Sensei smiled and gently said, "once a year, you're allowed!" I bought a dojo t-shirt because I was so excited about getting to go to the dojo that I forgot the top of my gi!
It was very embarrassing and hard on my body image. I've lost a lot of weight and my skin drapes off of me. When I punch, a sheet of skin flies forward very painfully and then wrinkles backward. The whole mess was very distracting and I felt awful. A dermatologist referred me to a plastic surgeon after saying, "I can't believe you really want this done, knowing how terribly your skin heals." So I had that going on my head all night. I hear it in my head every day, too. The pain is worse than the embarrassment. It's just so grotesque--it's not shame that I've lost weight and my skin is loose, it's just so gross looking to watch it slide around me, and watch it catch on equipment, that I hope I never, ever forget my gi again.
I hate EDS and today has been one of those days where it's very hard to resist that hate and anger. I spent the day resting my body so I could practice tonight. My roommate helped me get started and have me a lot of encouragement. I appreciated that. A lot.
The t-shirt was form-fitted and it finally occurred to me that I really have lost a lot of weight. My femaleness is showing through in my chest and I was extremely self-conscious, even though my chest doesn't stick out in my super tight sports bras. I got through that by accepting the following truths:
1. My dojo has accepted everything about my body from day one.
2. My dojo treats both genders equally.
3. My dojo acknowledges that we all have challenges.
Therefore, I will respect myself, too.