What is my name? Oh right, Kim.
Recently, a few people in my life have taken to calling me “Kimberly”. At first I was quite annoyed by it because it is a name I always associated with being in trouble. I noticed though that the more I resisted it, the more they called me it. So I decided to switch gears and at least pretend I liked it. You know, a little reverse psychology. It didn’t work. Now more people are calling me Kimberly.
Recently, I had some photos taken of myself. I wanted some specific pictures taken because about a year ago, I had come across this blog post about an exposed movement, where men and women were loving their bodies as they were, imperfections and all and simply being proud of them, for what they were and for what those bodies have done for them.
As I looked through them after getting them back I came across this photo.
As I looked at this photo, I thought “Wow…my eyes are really green.” I looked and I thought of all the things I have seen with these eyes and all the feelings that get expressed through them. I have seen and experienced pain and sorrow, joy and anger. Sadness and heartache. Yet, a sparkle of joy seems to remain. I thought, those eyes are pretty enough to belong to a “Kimberly”.
Where did that come from? I stopped and thought about it and I began to realize that part of the reason I don’t like being called Kimberly stems from not feeling like I fit a name as pretty as that. Sure, I usually am only called Kimberly when in trouble, but is that because that is the way it was or is it because I always stopped people from calling me by that name? Hmmm….
I continued looking through some of the pictures and I continued to think…Yes, Kimberly fits THIS girl!
I knew I had taken some photos that, for me, were quite risky. But the more I looked at them and the more I thought about this past year I realized some more things. My body does not define me. While I am still fat, Fat does not define me. It is not who I am. Instead I am a strong woman who perseveres and keeps going even when it seems the odds are stacked against her. I do things that most 300 lb women cannot do because I refuse to let my weight dictate any longer what I can or cannot do. Call me stubborn if you will, but some might say I am tenacious.
I have thought about this particular post a lot over the past few months as I gathered the courage to ask someone to take them and now as I am writing it out. I have several drafts of this thing going coming at it from all different angles as I try to find the right words to put to the pictures. So this is my post of pictures. Pictures that do not define me, but they certainly do expose me to a different level of vulnerability. It is one thing to post pictures like those above and declare, Yes, that girl is beautiful. But the ones to come are much harder to label as such without adding in a “but” or an “if only” at the end or beginning.
So the following are some pictures that came out of this photo shoot along with what it is I love about my body at this point in my journey. It is not perfect, but my body has done some pretty amazing things and should be honored and celebrated for it.
These feet have carried all of my weight over the years. They have walked hundreds and hundreds of miles in my lifetime and in recent history have run a half marathon. It seems that they have traveled far to get me here and are very fitting as a symbol of this journey of mine.
In this one I see the faint beginnings of a clavicle sticking out. A collarbone. I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with them. I notice them on other women and I cannot WAIT for mine to stick out. This also is of my shoulders, which have carried a lot of burdens over the years. Since discovering my feelings, I have begun to notice that I also carry stress here in my neck and shoulders. Something I continue to learn on this journey, is I am not alone. I am not meant to be alone or to have to carry everything by myself. It is as simple as peeping out the words “Help” and suddenly, the tightness is gone and I can breathe easier.
These arms are strong and getting stronger every day. The wrap themselves around my nieces and nephews and others I love, offering love and comfort and support all the time. And that smile, just looks mischievous to me. I am not sure what I was doing when this picture was taken, but the look on my face says I am up to no good!
These calves are uber strong. They are solid muscle. They should be. They carry a lot of weight. They run, they bike, they swim! And those ankles…promises of what is to come, because they are actually quite tiny!
This is a harder one to write about. I like to think that this body was meant to carry babies and to nurse them, the arms meant to carry those same babies until they grow so big and they scramble out of my arms and won’t let me carry them anymore. But I also know, that right now, as it is, is not the time for that to be happening…so it is more one of hope. That time will come…when my body will know what it feels like to have a life being created and put together inside of it.
In case you are not sure what I am pointing at…I am NOT pointing out the freckle, although one might argue that it IS rather cute. However, I am drawing attention to the single muscle I have developing in that very spot!
Here I am. The most exposed I am going to get. No, you will not find any bra and panty shots here. Seriously. Has nothing to do with shame a this point and everything to do with my own modesty. I have too many male friends who read my blog who not only would likely be uncomfortable seeing my half-naked but not to mention I would have to look them in the eye at some point. This picture I see my thighs most. Again, I see strength. IN fact that is the overall theme of these pictures beauty and strength.
And then there is me. Having fun. Despite the imperfections, I am not letting it stop me from living life. At least not most of the time. I could point out all sorts of things I DON”T like here, but that is not the point of this post. It is to take a moment and notice what I love…and that is the fun I am having and the fierce determination in my face. That is how I choose to engage this journey every day, with fierce determination…
and as a woman,
Beautiful enough to be called Kimberly…
(not sure I will simply transition to introducing myself as Kimberly, but I probably won’t give you a sideways glare if you call me that instead of Kim.)