I am now traveling home. It will take approximately ten hours, so I should have plenty of time. I am condensing the rest of my vacation into one single post in several parts because I always struggle with timeliness after getting home from a vacation. This last post is about the most important lesson I learned-to love my body. I. I could not be totally body positive forever. As the fattest woman in our group who is woefully athletically challenged, my self-confidence and self-love started to diminish. So I took a picture of me in my bathing suit to see if I looked as awful as I felt and to my surprise, I loved the picture! Here it is:
This is not an expensive bathing suit-I got it in the plus size section of Target for twenty-something dollars, but it's a superb suit. But this is not just about the bathing suit. I took my picture fully expecting to see an image that I would have to berate and instead, I felt nothing but love. I love my haircut, I love my bathing suit. I love the fact that I am not depressed so that I am caring about my appearance again. I love how happy I look because I really am. I see a person who is proud of herself despite what society says she should be. Today, I wear my fat with pride, as it means that I am not trying to control myself with neurotic food rules. My funky hairstyle that is long in some places and shaved in others makes me feel proud because it means that I no longer am hiding who I am. I am an artist, I am self confident, I am queer, I am happy, I am peaceful, I am proud, I am gorgeous and I will not be ashamed of being these things.
After taking the picture and analyzing it, I had to accept that I am a. fat b. Not as fat as I thought c. Still happy and beautiful even so. I also started noticing what it felt like to eat as a person on vacation. I let myself eat and drink more often and eat and drink things that I normally would not because I would deem them too unhealthy. I reintroduced myself to moderation. I also realized that I had mentally poisoned myself when I started weighing myself on my roommate's bathroom scale several months ago. I am not able to weigh in moderation-I am ashamed to say that I had gotten to the point where I was weighing myself five times a day and eating less to get my number to one more desirable. When it comes to the scale, I am very much like an addict-I weigh myself once and soon I am craving more steps on the scale and less food to somehow make me feel more in control and more worthy, acceptable of I-don't-know-what. As I said in a twelve-step meeting once, I make the scale my god. The only way I can get on a scale safely is under my therapist's or doctor's care. (Unlike most people's therapy sessions, before we begin therapy, I am weighed. Whether I need to process the number is the first topic on the table.). This week I noticed that I felt freer and happier directly as a result of not weighing myself. I must not have gained an obscene amount of weight - my fear when I don't weigh myself - because my clothes still fit in the exact same way as it did when I left for the vacation.
My Personal Promise
I seem to have to realize and internalize the lesson on my weighing neuroticism over and over again. Will you take a pledge with me?
I solemnly swear to love my body.
*To recognize the truth that our bodies are not objects to control and diminish.
I solemnly swear to take up the space that is rightfully mine-
That all humans deserve but few realize.
I also swear that I will take up space in a way that is respectful to all people.
That I will remember my own privilege and empathetically listen to others
While still honoring my own heart.
I swear to listen to my body and treat it with compassion
Even when I feel depressed and hateful.
I believe that it is only through self-love that the gospel can be realized-
For myself to truly love others, I must honor the sacredness of my own soul.
Tending to my heart and sanity will be my highest aim always
And I will fight anyone who tries to convince me that I should strive for anything else.
With my higher power's support, I will conquer my deepest fears.
Nonjudgement shall be my guide and love my salvation.
Come join me-let us love our bodies together.
*As said by my therapist