I am trying to take a kinder look at myself. Today’s focus is my belly button. I know there are all kinds of names for this little thing we all have, but navel sounds too official. I like the belly button! I haven’t seen my belly button in a while. It has always been (for as long as I can remember) folded under some belly fat (pouch) that I honestly blame on icing and soda since my baby is 24 years old.
I read so much about self-love and self-acceptance. I struggle in both of those areas. I look at others that have confidence in their bodies and sexuality and I am jealous of it. I have never considered myself judgy of others. I love that people express themselves and have that kind of confidence. Where I do judge is the fact that I can’t do that myself. Recently I was told that there were some cysts wrapped up in all that extra skin, only made noticeable by a recent weight loss (stress, not effort but hey, “whatever works”). I was given a choice. I could just have the cysts removed, made necessary because they were rubbing the skin and causing sores and would eventually cause additional health issues. Or, I could have abdominoplasty and get the skin removed which would cure the initial medical issue.
I thought about this a lot. It was, believe it or not, a difficult decision for me. Most folks, I would assume, would be happy if someone in the medical field was suggesting a tummy tuck. But for me, it was a glaring acceptance of my non-acceptance I have of my body. My belly button was never something I paid attention to. My daughter and I got our belly buttons pierced together years ago so it was cool for about a year. No one saw the piercings because I was ashamed of my stomach.
So, faced with this decision and knowing most people would have no issues at all I struggled for about a month before deciding to get it done. On December 26 I went into surgery knowing my Mom wasn’t pleased (more worried than anything else). My daughter was all for it and she understood all the reasons I struggled but she knew I would feel better after I did it. The recovery has been a bitch. Both physically and emotionally but more on that later.
This picture is my new belly button. I like it. The surgeon told me that basically all “navels” are basically a scar. So this is my newest scar and I think it came out quite nicely. I also kind of like that the old scar from a previous procedure is still visible. It is a timeline of sorts. I am learning to love my new belly button and my new stomach. Embrace that the medical issue is resolved with no further impact on my health. I am trying really hard to let go of the guilt I feel for not losing the stomach the hard way with healthy eating and hard workouts.
I have come a long way in accepting my body and how it looks on the outside. It has taken a long time but I am getting there with still a long road ahead. I applaud those that have been able to do this and for some, have struggled as I am struggling now.