see, I own the body type called Cabbage Patch Doll Grown Up. So add boobs and hips to the doll’s thick body of rolls. Growing up, my upper legs were something to be made fun of in general conversation. “Here comes Thunder Thighs!”
But now? Now I wear my Thunder Thighs like the pearls of an accessory they are. These ladies have done it all. They’ve walked me four miles a day as I slimmed down to a weight I felt healthier at. They’ve walked and rocked babies in the middle of the night. And morning. And afternoon. They’ve held a laptop up as I’ve written books, and balanced paint and pencils as I’ve created. And my favorite? These girls can make sure a cup holds still while I drive. (I just realized that I’ve yet to tell my kids about the good old days when there weren’t fifty million cup holders in a vehicle!)
The very first day that I realized that my embarrassed dislike of my legs had slowly worn down into love was the day I looked down at them several months into an exercise routine. They were glorious. I was proud. They were strong and muscular and still a bit lumpy and round all at once. They were far from perfect. They were nothing you would find in a magazine. They were MINE.
I’m taking a bit of a break from exercising right now, and so I’ve had time this last week to talk to my thunderous thighs. “How’s it going, gals? Gee, it’s been hot this summer. Sorry I didn’t wear shorts more. I know they are around here somewhere in a box…” Small talk aside, I lean forward and whisper. “You are magnificent. You are wonderous. You are lovely. You are strong.”
My thighs, unlike the myriad of characters running around in my head, don’t talk back to me. Boo on them. But they have inspired me. Can the Jesus Love I have for my thighs be applied to my other parts? Can I, someday, have that kind of love for my upper arms?
Jesus Love is hard. It sees the beauty in the ugly. It loves the imperfect. It loves the parts you don’t talk about in stick up the rear society. It even loves the stick up the rear people. So, yeah, there should be Jesus Love for rumbly arms and tumbly tummies and bodacious boobs and butts.
I’m on a mission. My kids are getting older. We’re starting to wade into the preteen waters, and I want them to know that they are gorgeous. I don’t mean gorgeous as in magazine perfect, and I don’t want them to think they have to be that. I want them to love themselves for their scars and their imperfections and the truth of what they look like.
So I’m doing two things. I’m adoring them for whoever they are and I’m adoring myself for who I am.
I will not pass on unhealthy parameters. It’s okay for them to look in the mirror and love themselves. It’s okay for them to love the looks of people who don’t fit into the box society places on people. It’s even okay for them to love the looks of the people who insist upon fitting in the box.
So, yeah, I’m going to learn to have body confidence. I’m going to wear a swimsuit and shorts and I’m going to enjoy life with whatever stage my body is in. Will I continue to slim down? Yeah, I want that right now, and I will not be ashamed of trying something. And like the crazy scientist/artist I am, I’m going to teach my children that their body isn’t something to hide or be ashamed of.
My thighs are art. My thighs are science. My thighs are wonderous and thunderous!