09 Jan 2017

On Gaining Weight and Not Giving a Shit

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Y’all wanna know something? I gained some weight in 2016.

Wanna know something else? I don’t give a shit that I did.

This year, I’ll celebrate 10 years in recovery from an eating disorder. Ten years of feeding myself properly every day, of not over-exercising, of fighting off the body image demons that tell me I need to change myself to be more lovable. Although I gave up the fight with food long ago, the struggle with loving my body in recovery has never been an easy one.

And so last year, I gained weight. Not a lot, but enough that I feel a difference. I’m not actually sure how much, because I don’t weigh myself. But it was impossible to deny as I threw out size Smalls in favor of Mediums and adjusted to the new junk in my old trunk.

It was hard. I cried some. I thought about slipping back into old habits to try to control it.

But then I realized… I don’t actually care.

This body of mine is a miracle at any size. It’s curvy and soft and strong and flexible. I can stand upside down on my forearms almost indefinitely. I can do the splits as easily at 33 as I could at 13. I have a spine flexible enough to make Cirque du Soleil performers jealous, and thighs strong enough to snap a man like a twig. My body is fearless and up for almost anything. I may not be the fastest, but I will always complete whatever challenge is put in front of me

This body has carried me through a marriage, a divorce, a rape, countless stupid break-ups, owning multiple businesses, buying and selling houses, health crises, emotional abuse, family crises, jumping out of two airplanes, teaching yoga to thousands, and travel to three continents and counting. I’ve climbed mountains, presented to lawmakers, and studied under enlightened yoga masters.

I’m so tired of buying into the myth that gaining weight is a moral failure, and conversely, that losing weight is a moral victory. Weight has no bearing on worth. And I’m done apologizing for this perfectly imperfect body of mine. I think I’ve earned the right to take up a little more space.

This year, I’m leaving weight shame behind. In 2017, I’m embracing radical self-love. I love my curves and my cellulite and my tummy. I love that I’ll never be a tight, nymphy little thing (although so much love to my nymphy sisters; you’re all beautiful and perfect, too). I love that my body tells a story of hard work and overcoming. I love that I love when there is more of me to love.

Is it radical for a size 6 woman to say, “My body is lovable”? Of course not. I’ll leave the revolution to my sisters in larger bodies who are leading the way on body positivity, and I will march in solidarity with them. But this is the body I have to love. This one is my responsibility, and I will love and care for it as hard as I can. I will feed myself and exercise just enough and feel how magical it is to move through the world in this vessel.

There’s so much freedom in not giving a shit.

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One Response to “On Gaining Weight and Not Giving a Shit”

  1. Name says:

    Wow…I am trying to feel exactly the same way! I have been recovered from an eating disorder for two years now, after a 14 year long streak of distroying by body to be thin. I’m 34 now, and have been trying to embrace the changes that come along with age. My history is similar to yours: abuse, neglect, triumph, challenges, the whole bit….I’m trying to recognize the positives of my life, instead of the negatives. Its great to hear someone talk about a subject that has plagued me for so long, and has brought so many tears to my eyes. I feel that 2017 will be the year that I leave this weight bullshit behind, and try to embrace the person that is underneath. Yes, I’ve gained a few pounds as well, but that should not let me dictate what kind of person that I am. Thank you for writing this post…it was a random occurrence that I saw it online, but it’s exactly what I needed to hear.