I've been feeling so amazing lately as I shed fat and build muscle. But just like anyone who's lost the amount of weight I have - more than 160 pounds at this point - I sometimes look in the mirror and feel shame for the damage I've done to my skin. Fortunately, with good nutrition and hydration, and the daily application of lotion, I've been able to minimize the sag that inevitably comes after multiple cycles of weight gain and loss.
I lotion after every time I shower. I think this has been crucial in the progress I've been making with my skin. But when I'm at the gym, and others can see me as i shower and get ready for work in the morning, I've sometimes skipped the important hydration process. It's bad enough when they see my skin as I'm standing still let alone when I'm moving it about as I apply lotion.
Today, though, I stood directly in front of the mirror as I applied the lotion, and I didn't pay any attention to anyone else who may have been looking. And as I applied the lotion, first to my lower belly, then to my underarms and triceps areas, I noticed that I was looking much better than I had the first time I lotioned in public two months ago.
So now I'm feeling good about my skin for once, too. And not because it's 100 percent better. I mean, I still have too many stretch marks to count, and the skin is not taught as it should be. But I feel good. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and am learning to forgive myself for the damage - irreparable or otherwise - that I've done along the way.
These feelings inspired me to write this little poem. It's an affirmation, I suppose. And I'm going to remember this now every time I stand in front of the mirror and be proud of who I am.
Proud of my body
by Brian Schwarz
I'm proud of my body.
I'm proud of the flaws.
I'm proud of the work it's done.
I'm proud of the falls.
I'm proud of the way I'm created.
Proud of the fat I've deflated.
I'm just proud to be human.
Proud to live life as I'm doin'.