When I look in the mirror I just see me. I don’t see a bag first. I see me. For better or worse this is the body I’ve got.
I see some genetic input, I see some lifestyle choices (I do love cake and ice cream - preferably at the same time topped off with custard hahahahaha) but on the whole I see me and I’m accepting of it.
I saw Kelly Brook on loose women the other day, she was saying (and rightly so) how proud she was of her body, now Kelly has a great bod, totally all in proportion and with a very pleasing covering of flesh. Now we didn’t all get so lucky to be so perfectly in proportion, I for one certainly didn’t, at times I’ve looked at my body and thought it’s been made up of random different body parts from incredibly different body shapes. A bit like that game you play as children where each person draws part of the body and then folds the paper over for the next person to draw their bit, once unfolded it’s a mishmash of shapes and sizes.
But over time, and especially as I approach 45 in a couple of months I just think how lucky I am. It’s not that I think I suddenly look like Elle Macphearson or anything like it, but my body holds all my organs in place and gets me from A to B. And for that I am truly grateful and just a tad proud. And perhaps it’s taken most of my near 45 years to understand that I don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly happy.
I never see my bag first, it isn’t something I even think of, it’s just part of me, but it doesn’t define me, I have a very busy, blissful and fulfilled life. It’s part of my life but has no sway over it. Can you imagine the amount of people that would swap with me in a heartbeat, there are so many more things that can happen to our poor fragile bodies.
I’m not ashamed or stigmatised by having a bag, I’ve got to ask why on earth would I be? Being diagnosed with cancer and the subsequent treatment for that is hardly something I should feel bad about. Quite the opposite in fact. Gooooo me, I rock! My body survived this.
Admittedly the uncontrollable nature of ostomies is cause for annoyance and at times embarrassment, and indeed at times sadness if it farts at an inopportune time, but it’s still a small price to pay for living and living well.
Bikini from Primark, sunglasses from Jimmy Choo
Positive body image is at times tricky for women and men alike, we are bombarded with “normal” which means if we don’t fit into that bracket it makes us “not normal” which by its definition has a very negative connotation.
Add to that a bag of poo strapped to your belly and you can easily understand why people will feel self conscious and negative about their body. I get it, I really do.
But who wanted to be normal anyway!? It would make life rather dull if we all looked the same.
I didn’t know I’d end up with a bag for life but it’s really not the trauma you’d think. I’d have preferred a Sainsbury’s or Tesco bag for life but we don’t get to write all of our own story, but we do get to write how we allow some chapters to affect how the story continues. (You can rewrite chapters at any time too, I used to be so paralysed by my fear of flying, so much so that we used to go no where, that was cured by my son Sam being diagnosed with cancer and then me, it changed my thought process, in a weird way, those diagnoses gave me freedom).
Pick a part that you really like, there must be something, I for one like my wrists and my ankles, they are very slim and dainty, sadly the mismatched thunder thighs let them down a bit but my ankles are on point! ;)
Focus on something you love or like even then let your appreciation grow from there.
If you’re one of the lucky ones there is life after cancer, and that life should be lived to the fullest, with pride.
I’m on my holidays in Spain right now and I can assure you I do not hide myself away...no matter how much others may want me to hahahahaha.
The weather isn’t bikinis on the beach weather but I have a lovely little sun trap right out side my back door for getting my tan topped up ready for our big holiday. (Safely with a high factor sun cream, no point in jumping out of the frying pan into the fire)
The weather on the beach is hoodies and balaclavas as it happens, but that can’t stop die hard beach lovers like me...I was the only one on there to be honest, make of that what you will. Hahahahaha
The plan was to be as brown as a berry in time for our American road trip, I am more or less wind and sand burnt instead. :)
Be bold, be happy, love the good bits, love the saggy bits and the ‘baggy’ bits alike. Don’t waste time worrying what others think, because more than likely they’re having the same internal battles too.