Wellness

Once upon a time, I thought I was healthy. I’d lost 100 lbs and kept the weight off. I was thin, strong, and fit, but contrary to all indications, I was not entirely healthy. My mental and emotional health suffered detrimentally during my years of shame-based weight loss, coupled with decades of body-animosity before that. Even after losing the weight and hitting my goals, I was desperately dissatisfied and unhappy with my body. I may have been physically healthy, but I was wholly unwell.

This is not where I want to be. Shame and body-animosity eventually led to self-harm via food, disordered eating habits, and a massive regain. I am now once more unfit and obese, but this time, I’m unwilling to sacrifice mind and heart to change my body. This time, I don’t want to embark on a weight loss journey. Instead, I’m beginning a wellness journey.

07 vision board

(my wellness journey vision board)

I want to be truly healthy – in mind and heart as well as in body. I want to celebrate my body no matter its size. I want to embrace life, and embrace myself, and love me for who I am. I want to be strong, flexible, healthy, kind, and confident – physically, mentally, emotionally; internally and externally. This involves so much more than calories and a number on the scale. It will be no easy task, and it will take time, support, and tremendous efforts. But I am worth it.

Resources and Inspiration:
• Alee and The Wellness Room, who taught me how amazing therapy can be
• Brittany Gibbons, aka Brittany Herself: her TED talk, her book Fat Girl Walking, and her general body positivity
Molly Galbraith, especially her 28-Day Love Your Body Challenge
• Finding What Feels Good – Yoga With Adriene focuses on building a positive relationship with your body
Birthmarkings: the post-birth-body self-image documentary that started my journey toward body-positivity (particularly the mother who comes in at 16:48, whose belly looks a lot like my post-pregnancy belly looked before surgery in January 2014)
Julia Kozerski‘s truthful photo-journey about the post-weight-loss body reality (note: photo journal at the first link includes male and female nudity)
Katya Zharkova (a Belarusian plus-size model and actress) and her campaign to show straight-size and plus-size modeling for what they are. Examples available (with pictures, and nudity warning) at The Daily Mail and Styleite.
Jessamyn Stanley for showing that yoga can be for every body and every size.
• Particularly helpful and/or inspiring books: Come As You Are, It Was Me All Along, Elena Vanishing, The Body Keeps the Score
• All my loving friends and family, for believing in me, for cheering me on, for never judging me on my size or failures, for insisting that I’m worth it whenever I falter and forget. Thank you.
• More to come – and suggestions welcomed!

Particularly Significant Posts:
– On Starting A Brand New Journey (8/24/15)
On Deferred Grief (9/30/15)
On PTSD (10/21/15)
On Healing (12/30/15)
On Abdominal Surgery (1/13/16)
On Doctors and Diagnoses (3/16/16)
On Therapeutic Yoga (3/30/16)
On Choosing Exercise You Love (2/8/17)

Last updated: 4/11/17