Body Image Steals My Memories

Skin steaming with sweat, we pulled off our clothes and slipped in to the water.
Adrenaline at the spontaneity crashing through my bloodstream
And shoulders glowing with the warmth of the afternoon sun.
I was stunned by your beauty and stunned by your bravery - strong Germanic and Islander blood showing its influence. 

In that snapshot of time I was afraid only of the biting cold
And of being pulled in and hitting my knee on the rocks.
You laughed like it was nothing and feinted towards me
So I leapt in instead. 
I reveled in being able to breath in the laughter and sharpness of the water.
Iced nipples, and numb feet, and high pitched voices.

We wondered if we had scared the seals, trying to spot their round heads bobbing out towards Rasay.
Then spluttered at the sound of the boat and at the binoculars out to sea.
I threw up my hands at the mountain behind us, an expression of freedom

And then I saw the photos. Two single images of that vast, full moment.
And now I also am afraid of being fat that day.
I am afraid of the press of my upper arm against my side,
Of the fat where my wet briefs clung to my hip, 
Of the bulge under my chin exacerbated by the giggles and my tied up hair.
I am afraid that my friends saw fat, not the glory I saw in them. 

Most of all I am afraid that now when I think of that day in Skye, this is what I think of. 
I am afraid that my body image continues to steal my memories.

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 27/10/16


  1. Fiona, this is such a powerful post - your words made me cry! What kind of age are we living in where the most beautiful memories can be ruined by warped beliefs of what we should look like. Well done for sharing this emotional piece x

  2. Wow, wonderful post. How potent and relatable to so many of us...too many ruined memories by the evil of body image.

  3. We've all been there. Next time take a video - when you see your joy and your body in motion, you don't focus on the double chin frozen in a frame... I often take videos at Crossfit, instead of photos, when I'm in motion I remember how strong I am. When I just take snapshots of heavy lifts, I look like a rhino ;)

  4. Ignore the photos and remember the images and feelings in your head. Don't let it taint your memory. You had an amazing time, that's all that matters. Photos don't show the reality.