I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

2020 Year in Books and Body Acceptance

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things!  Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; for the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit.  Joel 2:21-22

Fear not, even though Donald Trump is not yet out of office.  Fear not, though we are still in a pandemic.  Fear not, even though you are in pain and confusion.  Fear not and be glad, for change is still coming.  (myself)

I must admit that for a long time I did not believe a full recovery from an eating disorder was possible.  I thought you could get better and even claim to be in remission but I could not imagine being completely satisfied with my body and not wanting to change it.  Fortunately, throughout the years I have been acting as if I believed it anyway.  I take selfies and tell myself good things.  I follow body positive and fat acceptance social media people. This Christmas I received the gift of more body acceptance.   

Here is what I wrote in my nightly gratitude post:

I am very pleased to say that I think I am in full recovery from my ED now. There came a point today when I actually thought to myself, "I'm glad I'm fat; it takes the pressure off of trying to stay slender and I can just be and enjoy myself, my foods, my body." What a freeing thought and as I analyze it, I find that it still rings true hours later. I am happy to be fat. All bodies can be beautiful and I have earned this. I am fat, beautiful, and proud. I restricted as a teen and as a person in my twenties and I am so glad that is over with. Life is meant to be savored. The nitty gritty obsessiveness of eating disorders are really not glamorous at all and I am glad to be in recovery.

Now just because I arrived at this place of acceptance on Christmas does not mean that I will not have days where I struggle again. Recovery is more like a roller-coaster than a straight path. I hope that this post can give some encouragement to those that still struggle with their body image, which is, of course, just about everybody. I am stronger now-a few years ago I fell into the new diet trap and tried Noom; wasting money and energy, but this year I am seeing the new diet traps-cleanses and fasts seems to be this year's "nondiet" diet trend and I just laugh. Nope! Not gonna do it. I will eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. If I overeat, I will deal with the uncomfortable feeling of over-fullness until it passes, but I will not beat myself up. I will eat a combination of healthy and unhealthy things and not feel bad about either. I will listen to my body and mindfully eat what I want. This means I will most likely not lose weight-fortunately, I no longer care. I was put on this earth to convey the message that hope is real for a better life always and diet culture is a never-ending treadmill, not a pathway that leads to hopeful, healthy living. I am fat. I am beautiful. I am powerful. I was put on this Earth for weightier issues than my BMI. (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

However, I was put on this earth to read wonderful books and I did finish my goal of reading thirty-five books in 2020. Ok, so the last eight were kid's books-a book is a book is a book. Here are the books I read last year that I endorse:

My Newest Book!

Hope Is Real: Radical Recovery Prayers


You need to read these right now

The Body Keeps The Score by Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E Butler

Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

(Note about White Fragility - I think it is a great book in some respects and I think it is a problematic book in some respects. It's a good book to read since it is a part of our pop culture, but please don't stop there. As important as this book may be, reading books from thoughtful, influential people of color like Audre Lorde, Paulo Freire, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Octavia E Butler, Roxanne Gay, Howard Thurman, James Baldwin, etc. is way more important. Go to Charis Books and More for some really great feminist reading lists.)


Graphic Novel Adaptations of Octavia E Butler Novels

Kindred

Parable of the Sower


Informational

Anxiety is Really Strange; Trauma is Really Strange; Pain is Really Strange by Steve Haines and Sophie Standing

Unbusy: How to Leverage the Physics of Flow to Accomplish More by Andy Dragt

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben


Inspirational Quick Reads

The Gift, a poetry collection by Hafiz

Art Matters by Neil Gaiman


Inspirational, Non-quick Reads

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd


Just for Fun

The Last Castrato by John Spencer Hill

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines


Feminist Fairy Tale Books for Kids (or Adults)

The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman






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