It was a silly little thing. No forethought, no premeditation, no idea of the consequences; just a kiss.

We all have that thing, or possibly a short list, about ourselves that we so strongly dislike. At the tippy top of my list is my lower stomach. I call it the pooch because I make fun of anything I can’t maturely deal with, i.e. most things. Of all the things I’ve learned to love about myself, this has never been one of them.

It’s made me feel like my body was ugly because it has always been so disproportionately larger than the rest of me. Like, shouldn’t my boobs stick out further than my pooch? I mean, really.

So, I’ve always tried to hide it. Even my roommates in college almost never saw that eyesore. I changed strategically.

Something seems to happen, though, when you find someone that you want to be the closest close possible with. Maybe it’s lust, maybe it’s forgetting yourself in the arms of another, or maybe it’s the vodka, but somehow I seemed to forget that the pooch existed. I hadn’t found peace with it, I just forgot to care about it.

I forgot about it until several weeks ago.

It was thrown back into the forefront of my mind suddenly when That Certain Someone leaned down and kissed me just below the belly button. Right on that spot I hate more than anything, right on that spot where I’d been trying to hide/forget about/considered chopping off/wanted to rig a vacuum to do self lypo on, he kissed me.

My eyes shot wide open and I blushed deeper than I thought was possible. I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t totally obvious that you just don’t go near the gross looking places on my body. Don’t you know that you just leave them alone and pretend that they don’t exist?

As my panic spiral started, I suddenly realized maybe it’s not as bad as I thought. Maybe the places on my body I cringe at and loathe aren’t nearly as bad and I perceive them to be. Maybe I’ll believe it the next time someone calls me sexy. It was surprising to me that such a small act could have such a profound affect.

Months of hard work and over 65lbs lost couldn’t make me feel better about certain parts of my body but one little kiss did.

One little kiss and suddenly I’m reassessing my entire list of body image issues.

Standing in my bathroom the next morning, looking at my body, it was the first time I’ve ever looked at that spot on my body and smiled. Seconds after that smile lit up my face, I realized what I was smiling at. I hated that spot and yet looking at myself, looking at it, I was biting my lip with a giddy smile at the memory. The loathing seemed to be gone. Weeks later, the loathing hasn’t come back.

While I certainly believe that my body image is my responsibility, it’s nice to have some help even if they’re unaware of the impact they’re having. That makes it all the better. Even better, still, when kisses are involved.

It’s also nice to not need vodka to forget about the pooch. I guess I can forego the vacuum lypo.

Now can we work on how I feel about my arms?

Baby steps I suppose.

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