Friday, May 23, 2014

Today I Realized That I Don't Care What You Think About My Body

I had an epiphany of sorts today.

See, I finally watched that Upworthy video that has been circulating on Facebook - the before/after one with the woman who became a bodybuilder and discovered that she still was not happy with her body. She is now on a mission to create a documentary that helps women to love their bodies.

I watched it and cried a little (of course). And then I had a thought.

Who cares if my stomach isn’t completely flat? Really, who cares?

A simple thought. An obvious one. 

Taken a little further: I don’t owe it to anyone to look a certain way.

I’m not just talking about a thought that stopped at “this is how I should think,” but more of a visceral, deep knowing that I am not merely something to be looked at. I don’t want to be an object. While this isn’t what losing weight is about for many people, this is what I realized it is largely about for me - becoming more “attractive,” whatever that means.

I’ve been trying to lose “those last 10 pounds” for my whole life. But why? So I can look the way I’m “supposed” to look? Actually, if I were to try to look the way the idealized American woman “should” look I’d have to lose something more like 50 pounds. 

Just this morning with my wonderful running buddy, I was bemoaning my 25.9 BMI. Why can’t I just get it under 25?! Awesome as she is, she set me straight pointing out how ridiculous it is to obsess about such a generalized number based on averages rather than a person’s particular make-up. And besides, the BMI thing is just another one of my smoke-screens for the real issue - that I am trying to make myself more acceptable. I’m so thankful for this deep revelation, and for this loud voice calling out to me, “ACCEPTABLE TO WHOM? TO WHOM? WHO CARES?!”

So I’m going to stop.

I am going to stop the comparing. I’m going to stop the body-part hating. I’m going to stop the calorie counting. I’m even going to stop the weighing. I am most certainly going to stop asking my husband if I look pregnant in certain dresses.

No, I’m not going to stop the running. I like doing that and it has become more about the run, and the running friends, and the challenge, than the weight loss.

I am going to live in my body. I am going to stop at 2 pieces of pizza because 3 makes me feel yucky - not because I’m afraid of gaining weight. I am going to continue to challenge my body because it feels good and helps me believe in myself - not in order to see more muscle definition in my arms. And I am going to thank God for this body that has been with me from the beginning and is good and is me.

This is my body, and it is amazing.
This body grew life and gave birth (with and without pain medication), and then, amazingly, continued to sustain that life.
This body can run really far. And then a little bit further.
This body can carry a sweet, heavy boy, and a tender little girl, and an independent big girl - if she would only let me.
This body is healthy! Cholesterol: awesome. Blood pressure: great. Blood sugar: perfect.
This body has a brain, a heart, a soul - not to be separated, all one, fearfully and wonderfully.

No comments:

Post a Comment