My mom put my flower garden in nearly a year ago while I was recovering from my weight loss surgery.
I love my flower garden. Like my mom, I find gardening to be a form of self-care. I treasure being able to see the colors bloom. I love coming home at the end of the day (or just exiting my front door) and seeing the beauty there. It is even better because I know that I (and my mom) had a hand in producing it.
My garden is a mix of different flowers. The shapes and textures are quite varied. There’s not a whole lot of symmetry. I love different types of sedum. I have flowers-to-come that look really alien. I want extreme colors. I also have kinetic sculptures and rainbow pinwheels and lights that change color throughout the night.
A lot of my gardening has been trial and error, much like my post-weight-loss-surgery. I’ve lost about a hundred pounds. I’m by no means a perfect patient. I eat too fast sometimes. I eat too much sometimes (just “one more bite” is often too many). I eat crap. I don’t always get in enough protein. Some days I don’t get in enough food at all. I don’t eat enough fruit and veg.
With my garden, I’ve had plenty of flowers die. I realized a few months into my flower gardening that many of my containers lacked drainage holes, causing root rot and the demise of flowers. I’m trying bulbs this year for the first time. So far, things look promising.
In my weight loss journey, I’ve had to thin out my wardrobe. I’m down about 10 dress sizes, give or take depending on the clothing brand. Some of the larger dresses still fit okay, leading me to wonder how I looked and fit into them before. I vary between wanting clothing loose and wanting clothing tighter. Clothing shopping is both more difficult and easier. Easier in that I can try on clothes at Old Navy. Difficult in that I don’t know how long I will wear the size I purchase.
I thinned out my garden today, moving plants – mainly tall stonecrop – around. The stonecrop has been moved to around a bush on the side of my house. I’m not sure if it will survive there. Moving it was easy and difficult. Easy because it freed up space; difficult in that I don’t know if it will last there.
My feelings about my body are complicated. I’ve felt for a long time that my body resembles that of Venus of Willendorf:
And to a large (no pun intended) extent, that’s still how I see my body. My breasts are smaller; they have never been perky. My tummy is round, but somewhat deflated. I think wearing tight-ish jeans for so many years moulded my body so that a dark line extends across tummy, over my belly button, creating two distinct mounds, like a permanent muffin top. Because of this, I rarely see women who look like me in porn or other erotic images.
I don’t know what my goal weight is. I don’t know what sort of plastic surgery, if any, I want. I’m reluctant to do plastic surgery, simply because I know that in the place of excess skin will be a dark, perhaps keloid scar. My therapist is helping me deal with this.
I’m still reeling from Mitt’s disclosure. Gardening has been my form of self-care, especially because I cannot take refuge in food to soothe my hurt feelings. I had worked up a certain amount of self-confidence about my attractiveness and, in my moment of self-doubt, sought confirmation of my attractiveness… only to have those doubts confirmed. I had always said that men don’t care what a woman looks like, they are just glad to have a naked woman in front of them who wants to do things with them. I thought this was more to persuade women to not be self-conscious and to not hide under covers or keep lights off. I did not fully realize that I was also, in essence, resigning women to just being cum dumpsters.
I still cry every now and then. Not because I wanted to be with Mitt or saw a future with him. He and I are far too different despite being the same for many things. But because it just hurt so, so badly.
I need to keep moving forward. My flowers will soon take off and blossom and grow. I really want my garden to “boom,” as my mom says. I need to “boom,” too.