What I Am
Somebody sent me a link to a bunch of ”pro-ana” websites today (For those of you who don’t know, that’s pro-anorectic.), saying that they’d noticed I was having a hard time losing weight, and this might help. First of all, let me say, no thanks. And secondly, looking at those sites, with images of bodies that could be straight from Dachau, and all that self-hatred, makes me want to cherish every single pound I have! There were lists of tips and tricks for how to starve yourself, some silly, some scary, some just downright dangerous. Posts from women and girls, mostly teenage girls, talking about how horrible their tiny little bodies look, even when they weigh less than the toddler next door, or their hair is falling our due to malnutrition. How to fool your parents, your doctor, your friends, into thinking you are eating, your are okay. How to best binge and purge. The self hatred on these pages was overwhelming. Stunning. I may be fat, and I may not look like a supermodel in a bikini, but damn it, I like me. I have never at any point, hated myself, or my body, the way these poor women do. Breaks my heart.
I had started a new, fairly restrictive diet today, but after seeing those, I decided to quit. I am healthy (relatively, anyway), and my eating habits are pretty healthy. I consume a ton of water, very little red meat, lots of fruit, and not nearly enough veggies. I don’t exercise, but I have good intentions. I meditate, I pray, I journal, I am kind to animals, and I recycle I try to be the best version of me I can be, whatever that means. Somehow I doubt that has anything to do with if I have a gap between my thighs or not, and depends more on the people I love, the things I do, the way I behave. Fat does not equal evil. Thin does not equal holy.
Recently I read a book called “Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body”, which talks about fat acceptance, body image and the war on obesity. The author, Lesley Kinzel, made perfect sense, as she discussed how, in an age on The Biggest Loser (I hate that show), fat is seen as the biggest sin someone can commit. All health problems seem to somehow be related by the medical community to weight, even those which have nothing to do with it, something I’ve experienced first hand. I related to her lifelong struggles with weight, dieting, and health issues. But honestly, I was not converted to the world of “fat and proud” at that time. I like myself, sure, but am not thrilled with the santa belly. or the flappy arms. A big part of me would rather shop in the regular women’s section, and I have no problems saying that.
There must be a middle ground between the fat activists, embracing every roll and dimple, and the skinny or die scary chicks, seeking concentration camp chic. I’m aiming at healthy. Able to walk up a couple flights of stairs without being out of breath; get a tattoo without being embarrassed. Be able to walk in heels. Run for the bus. Go to the pool. Take a yoga class and be able to do the stretches–hell, take any exercise, and be able to make it through!
I can manage health. That’s something to aim for. Screw skinny. I’ll be thrilled to be healthy. Happy, healthy, here.
images from perfectbucketlist.tumblr.com