Every year, we go to the beach for a summer vacation and the most important things I pack are the books I am going to read. It’s hard for a book to make it onto my beach list, but I knew right away that The Department of Lost and Found by Allison Winn Scotch was going to make the cut last year. It tells the story of a young breast cancer patient as she navigates her diagnosis, treatment, and the what next. I have done a great deal of work around breast cancer in the last ten years and write a good bit about it, too. So the subject was compelling to me. But so was Natalie, the main character, who becomes a Body Warrior in the process of her experience. So, it’s with great joy that I introduce you to Allison Winn Scotch who is in her own right a Body Warrior (hence, how she can write one into being). Check her out below, The Department of Lost and Found on Amazon, and while you are buying The Department, go ahead and peek at (and pre-order, if you want) her new one which has one of the best book covers this year.
What I love about myself: That I pretty much believe that I’m capable of doing anything that my mind sets out to do – failure isn’t an option, and in some ways, I believe this has been a self-fulfilling prophesy.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty: For many years, I wished I were a little thinner, despite having been born with skinny genetics. But as we all know, often times, we can be dissatisfied with even the best of situations, and for whatever reason, I always thought I was at my happiest when I was at my thinnest. So a few pound gain or tighter pants (oh, those horrid seam lines that ingrain themselves into your thighs!) might torpedo even my pretty high confidence in myself. Over the years, however, and especially in my thirties, I’ve really felt like I’ve been achieving my personal best in so many areas of my life that this has carried over to my confidence and acceptance of my physical self as well. It’s hard to begrudge, for example, a little softness around my waist when I know that this same waist expanded so perfectly to accommodate my children.
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: Probably age. I know that this is very Zen-on-a-mountain, but I truly believe that I’m an ever-improving entity, especially as I’ve grown older, even though, to be sure, sometimes I’ve wanted to slow down the ticking of time. But now that I’m out in the world raising children, contributing to society, challenging myself, always learning and bursting with curiosity, I’m able to step outside of my little world and look down and say, “Yup, that’s a pretty good life I have,” and I feel pretty blessed by it.
Beauty is: Courage. Intelligence. Confidence. Bundle these together and you have a formidable woman, one that I strive to be.
Why I am strong: Because I don’t allow roadblocks or adversity or even just having a really crappy day get me down. I fully believe that happiness is a choice, and almost inevitably, I choose happiness. It’s a conscious decision, and it isn’t always easy, but it’s put me on the road to a life that I’m proud of.
Why I am beautiful: Because I am happy. Because my children are crazy for me. Because I trust myself. And because I allow that trust to permeate everything I do.
What women must know: Sometimes, good enough is good enough. A lot of us run around, getting caught up in the rat race of it all, and along the way, we lose perspective that perfectionism isn’t worth it. Our children don’t care if we slave over a hot stove every night – they just want to bask in our love. Our husbands or partners don’t really care if we’ve gained a few pounds – they just want to sit on the couch and enjoy our companionship. Work will survive without your overtime hours; your house won’t fall down if there are dirty socks on the floor or a little grime in the bathtub. Good enough is good enough, and self-satisfaction begins with self-acceptance.