“Of course you’re supporting Fat Talk Free Week. Just look at you: what do you know about being fat? I bet you’ve never fat talked yourself a day in your life.”
Actually, I struggled vehemently with weight and body image issues in high school, college and beyond. I starved myself. I over exercised. I took laxatives. I binged and purged. My body fat was never where I wanted it. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in therapy trying to “get control” of the situation.
I hated my body. I battled and raged against my body. I saw only flaws and imperfections – things that needed to be changed. I was trying to control my body, only my body was controlling me…my thoughts and my actions.
When I look back on the amount of energy I spent thinking negative thoughts about how I looked – how clothes did or didn’t fit, thinking about what to eat, thinking about what not to eat, thinking about how much to eat, thinking about why I ate so much, thinking about why other people could eat and not be obsessed, thinking about how much to exercise, trying to obtain some sort of thin ideal, it’s a wonder I had time to think about anything else.
I desperately wanted control.
Ironically, the moment I gave up control, things fell into place.
I became pregnant with my one and only child in 1999 – I was 27 years old. Up until that point I had all sorts of crazy “rules” around food and exercise. I was so committed to fostering a healthy child, I decided to suspend all “rules” during my pregnancy. I would simply listen to what my body told me to do, suspend judgment, and give up control over my body. After all, my body knew more about being pregnant than I knew about being pregnant.
I couldn’t get enough kielbasa and fried eggs for breakfast – something I would NEVER have let myself eat. When I was hungry, I ate. What I was hungry for, I ate. When I got full, I stopped eating. I tuned in. It was something I hadn’t done since I was a child.
When it came time to deliver I once again made a very conscious decision to give up control and listen to my body. I had a positive labor experience, was in total shock and awe of what my body could do, and felt like a super hero afterward.
I gave up control, tuned in, and gained an appreciation for all the amazing things my body could do. Since then I’ve had no issues regarding food or exercise. Since then my body has stabilized at where you see me today. I love this body. It has never failed me – even when I was heaping massive amounts of abuse on it. This body is amazing and powerful. It houses the love I have for those in my life. It’s the vessel for the mental capital I share with others on a daily basis. I use these arms to hug my daughter and my partner AND to pull my entire body weight up the trapeze or tissu. These legs have always taken me where I wanted to go AND I can still do the splits on both sides. This torso is the core of my being. How could I have ever hated this body? This body is my temple and I worship it every day.