family · My Thoughts · poetry

How I View Myself: Another Poem

Woman looking at herself in a mirror -  view myself

How I view myself has always been shaky. Our society deems a beautiful woman to be slender. I really mean skinny! And I have never been skinny. In fact, as a middle school student, one friend called me “Fat Girl” as a nickname! So, you can imagine I was a little chunky then.

Another factor that has affected my view of myself my whole life—all the woman on my mom’s side of the family had weight issues. And as a young woman, I vowed I would never look that way.

Sadly, during one part of my life, I experience anorexic—I had to cut up food into bite-size pieces to get them into my mouth. What a horrible reaction to what had happened in my life! I’m glad to say that ended with professional help.

So, in July 2011, Lin and I spent a month with another couple in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a beautiful resort town with hot springs. Taking a chance, I bought a two-piece bathing suit for the first time in years. At the same time, I read the book, Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth.

So, this poem was the result. Enjoy!

Belly with a flower in belt - view oneself

Love My Belly—Are You Crazy?

The book titled, Women, Food, and God, told me

            “Love your belly!”

So, I did!

            I thought!

            Off-and-on for a few months


But what does that really mean?

            I pondered that thought often

In passing a mirror,

            it still bothered me!

I’m 58.  I’m short!  I’m 5′ 3″.

When I gain 2 pounds,

            it shows up first on my belly!

All of my life,

            I struggle; I diet.

            I lose; I gain.

And the solution is

            to love my belly?

Walking through Walmart

            before the 4th of July,

I saw a two-piece bathing suit.

            Red, white and blue

            stripes and stars!

            Outlandish for a 58-year-old!

I remembered

            a cute young gal,

                        slim and trim

                        at Cuchara, Colorado

                                    last 4th of July

            donned in cut-offs and that bathing suit top!

Could I do it?

            Could I wear it?

            Dare I at 58?

I looked back in time

            trying to remember —

                        squeezing the facts out of the past.

When was my last, I wore a

            Two-piece suit?

Ten years ago, and

            husband #2?

Twenty years ago, and

            husband #1?

Guatemala with Lynn,

            my long-time traveling buddy?

Probably twenty years ago!


            I bought it!

It sat in the Walmart bag

            for a couple of weeks.

No time to wear it!

            cautious, timid, but willing!

Then, on another Walmart excursion, I found

            matching red, white and blue trunks for Lin.

I bought them and


            my Independence Day was coming!

I gave him his gift

            on my arrival

            to Pagosa Springs, Colorado.


                        before I unpacked,

                        before I chickened out.

I showed him mine —

            a matching set


His response was positive!

            but I still wasn’t sure!

In a couple of days,

            we were off to the spa.

He put his on

            which surprised me.

I couldn’t back out now!

I put mine on —


I looked fine!

            I looked OK!

            I felt great!

That two-piece suit

            somehow encouraged me

                        to do

            what I had struggled for months

                        to do.

We’re on vacation;

            I’ve gained a few pounds

I know that—

            I will lose them when I get home!

That’s what makes this

Two-piece bathing suit experience

            that much sweeter!

I’m not at my ideal weight.

I love my belly

            exactly as it is today!

Looking at myself naked,

            in the mirror in the spa dressing room,

I thought,

            “I’m not skinny!

            I’m not fat!

            I love my belly!”

Here I am at 58.

            I have realized a deep core lie!

                        I have uncovered a massive


            All these twenty years,

                        I have looked in the mirror



                        too fat, too big,

                                    too old!

And I believed it!

            I believed the lie

                        I had told myself!

That makes me wonder —

            what other lies


                                    have I told myself and believed?

I’m not sure,

            but I’m going hunting

                        to the depth of my soul,

                                    to the mesa rim

                                                of my heart,

                        to the mountain top

                                                of my spirit.

Remembering my red, white and blue two-piece bathing suit,

            I will unearth the truth

                        about me!

It truly is Independence Day!

            I love my belly!


Maybe age helped in how I viewed myself! I had realized no one watched me like I thought in my younger days. How I view myself had changed. I no longer worried about what you thought of me. I enjoyed my truly unique personality! What a celebration this day was! Yes, I loved my belly!

Have you had self-image issues—how you view yourself? If so, how did you handle them? If not, do you know someone who does?

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: