There was a time I pretended not to give a fuck. But deep down I gave a lot of fucks, really. Everything I did, subconsciously, was to fit in, be liked, be good enough. I grew up in a small town, in an even smaller neighbourhood, where everyone had something to say about everything and everyone. I started my first diet when I was 8.
Now would be a good time to think What In The F&^? But really, you probably did too. So, yeah, we have that in common. And probably the needing to fit in and caring about what everyone thought. Even when we think we don’t, we do. We act like we don’t, we rebel, we do things our own way, we march to the beat of our own drum. At least I did. And so I had convinced myself at a young age that I didn’t care.
That simply wasn’t the truth. I just buried it. I pretended I didn’t care because I thought I’d never fit in. My body became the place where I took out all of that frustration, anxiety, self hate, doubt, fear. This body has been used and abused, mostly by me. It’s been criticized, it’s been hated, it been shamed, it’s been called fat, called skinny, too muscular, too thin, too broad, too stocky, too short, too sexy, too old for my age. It’s been disrespected and it’s been passionately loved.
But mostly, it’s been hated. By me. I’ve used it as a way to get what I want. I’ve used it as a means to an end for my career. I’ve used it to be good enough, to fit in. I’ve used it to prove my worth. And I’ve lost all of my worth, using it. It’s been cut, by doctors and even by me. It’s been sick and almost died. And it’s been the epitome of health, fitness, strength. And yet, mostly, it’s been hated.
It’s never been enough… because I so desperately wanted it to be something else. I wanted it to be taller, leaner, skinnier. I’ve spent most of my life searching for ways to make it something it wasn’t. The happiest time I was with my body was when I intentionally, day by day, honoured it and respected it. I exercised it and I fed it well. I took care of it with love. And I was happy. Not always the fittest. Not always did I have abs, but I look at those photo’s and I see happiness. I don’t see my waist size, I don’t see my pant size. I don’t see myself trying to hide. I see happiness. And yes, I was small, because that’s just what happens when you take care of yourself!
But I enjoyed the process. There wasn’t an end date. My happiness didn’t depend on if I was a certain size. My vacations didn’t depend on if I was “bikini ready”. I was too busy living life. Romantic blissful nights, rocking a new outfit, loving how I felt in my own body and my own skin. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. The outside and the inside matched.
But then, I let people tell me, once again, what I “should” look like. “Oh, you don’t have abs?” – so I got them. “Oh, you’re bigger than I expected” – so I lost 1olbs. I allowed the perception of others of what I should look like change how I viewed myself. It was a long road the first time to recovery. I never thought it was possible it “go back” but I did. I went back to that place of giving a shit what everyone else thought.
But now, again, after a long path of self reflection -where I can only look to the heavens and say “have I learned all the lessons I need to about my weight, my body and being good enough? God, I hope so.”- I own my body, again, finally. It’s mine. And what anyone thinks of it, isn’t relevant. What I think of it, how I treat it and myself is the only relevant thing.
Instead of hating it, I realize, it’s so strong for being so little and for the abuse it’s survived – the drinking, the smoking, the diet pills, the starvation, the bulimia, the anorexia, no exercise, too much exercise, binge eating – it’s survived a lot. Very little would be able to survive the kind of abuse my body has endured, yet here it is… still strong as F&^%… last night I ran 5K instead of reading a book. I wanted the book, but I knew my body needed the run. It’s not about weight loss, it’s about health and giving my body what it needs to stay strong, healthy and sexy as ***sugar*** (my new word for Fuck, in my attempt to be less defensive – I learned that I use the word F&^% as a way to create separation between me and others and therefore has less effect, I will continue to use F&^%, but only when it’s really needed).
I’ve decided to love my body as fiercely as I once hated it. Everything blooms with love. It’s amazing what we can accomplish with love, rather than hate. And you know, my body might never be “good enough” for some people. Some will always think I’m too fat, too short, too muscular, too something – and I will no longer give a fuck.
Because it was good enough here:
When I was clearly THE cutest baby ever
And here when I was chubbier than I was comfortable with and was trying to hide my gut (it didn’t work):
And here laughing my guts out in amsterdam (there was no “brownie” at this point, but there might have been a brownie at some point, just saying, this laughter was NOT brownie induced)
And here, fighting crime with my sidekicks. I was good enough there too but really didn’t want to go because I thought I was too fat.
And here, I was good enough here too even though I thought I might burst out of my coat with one wrong twist.
And here, because all of my fav things, hiking, my dogs, sunny day in NL even though I was sucking my gut in here too
And here, because I was truly taking care of myself… fitness, nutrition, and mindset on. And hiking, and sunny in NL. And I had a wicked blueberry crumble later.
I am grateful for all that it is, all that is has been through and it’s still there, strong as ever, waiting to be cherished and cared for. It’s enough for me and that’s all that matters. My happiness is no longer dictated by my weight. Life is meant to be lived. Food is meant to be enjoyed. The world is meant to be explored. My body allows me to experience all of these things and so much more. How could I hate it because it’s not airbrushed mag worthy?
PS… leave me a comment. Tell me in 2016 that you will vow to love your body more than you hate it. Let’s start a revolution – I know you’ll be amazed when you see what it looks like from a place of love vs. hate 🙂