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.
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