Body Confidence and Beach Days
Summer is here and so is Love Island. I have to admit I don’t really watch it but have seen a fair amount of it over social media and in my news feed and most of them are near damn faultless with bodies to die for and when did they last eat a doughnut or a burger?
Us as ostomates when looking at near perfect bodies can find fault in how we look and then there’s that bag. Does this make us any less attractive? Does this make us any less worthy of being able to flash the flesh? Or flash the bag?
Body confidence is such a fickle thing, considering myself more or less normal with an added bonus of a ileostomy that has a bag attached to catch the waste – does this make me less able to flash my midriff or does this give me a purpose of educating and highlighting what so many of us hide underneath clothes? Clothing on can hide a multitude of sins and also hides the ostomy. Are we right to be afraid and less likely to show the bag or is it a case of flaunting what we have to and to hell with the general consensus of you can only show the perfect body? We all have those small imperfections. Mine is a mass of stretch marks and some rather epic scarring. Pre ambassador and advocating stoma life, I was always reluctant to bare it all and always considered myself not worth being stared at due to my scars. Most of my body confidence has now come from the fact I have hit a happy place with my weight and with my body shape.
Body Image after surgery
After my surgery in 2016 body image was the last thing on mind following the surgery, I had to contend with surgery recovery and resuming life as normal. I went on holiday the August following and braved wearing a two piece but also spent a fair amount of time covering my bag with a sarong or a pair of shorts and I chickened out of swimming on a dolphin cruise due to not carrying a spare set of supplies with me. Following my barbie butt surgery it has been all systems go. I have been on a diet for the last 2 years losing the medication induced weight and am finally back in my happy comfortable place and having the odd cheat day.
For me my ostomy doesn’t bother me, it’s the stretch marks and lack of stomach muscles. I have mesh holding in my innards so regardless of how fit and healthy I am, my stomach is still slightly rounded and rather solid thanks to scar tissue.
Body image is unique to each of us. We all have our own neurosis. There is no right or wrong way with stoma life. You can flaunt it and show off your life saving, life improving device or you can keep covered. It is down to how you want to live life and how you feel about your stoma.
My favourite place in all the world is Botany bay; it is a lovely secluded beach and it doesn’t matter how many people are there, I feel completely comfortable and brave enough to sit there with my bag out and no one stares – well if they do I don’t notice.
The only thing I have to contend with is the sand. Sand gets into the most inconvenient of places and likes to get into the petals of my stoma bag.
What is your favourite place?
Where do you like to go? What do you like to do? Please let me know.
Many thanks for reading
Louise uses our Platinum Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. To try a sample, click here