because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Monday, 10 February 2014

This is what a woman's body looks like

Last week I took photographs of myself in my underwear. I uploaded them to my computer, pulled similar ones from a month ago up beside them, and flicked back and forth between them, over and over again. Fucking hell, I thought to myself. Fuck-ing-hell.

In pursuing a healthier lifestyle – one that dedicates as much time to a healthy body as I do a healthy mind, heart, and soul – I’ve lost 15.2 pounds so far. I feel amazing. I went to the supermarket to hold seven bags of sugar in my arms to illustrate that weight, and it astounds me that I’ve been lugging that around -- literally having it drag me down.

I’m physically altered enough already to enjoy running three times a week now – I feel elegant and free. I’m bending and twisting and stretching and marvelling at what my body can do in a weekly yoga class. I’m catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and thinking, Oh, she’s pretty, because I seem so alive. Using my body in these new, different ways makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world.

Beautiful because of how I feel, you understand. Not because of how I look.

I’m beautiful because I’m happy, and I’m happy because I’ve started to care about my physical self in a new way, and I care about my physical self because I’m motivated to change. I’ve developed an unexpected sense of radical self love. I never knew I had it in me to treat my body with such kindness.

I’m in love with what it can do, and that feeling spurs me on to continue treating myself with the utmost respect. I will never complain at which clothes don’t fit, how I want to thighs of *insert celeb here*, or the abs of *insert another celeb here*. I’m me, and I’m working hard with what I’ve got to be the best version of that – but it’s an external manifestation of an internal goal.

It isn't about becoming a supermodel. It's about becoming a superwoman <<Tweet This>>

I’ve been treading the fine line between “Hey! Let me share my process!” and “I have nothing but working out going on in my life right now!” on social media since declaring want to shift 38 pounds, and I document milestones in my achievement -- snap shots of lessons learnt and moments of the tiny mental breakthroughs that stack up to make a leap far beyond any previously held self-limiting expectations. And people (women) have thanked me for this. I’ve had emails, texts, and comments about appreciating the honestly with which I’m documenting my journey because it’s goddamn hard to change, and the starting point for most internal work comes from knowing we’re not alone. That’s what motivates my writing, largely: a sense of belonging, because I can’t be the only one to feel this way, right? Right. My inbox proves I’m not.

(And I’m so thankful for that, you guys. I wouldn’t be 15.2 pounds lighter were it not for your incredible cheerleading. Thank you so much.)

There was no way I was sharing my underwear photo, though.

I resolved to wow the Internet with my “final result” images when I get photographed at my target weight in about two months. I thought, ‘Oh yes, I can show off my running pictures and my photo shoot images and everyone will think I’m beautiful and sexy and worthy.’ Y’know. When I can airbrush the ugly process and make life seem easier than it is, because to have been fat in the first place is a failure.

Urgh. The self-loathing sneaks up like a dirty snake.

I am already worthy, I have to remind myself – no matter what my BMI. That’s so hard to remember. It’s easy for the process to become an exercise in Still Not Good Enough Right Now, But Will Be, and that’s total bullshit. I was beautiful and sexy and worthy at 181 pounds, just as I am at 166, just as I will be at 140. It isn’t brave or revolutionary for me to show my belly and cellulite: it’s truth. This is what a real woman looks like. And if I’m learning anything at all as I discover, piece by delicious piece, what it is capable of, it’s that my body deserves upstanding applause for graciously co-operating with my quest, and for teaching me what’s possible when you really do appreciate it.

There’s no “ugliness” to the process. Losing 15.2 pounds has been fucking hard work. Here is where I say that. But what I also say is that to be fat in the first place was no failure.

Ain’t nobody got time for smack talk like that, I still have to say to myself. That’s my friend you’re talking about. 

Because the only way anyone can be happy with their body is by loving it first, changing it second. It's not conditional  <<Tweet This>>

#nofilter

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