One day you were admiring how your new bathing suit or skinny jeans fit and the next thing you know, cellulite and flab are taking over. How did that happen? Maybe cancer treatment?
First you start being lazy as you go through surgeries and can't get as much exercise as you did before as your incisions heal. Next you start chemo and enjoy the side effects of steroids and chemo drugs. Then, whammo, you look different, bloated, round face, and bald.
That was me. Some where a long there I stopped looking at myself in the mirror to prevent seeing further changes. That has worked for several years.
Then yesterday other people blogged about health and self image - Nancy at Nancy's Point and Lisa at Damsel in a Dress. Nancy's blog is about exercises to bolster your self image - start by kicking everyone out of the house, locking yourself in a room, and looking at your naked body in the mirror for 30 seconds, repeat daily so you can adapt to the way you look now and not your imagined perfect size 6. I am not ready for that step. I'll start thinking about it tomorrow. I think its something I do need to work on.
Lisa reflects on the issue of steroids causing weight gain which causes many other issues. And its not shallow or vain to stress about that. She has RA and is in her 20s and coping as best she can.
So the question becomes for me does being sick kill off my self-image? In my case yes. I think. Or maybe I need to refine it that to say the medications killed off my self image. First steroids gave me a moon face. Then a couple of medications caused an extra ten pounds here and there. A few more surgeries too. Then the aches and pains and fatigue set in so that I don't participate in as many activities as before. So I sit around on my butt more of the time.
And somewhere along that time frame I went from a size 8 to a size 12 (or so) and I never look at myself in the mirror or in pictures. I have not yet adapted. I promise I will work on this and maybe even someday take a peek at myself in the mirror.
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