I am the “bigger” partner, but in our lives there is no bigger or smaller.
We don’t talk about our bodies. We don’t comment on the others loss or gain of weight. We discuss our body’s health but how it looks isn’t a topic. It just doesn’t hold a shred of value in our relationship. It never did for him, for me it was different.
I fought his unconditional love for a long time. Apologizing for a flawed body. Flaws he just didn’t see, but I refused to believe he didn’t.
He just wanted to love me, and I just looked for reasons that he couldn’t.
I grew and evolved, he supported and reassured. It took time, good things always do.
The person meant for you will see the heart and not the hips.
Demand that kind of love.
(As a side note, my husband has always been very slim, something that for years made him feel bad about his body. He was chasing pounds as I furiously running away from them. No one is immune to body shame.)
I will not be sad about the way that you look, the scars that you bear or the marks you’ve grown. I will not be sad that you don’t look like her, or them or that. I will not put pressure on you to perform in in a way that feels forced, foreign or painful. I will not expect the impossible, the unattainable the out of reach- because it doesn’t exist.
I will be sad for how I’ve mistreated you, for the actions and inactions that have weakend your health or made you feel less than.
I will do better, and make the wrongs into rights by listening to your pleas, by giving back, by nurturing you.
I will compare you not to the bodies of others, not to the impossible standards, to the photoshopped and face tuned perfection that isn’t real.
I will heal you with love, fuel, care and most of all understanding and grace and time. Lots of time. Because that’s all we have, you and I. Time together. Time to be complete and completely in love.
I got mad at my thighs today, for rubbing together and making a “shushing” sound as I walked. I literally got mad at a body part for doing what a body part does and what mine will probably do long after my death because a thigh gap will never be in the cards for me.
Now at 39 years old, having lost and gained and lost and gained weight, having been bulimic in my teens, near starving in my early 20’s, a binge eater from 25 on (still struggle with that) I thought I had made peace with my thigh songs. It took me aback a little, that I felt so angry with part of myself. It stopped me in my tracks. It took me a minute to shake off the feeling, and I found myself laughing. “SING ME THE SONG OF YOUR PEOPLE THIGHS, IM LISTENING! HEY, WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR BREAKFAST?”
Learning to be ok with, or not even think about physical parts of yourself is a life long lesson. You will never reach the end of your tutorial. You will have moments that bring you right back to the self-hate. It could be the jiggle in your belly when you dance, the back of your arms waving when you do, or the song of your thighs rubbing together. But absolutely none of those things have any meaning, they won’t love your family, be a kind heart for a wounded friend, or pay your damn bills. Remember that when you see a part you hate, it’s meaningless. Laugh at yourself and feed yourself some breakfast.
I want to help end the stigmas around mental health. I want to show that even “strong” people suffer. Those we perceive as powerful and fierce, are susceptible to down times and feelings of depression and anxiety.
I’ve only shared a snippets of my story, only glimpses of the pain. I’ll share more in time, as vulnerability is essential for healing. I have powered through and endured, but I still have times where that strength, that resilience… it abandons me.
I’m lost in those trenches again. There is no single even or thing that “sets off” seasons of depression and anxiety for me. Often times I have these seasons when it appears outwardly that my life and it’s direction, are at their best. I can’t predict when my mental state will go grey, it just comes. I do know when I’m in a sad season though, and I’m fortunate enough to be one of those that aren’t so deep that I can’t maintain my life. That certainly doesn’t mean that every day isn’t a battle, or that I’m less deserving of help than another. My battle and someone else’s, though they may be different, are both burdensome.
I am trying to pull myself out of the grey, and into the light. No one can save me, I have to chart these waters alone, as I have done so many times in the past. I’m ok with being not ok though, because without the bad we could never appreciate the good.
For this moment, I’ll live with dirty mirrors, undone housework and in my oldest t-shirt… because I know soon, I’ll be able so clean away the sad grey and make room for happy light.
Let’s talk self love and weight loss for a minute.
So I’ve spent a lot of time lately beating myself up about the ups and downs I’m having on this journey to a healthier body.
I’ve had so many starts and stops, and it’s become a mental battle. But really, that’s what a weight loss/ health journey is… a mental battle. Because if you aren’t ready to change what goes on upstairs, you won’t succeed at trimming away the middle.
I have learned to love my memory stripes, loving term for stretch marks, my curves and the flows and jiggles, but do I strive to feel better and healthier, of freaking course.
You can be on a journey of self love and a journey to drop lbs at the same time.
The new wave of body positive movements are amazing, inspiring and soul feeding, but please don’t ever feel like to love yourself, you have to love all the parts. You can strive make changes, and still celebrate what you have. Like you paint the walls in your home to make it look better, but that doesn’t mean you hate the house.
I am going to reset myself, and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that by just continuing to move forward, despite the hiccups, I can achieve anything I choose. I urge you to be patient with yourself, give yourself the grace and patience you award to others. Give yourself a hug, touch your memory stripes and curves with a loving hand. Take time to love what you have and the time to strive for change. They are BOTH necessary to live in the best version of you.