I have been doing things! Body positive things!
Wearing cute short skirts. Wearing sleeveless shirts IN PUBLIC.
Today I swam naked and lay out in the sunshine completely nude and it was fan-freaking-tastic. I’m going to post some nudie swim pics later!
I have been in a really weird headspace about my body lately. I want have a loving relationship with my body and accept myself no matter my size. Most fat acceptance blogs and writers that I read talk about Health at Every Size, which involves intuitive eating and exercising for health and fun rather than weight loss.
I wonder if it is possible to pursue weight loss in a body accepting way.
I have gained a lot of weight recently. A lot. I’ve gained 60 lbs over the last 2 years. I feel very uncomfortable. I feel really ashamed. I gained this weight after I had spent so much time, effort, and emotional energy into losing 160 lbs through very strict dieting (counting every single calorie) and exercising every single day. I got down to 190 lbs, and I felt great- not just because of the way I looked, but because something really interesting happened. I became visible to other people. I was still “overweight” but it was fine. It didn’t upset me at all.
When I had been bigger, the weight wasn’t my biggest issue as much as the disgust I received from other people. They sometimes said things to me. Boys in cars would yell things at me as they drove past. People would not make eye contact with me. They would hold doors for me.
So I lost a lot of weight. Then I started school at my new college, and I slowly started gaining it back. Very slowly. A pound here or there, no worry. I was in denial about it when I had gained 30 lbs back and was still squeezing into my size 14 jeans. But Over the next two years, I just kept gaining. I stopped exercizing. I stopped counting calories and was eating every food that I had made forbidden to myself before.
HOW do I pursue weightloss in a way that is not punishing to myself? HOW do aim to achieve a new bodyshape without having a negative relationship with my current one. I want to love my body but I also want to change it. How is this possible?
HOW do I restrict certain foods from myself without creating a very negative relationship with food, because I have never ever had a very good relationship with food and eating. The only way I found “success” (i use that term loosely) with losing weight was severely limiting what I ate, measuring and weighing every little thing I put in my mouth and punishing myself if I “failed.” It’s either that or bingeing. Eating and eating. All day. Hating myself for doing it.
So this is all shit I’m trying to sort out. How does someone with disordered eating patterns pursue better health and fitness and eating patterns, while maintaining a positive and loving relationship with one’s body.
Whew long post was LONG!
You have the right to eat, because you are a human being.
You also need to eat, because you are a human being. There is no person out there, fat or thin, who can live a healthy, functional life without eating a reasonable amount of food.
There is a misconception that somehow being fat beyond a certain arbitrary line drawn in imaginary BMI sand means you have the superhuman ability, and the moral obligation, to live without food. Which is total bullshit.
Quick nutrition interlude: your body, every cell in your body but particularly your brain, runs on sugar. Glucose is the preferred day-to-day gasoline that makes you go. And, believe it or not, our body only has a short-term store (usually measured in hours) of glucose to draw on.
Which means? You need to eat. Regularly. You’re not going to be able to think clearly for very long without it, and you’re going to feel like ass, physically."
Michelle, aka The Fat Nutritionist, “How to eat, in a nutshell”
Go read the whole thing. *shoos*
The Fat Nutritionist was the first person I read who laid out the (in retrospect totally logical) argument that all this talk about how sugar or fat or carbs are “addicting” and all this talk about “cravings” etc. was just our culture’s bizarre interpretation of the messages people’s bodies send them when they need food.
News Flash Folks: Fat people who stop eating when / before they’re full Do, in fact, exist. Conversely, there are also a lot of ‘normal weight’ people out there with totally disordered eating habits. Some of them screwing themselves up because a supposed expert told them ‘I know your body better than YOU do’. This is seen as logical and healthy.
My good friend is on Medifast and it breaks my heart. She is eating 1000 calories a day to lose weight because her doctor told her she is prediabetic and she has back problems. I tried to tell her that she is going to go into starvation mode and may end up with more health problems then when she started. She insists that it is the right thing for her because she has friends and doctors backing her up, not to mention the company selling the shit to her. You have to eat!
Today I woke up feeling much better than I did yesterday. I spent a lot of last night talking with Max about a lot of the thoughts I have been having lately- about my body, my negative body image, the way I feel self-worth inverse to the amount that I weigh, and the way all of these feelings are so incongruous with my politics.
I talked about how frustrating it is to understand intellectually what bullshit fat hatred and body policing is, yet to feel so much shame in regards to my own body. We also talked a lot about my disordered eating and how it relates to all of this, and how dieting and trying to control my food in the aim to change my body size is negative, but developing a more natural relationship with food can be a positive thing. Specifically-taking away moral judgement from eating. Eating a slice of cake doesn’t make me “bad” any more than eating celery can make me “good.”
Talking about things helps. I made the decision today to stop weighing myself. Maybe not forever, but at least for now. This will be difficult because I have an obsessive relationship with the scale. In the past when I have decided to stop weighing and gotten rid of the scale, I had intense anxiety about not knowing exactly how much I weigh, and I have come to realize it’s an obsessive thing. And if I see on the scale that I gained two pounds, my day will be ruined. And if I see that I have lost two pounds, I will have conflicting emotions about it and usually compulsively eat to compensate. So it’s just not good for me to weigh either way. And I just need to remind myself like a mantra- my weight does not define me. My weight does not make me “good” or “bad.”
Anyway, this is a picture of me today, feeling good in a size 2X dress from Old Navy, with a 2X belt from Target.
What is self-care? What is the best way to take care of myself?
I tend to dip into depression too easily. I revisit old running loops of dialogue in my head that tell me negative things. I have a disordered relationship to food. I don’t know which of these problems is the main problem. Is one the disease, and the others the symptoms? Or are they intertwined.
I get frustrated that things aren’t easier for me. I know things aren’t easy for anyone. But I feel like certain things should be easier for me to handle as an adult person. I can’t hold down a job. Crowds stress me out. Negative energy from other people gets me very anxious and self-conscious. I internalize every negative thing that has ever been said about me to my face. How do I change the way i respond to these things? How can I change that negative loop?
I’m trying to discover the best ways to take care of myself mentally, and physically. I know that I need to move my body more, to be more physical. A lot of alone time helps me. And quiet time- by quiet I mean no TV or internet. Music helps. Cooking makes me feel good. But eating makes me feel very guilty. I know that eating should be this great thing that you share with other people. But for me, eating is something associated with years of shame. Doing things outside of the house makes me feel good, especially if it is with a friend.
So I have been doing things to try and take care of my self. Yesterday I met Noelle to shop for books at the library sale. I bought a nice eyeshadow. I had time alone in my home where I cut up fruit and cleaned my home and listened to Phoebe Snow. Today I went to the CityLit festival at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. I went to a panel with Benjamin Busch. It was pretty interesting. At the festival, however, I saw someone from my past who I have really negative feelings about. Max was with me, and we decided because it was so beautiful out, that we would walk around Mount Vernon. We looked at the nice row homes in that area and fantasized about one day being able to live there. We went to Red Emma’s and got coffee and a bagel. Tonight i dyed my hair and made homemade pizza.
I like these pictures because the first one is of me trying to do my “picture face” where I try to look “less ugly” because I dislike my face. But the 2nd one, I’m actually laughing for real at something I heard right as I went to take the picture. Sometimes it’s so much better when I’m not concentrating so hard on how I look.
Have been feeling very bad lately. I have been gaining more and more weight over the past two years and I am at the heaviest I have been in several years.
I need to continue practicing self-love and self-care. My weight is not a reflection of my character.
I read and think a lot about body positivity and fat acceptance. Sometimes it’s hard to align those ideas with my self-image. When I have been taught my whole life to hate my body and have internalized all of those ideas. It’s going to take time and effort to change my internal dialogue about my body.
So today I woke up and my hair was cray because I slept on it wet, so I braided my hair, put on some makeup, and put on my butterfly dress that I haven’t worn yet. If I dress like I feel good, maybe I will feel good.