Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor



July 2012



We Thought We Were Beautiful

Written by , Posted in life

Hey, friend-

We’re so close, I just take for granted that you know; still, I should tell you right out– I love you.  I’ve been through more with you than I have with a single other person in my whole 32 years. That’s a long time, babe– thank you for sticking by me (and I know I haven’t always made it easy on you). It’s been wild and wonderful, fearsome in more than one sense of the word.

Remember when we put nesting toy cups on our toes and plodded around the living room, pretending we were ballerinas en pointe? We thought we were beautiful– and we were. Then we did real ballet for years and years, and you danced til your toes were raw with blisters, and anyone could see from your sharp piqué turns and elegant arabesques that you were made for it. But by then we’d learned to hear lies as truth, and strong legs weren’t good enough– they had to be skinny. We weren’t so sure we were beautiful– but we were.

And I know you remember all the boys– I don’t know what the hell we were thinking, but was it ever fun. But we settled for sex because it felt easier to come by than love. I didn’t look out for you because I thought you were just having fun, and when I realized it wasn’t so fun anymore, I didn’t speak up because I didn’t think I had the right; I am so deeply sorry. I didn’t know we were both worth it– but we were.

But we’ve grown, haven’t we, both sturdier and softer. I’ve had to ask so much, and you’ve sacrificed, fully willing. You’ve given yourself to my every cause, and look what I owe to your doing: Five perfect, fat, healthy babies. You know how profoundly I thank you. We thought you were amazing– and you were. I  can’t help bragging about you, what you did that last go-round, when you held my two matching girls safe inside until it was fully time to hand them over. I love belly laughing together about the moment in the hospital when I corrected the nurse on your behalf when she assumed it had been a c-section; I’d never let you push out 14 pounds of baby and not get full credit. Damn, girl.

But I got all the babies, and you got all deflated in more than one sense of the word. We trained hard together to fix you back up, but planks only go so far to fix shot abdominals and body image, and no one’s ever found a natural remedy for crumpled, paper-thin “twin skin” or confidence. And it’s not fair, I know– we’ve seen the moms who can still flash bare tummies, even after as many kids, even after twins. They’ve got good skin elasticity, good muscle tone, good genes, good luck, good grief. And I so wish that you did, but the very shitty truth is you don’t. You have more than proverbial battle wounds, dear friend– you have wounds you cannot heal.

We both think it was worth it– and it was. You have every right to wear your wounds as sweet, saggy badges of honor. But I know you exactly as well as I know myself, and we don’t need teeth-gritted nobility right now; we need the relief of restoration. So, this time,  it will be my pleasure to help you. I will take you to a doctor who is gifted to repair muscle and skin, and you will never be exactly as you were, but none of us ever is, and isn’t that the point of growing anyway? But you will become better for the restoration, and that you’ll also look better will be a lovely side benefit.

And don’t you worry if there’s talk. You saw me with the well-meaning nurse; if anyone mistakes necessity for vanity, you better believe I’ll set them straight. You needed me once, and I didn’t take care of you; this time, I’ll show you you’re worth it. And you are.

Love, Me


This is my contribution to SheLoves Magazine’s synchroblog, A Love Letter to my Body. I encourage you to write and add your own to their link-up!

  • http://iteti.wordpress.com Iteti

    I simply love how you love your body and appreciate it. Inspiring stuff, Tamara 🙂
    I’ve been pretty bleehhh about getting my body back on the treadmill consistently, but this has given me a little more perspective and insight.

    Thanks muchly!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Oh, Iteti– I don’t always love and appreciate it! But the prompt was to write a love letter, not hate mail. So this is me trying to be as loving as I can to the body that, it turns out, really is worth it.

  • clunkienz

    That is absolutely gorgeous, & so are you: for sharing your life- & love-earned scars. Thank you.

  • http://theartofencouragement.wordpress.com bethsciallo

    love this – you love’n you for your sake and yours.
    seriously, amen sista!

  • alisewrite

    Oh dear one. I’m so thankful that you know your worth and that you are helping others, including me, discover theirs. You are a gift, my friend.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    I hear an intimacy–an actual love relationship with your body that’s been there for a long time–in your words. That speaks to me … I also loved reading about your twins and that being with boys was fun. I wish I could have read this a very long time ago.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Thanks to you, Megan, and SheLoves for the inspiration, the push, the reminder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.m.harrison.771 Karen Moret Harrison

    Because of a simple blood test that showed I carry the gene for breast and ovarian cancer, I had a hysterectomy, and will have a double mastectomy in the fall. I plan to use this time while I’m under the knife (and the plastic surgeon’s there anyhow) to have my eyes done, and remove some neck fat (it’s actually more of a turkey wattle) that is hereditary and ain’t going nowhere!

    I figure if I have to lose my boobs, the least I deserve is a fresh face, right? The only struggle I have with this is that I have a 17 year old daughter, and I wonder what message this conveys to her. Any thoughts on that?

    Anyway, Tamara, I’m glad you’ve decided to lift what needs to be lifted and tighten what needs to be tightened. I’m anxious to hear how things turn out!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Oh my word, Karen, look at you on the warrior’s path to defend your body from disease! That really effing sucks you have to lose your boobs– I’m sorry. I love that you’re protecting yourself both physically and emotionally along the way.

      I think that this is a great opportunity for you to talk with your daughter about the important connection between body and soul: We are not merely one or the other; together, they make “us.” And I think when we’re careful not to make too much or too little of the body, it’s good for our souls.

      • http://www.facebook.com/karen.m.harrison.771 Karen Moret Harrison

        My boobs were always the best part of me. Nice size, nice shape, but my lumpectomy left one of them smaller and misshapen, and the radiation made it weird. The mastectomy will give me a chance to have them the same size and right back up there where God intended them to be!

        I was diagnosed 10 years ago, did chemo and radiation, but just recently found out about the positive gene. I thought I was all done with this shit, but apparently NOT! I’m anxious to get it over with yet sad and a little scared about losing my breasts. Mostly sad. Okay, and scared.

        Good advice for my daughter, so thanks for your advice and wisdom.

  • http://rasjacobson.com Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    Absolutely stunning. Wow. One of my faves. And you know I have many. It’s amazing how our bodies make us feel: pretty, strong, ugly, weak. But you can fix this and I’m glad you are. And seriously, only 32? Oy. Just you wait, girl. 😉

  • Mom

    I love that you love and appreciate your body. It has served you well, and you are beautiful.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Thank you for helping make, nourish, and protect it. xo

  • Megg Principe

    Yes!! I love this and I love you.

  • http://janheath1234.wordpress.com Off the Wall

    Tamara, you know how much I admire you, and now I admire your body too! Great post, and YOU DESERVE IT!

  • http://davwalk.wordpress.com David N. Walker

    Wonderful post, Tamara. Took a lot of thought and a bit of courage to write and post this. Thanks for doing so. Where can I find a surgery to repair old?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Hahaha, David! You can always make me smile.

      You’re absolutely right about what went into this letter appearing here. I was afraid I’d get judgy comments, but then that’s exactly why I had to post it: I had to say to myself– and to anyone reading who’s ever felt similarly– that I would talk about this without shame.

  • http://twitter.com/reneeronika Renee Ronika Klug (@reneeronika)

    Plastic surgery can be a gift. Thanks for the invite to write our own letter to our bodies. It’ll be hard but, as you show here, worth it.

  • http://twitter.com/sarahbessey Sarah Bessey (@sarahbessey)

    Beautiful, beautiful. Loved this.

  • http://happyhippierose.wordpress.com happyhippierose

    For Valentine’s Day I had a ton of friends contribute love letters to our bodies, as Valentines to ourselves.

    It’s an exercise that I find harder in practice than it is in theory… and when you’re super honest and open, like your letter here, the effect is pretty intense. It’s powerful Tamara! And I’m happy to read that you’re interested in being there for your body these days, helping to repair and fix, that’s the best.

  • http://ironicmom.wordpress.com Leanne Shirtliffe

    I love how you put this out there, T. As someone with twin skin, I’ve thought about this somewhat. My stretch marks….my silver rainbows as Vivian once called them. I try to claim them as my own, I try. Can’t wait to SEE YOU SATURDAY. Good Lord, I’m ready to meet you. 🙂

  • http://joycannis.wordpress.com Joy

    This is really great. I have tried to do the same and link it to the challenge, but I’m not there and the challenge ends today. Thank you for being so transparent. It’s refreshing.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      The link-up might be over, but I think this is an exercise that never expires in our need of it. I hope you’ll write.

  • http://megangahandotcom.wordpress.com megangahan

    Tamara I love love LOVED this. Every word. Thank you so much for joining in.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Thank you for going first, Megan.

  • http://pentriloquist.com Amy

    This is my first visit here. I don’t know you personally. As I started reading this post, I had no idea who you were writing this for. I thought.. how lucky to remain friends with someone since childhood this way.. Then, there came a point where I wondered what kind of incredible friend you had to be a surrogate for you!! And then you left me in tears. Absolutely beautiful!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamára

      Thanks so much, Amy. I’m grateful it touched you and that you took a moment to let me know. Welcome!

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