O.M.GOODNESS! YOU GUYS! I got my Can Cans last night. I am SO DELIGHTED! Yes, there are stronger words to describe degrees of happiness but All In Caps DELIGHT is what I have! Christian, Thank You! I would have lost my mind ordering without you. I would like to share part of my story if that's alright. I have struggled with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since about the time my 16 year old daughter was born (a full description of the affliction can be found at adaa.org). Briefly, it is when a person is so dissatisfied with their appearance, or parts of it, that it hinders daily activities, physical and psychological well being. Mine is not as severe as many, but enough so that a seemingly perfectly good day out that begins with getting dressed can become fraught with despair, depression, even anger.
My biggest target trigger: My Butt, or lack thereof these days. Do understand, I was blessed with an enviable body type in early teens but did not realize it until my 20's, as is pretty normal. Then I Saw it: my pretty little "upside down heart" bumm. I saw it, flaunted it and flagged it with The tightest of size 7 Levi's (back when sizes ran truer - not like now, when remedial fashion literally stretches the truth, tagging garments with 32 inch waist and 42 inch hip with size 9, and 7). I am almost 49. I birthed 2 great children, 13.5 years apart and...subsequently lost my a**. And I will tell you I literally Mourned the loss. There were no longer pants any place on the planet that would flatter, and there were no more compliments but only Comments, Truly: "You have no butt", "You need to eat", "You're too tiny". Mostly from women, and mostly women bigger than me, but the fact that I am 5'8" and 125 lbs, unpregnant, has always elicited those type comments. They are, at least I know Used to be, meant as a "compliment" in many minds. It irritated me when I was younger. Now it just hurts.
There are many Many things I do not like about my body which at this age, pretty normal. But, as I call it, the Sponge Bob Square BUTT is an extreme source of loathing as Body Dysmorphia definition describes. (Sorry - "brief story" went out the window hundreds of words ago, thanks if you're still reading). As age takes the tole on the body from the inside out, activities can become limited. I broke my leg in 2 places 5 months ago. A devastating blow to an avid dance work-out fanatic, it was my everything answer to cardio, stretching, toning, and getting frustration of the world OUT of me, at least 10 hours a week. As I said, Devastating. I am Truly grateful that I have use of the leg and now need only a cane and one very comfortable, very expensive pair of men's athletic shoes. Bye bye boots, sandals, shorts, skirts, dresses. But that is ok, it really is. And the physical pain that made me cry a lot more than I do now, is bearable. But, the Butt. My Butt. What an additional smack in the head with the now not so toned muscles underneath my now bagging sagging jeans that I've invested a lot of money in over the past few years, just to feel sort of "comfortable in my own skin" out in public. I enjoy my collection of various styles and colors of jackets. Not so much tied around my waist, as they've become a part of the "get up".
Until Last. Night. I do not know how long I sat and stared at the unopened package. Thoughts - no, Assurances that "This is going to suck So Badly if - no, When it does not work". I found some scissors and some courage and carefully unwrapped the items: Can Cans, pads that came with, and the sets of extra thick pads and silicone pads Christian and I carefully selected. I tried one set, put my jeans back on, looked in the mirror, and was not displeased. I added another set, went and got my favorite jeans from forever that I rarely wear now, put all on, got the full length mirror from out of Hiding - truly! And wept, and then laughed, and turned and walked and turned, and went next door to show my mother -my best friend- who said "Oh my goodness! You can really pull that off! It looks great! YOU look great!". She, even in her goodnight text, said to me, "I Love that you did that!". I think only a Best-Friend-Mama could truly understand the pain of zero self esteem days... which will now be fewer, lighter and Better. Thanks to you guys! And of course a special Thank You to Karen Jones. Bless you each. Sheli Kelly