21

The water was choppy and colder than I was used to, but on this triple-digit day there was no debate.

“It’s too hot”

“Right!?” He was faced-down on his towel, but the beads of sweat on his back agreed.

“I’m going in.”

I stood up, brushed the sand from my palms and pranced my completely naked, out-of-shape ass in front of everyone on the nude beach and walked.

As my body floated with the current, my belly and me had a moment. I laced my fingertips across my navel and exhaled with determination to get back into stripper shape. Fine – as close to stripper shape as a middle-aged broad can get.

“You just have to get all the way in, then it’s awesome!” I was thirteen again, bragging about how I had the balls to brave the cold (it only took the afternoon to submerge myself completely).

Once I was swimming, my eyes surveyed the people along the shore. It didn’t matter that my body wasn’t perfect. That a crowd of strangers saw my cellulite and buddha belly in motion. I was comfortable in my skin. I wasn’t happy with my body at the moment – but holy fuck – I was happy.

A swell lifted my body – and the water mirrored my breath – sighing with me in the realization of just how far I’ve come.

Christine Macdonald

Skin deep: My interview with KirstyTV and the surgery I had because of it

It’s been a few weeks since watching my interview with Kirsty Spraggon of KirstyTV. I’ve had some time to adjust to the reality of how I look on video (it’s much different from what we see in the mirror – have you noticed?). But here’s my initial reaction:

Me: Holy shit. I’m getting that fat under my chin sucked out immediately.

Kirsty: Don’t be silly, you are beautiful.

Me: Thanks, but I’ve had this extra fat under my chin – even when I was little.

Kirsty: Well, I support you with whatever decision you make, but think you’re beautiful just as you are.

Me: Thanks. But I’m doing it.

It’s silly, I know – with all the surgeries on my skin (I’ve had nine total) to help with the scarring on my face (from Stage IV Acne Vulgaris), to obsess about some excess fat under my chin. But that’s what I saw. And that’s what I had sucked out about a month ago.

I’m very proud of my interview with Kirsty (pronounced “thirsty”) – and not ashamed at all to share what my initial reaction was. But it brings up an interesting point about “beauty.”

As adults (and parents, for some of us), we want to instil the values in ourselves and children that beauty comes from within – that a beautiful heart will shine through, and each one of us is a work of art. But does this mean we can’t (or shouldn’t) do our best to look and feel our most beautiful?

Here’s me, day one after my chin lipo surgery (on my way to work!):

PostOp

And here I am last week getting dolled up for a night out:

After

I’m still a bit swollen, but so happy with my results.

Do I think I’m a Supermodel now? Nope. Did this little procedure change my issues about feeling beautiful? A little. Because I took care of something that has bothered me my entire life. And it feels good.

It’s why we get our hair done, go to the nail salon, hit up the treadmil and (try to) eat healthy. To look good is to feel good – to feel good (not to mention be a good person) is to exude a type of beauty you can’t describe, because it comes from your heart.

Look it – feel it. Feel it – look it. It’s a catch-beauty-two.

Now that the superficial and shallow stuff is out of the way – let’s get to the interview.

It was an emotional day, and still hard for me to wrap my head around my story, but I’m so grateful to Kirsty for giving me a *voice.

Still want to see it? I was hoping you would.

~

*If you or anyone you know has been effected by abuse, please reach out to RAINN (1-800-656-HOPE).

If you want to reach out to me – you can do that too. You are never alone.

Christine Macdonald

It gets better

Any time we’re faced with adversity, it’s a universal reminder just how fragile we really are. We can only take so much, until weighty challenges suffocate our spirit, and suddenly, we’re gasping for air. Happiness seems like a dream. Maybe even impossible for children who are bullied.
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The up-side, as I mentioned in a recent post, is that with every storm, the sunshine does break through. Eventually. But how do you even begin to see the light, when so much of your life is dim? Where does that type of blind faith come from? Knowing you’re not alone, is a start.
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Believing you’ll get through the hard times in life is so dependent on hearing stories of others; knowing the history of people who not only walked in your shoes, but can share stories of how they drugged knee-deep in the mud.
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Thanks to organizations like The Born This Way Foundation and the It Gets Better Project, countless people are feeling less alone.
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As an adult who spent her childhood being [verbally] abused at home and in school I know all too well, that feeling of wanting to end it all. Ending the pain of simply existing, and fear of never knowing a world where you’d feel normal. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, obese, tall, short or in my case, have a skin disease on your face – if you’re different, its all-consuming.
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But the darkness passed.
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I’m here now to share my story about how I weathered the storm, found my self-worth, and learned the real meaning of Beauty. Today’s radio interview was another step in the right direction in my self-evolving journey, and I knew I’d have a blast catching up with Sophie.
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What I didn’t know was that she’d receive an email from my childhood friend who knew me when:

I met Christine when we were in 5th grade. I was in a new school, a new neighborhood and she was my first new friend. She was nice, and just like any other girl our age in the late 1970’s.

We started high school in 1982. Christine was still just like any of us except that she had acne, really bad! People stared to call her all kinds of names, and I’m not talking behind her back! (although there were all kinds of rumors about her going around) Guys would yell from the 2nd floor over the railing”HEY PIZZA FACE! “or moon face, crater face, etc. They would yell things like this and much worse, as loud as they could at her…then people would start laughing. Or if they would be walking behind her or passing by her, people would make a comment about her or just say something mean. At first I didn’t really think about it but after a while noticed this would happen pretty much all day, everyday! Her sister didn’t seem to care about what some of her friends were doing to her little sister. Kinda looked to me like she was really mean to Christine too.

In the beginning I would see her just trying to get through the day and go to class, but after a while I didn’t see her much and figured it all got to her so she started cutting school.

It wasn’t until Facebook and re-connecting w/ my childhood friend, that I heard what had become of her after high school. I would have never imagined that would become a drug user and definitely not a stripper (of all things). Continuing to have hard times of a different degree in her 20’s.

Now when I see or hear the name Christine MacDonald I see STRENGTH and in my mind I kinda feel like a kid in school saying…”nah, nah, nah, nah! you guys didn’t beat her or keep her down! ”

TO CHRISTINE I SAY….

You must be so full of pride! ur doing what thousands only dream of, turning all the shit from the past into a positive ‘here & now & into the future! WAY TO GO!! the ‘buzz’ about Christine doesn’t have anything to do w/ rumors or drugs anymore but the strength and talent of a beautiful lady!! ♥ it!

I couldn’t stop reading it.
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She was there, she noticed, it was real.
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As I fought back tears of gratitude, I took a moment to celebrate how far I’ve come – and immediately knew I’d share this story.
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This post is a love letter to my childhood friend, and to anyone struggling, suffering, or gasping for air.
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Please know it gets better. We’ve got your back, and can’t wait for you to share your story for the next generation who needs you.

Christine Macdonald