Positive Body Image – My Body, My Story

In 2008, I was diagnosed with Lupus. Then Jan 1, 2009, I was admitted to PGH and later on diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. In layman’s terms, it means spinal inflammation. It means I could not move everything waist down. I had to have a catheter in my urethra so I can pee. I have to do all my bodily function on a bed. I had to learn to walk again.

This picture was taken on Dec 27, 2010. This is almost two years after I got paralysed. By this time, I can go up and down our staircase, I can also go out, but I had to have a caregiver with me all the time. At the time, I was 81kgs and 5’4″.


This is me NOW at 63kgs, moving towards the goal of 56kgs or 125lbs. positive body image



Positive Body Image – What does that mean to me?

I think being at peace about what your body is and what it isn’t is the first step. It took me time and a deeper understanding of my value to come into terms with my body.

Going from 81kgs down to 63kgs does NOT look pretty especially because I was taking 80mg of steroids (Prednisone) during my biggest.  Steroids give you stretch marks. And those who are closest to me who’ve seen me as a paraplegic on my bed, and have seen my enormous bedsore, know how I really look like without clothes. Now I’m showing it to you. ENORMOUS, yes?

stretch marks

This is my body. It isn’t perfect. I did not do this to myself. It was the meds. I will never be that person who wears a bikini with confidence, I can never entice a guy with flawless skin.

But that’s okay. This is me and I happen to like me–stretch marks and scars included.

Positive body image is me being able to show the world how imperfect I am and yet be confidently beautiful [with a heart] inside and out (so yes, Ms. Universe, Pia got it right).

I was never obsessed with being stick thin. But I always felt that the person I am inside is one that is fit, healthy and energetic, and I want to be able to show that on the outside too. That for me is positive body image. It is having a very realistic perception of my imperfections and accepting it. And that the “positive image”  should not stop at acceptance. It is envisioning a better image for myself and pursuing it.

I hope this post will inspire you to love yourself more despite your imperfections.


Author: Joandrea

Hallo! I'm Joan! I write to tell stories that inspire.

3 thoughts

    1. We’re in this together. 🙂 Hey, what really worked for me is weeding out processed food (I’m going to do a blog post on that when I reach my one month milestone without meds). Please look for the book Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman. Doctors tell us that lupus is an uncurable disease and for a while I believed that. Until I made a huge shift to the belief that God made us a body that can heal. Please try to shift to a clean diet. And see how that works for you. Stay strong. -Joan

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