But guess what? I was beautiful. I was young. I was sexy. I was smart. I was funny. I had boys falling head over heels in love with me. But I still felt no good. The voices still echoed in my head, the voices from well-meaning family, the voices from school, the voices on the television and radio. I was fat, unloveable, unattractive. And still those messages play in my head, but I'm learning to see the untruth in the words and tune them out.
A few years ago my weight was approaching 250 and I made the commitment to eat right. I had joined a gym in years past, but they cost too much, and in the end didn't mean more than a loss of 20 or so pounds. So, with Jacqueline's help & support, I started tracking my eating, cutting back my carbs (I am diabetic) and my calories and I got down to 170. I felt great!
But the body love was not there. Wrinkles appeared around my eyes, my boobs were deflated, my stomach was weird. I hadn't weighed that little in a dozen years, but my body didn't look like it did back then. It had spent those years all stretched out and overweight. Think of the helium balloons you keep around until they slowly sink to the floor and shrivel up. That was how I felt my body was.
I gave up on keeping track of my eating and my weight, and slowly it started creeping up again. Today I am hovering around 205. Life isn't nice and stable right now, money is tight, and often my nutritional needs are pushed aside. I eat more carbs and calories than I would prefer, but I am still trying. And this time, I don't completely HATE my body.
I've found a wealth of resources on the internet that are helping me see how normal my body is, how worthy of love I am, from myself! It started with Gala Darling's Radical Self-Love and Ragen Chastain's Dances With Fat blog and it's spread from there. Here's a list, in no particular order, of some of my favorite body-positive and self-love websites (Please note! These are not always SFW!):
- The Militant Baker - in-your-face body acceptance!
- Body Love Wellness - Golda Poretsky's website
- Kind Over Matter - not exclusively about self-love or body-positivity, but often there are posts that relate.
- Roots of She - also not exclusively about self-love or body-positivity, but very much
- Big Girl Bombshell - Crafty artistic blog about about change and learning to believe in the attitude of a bombshell.
- Voluptuous Vixens - a facebook group that promotes a positive atmosphere for women who embrace their curves
- Curvy Yoga - yoga for those that don't fit the yoga-body stereotype
- Be Your Own Beloved - using self-portraits as a path to self-love
And on tumblr (definitely not always SFW):
- Fatshionable Apples - Golda Poretsky's fashion blog for apple-shaped ladies
- Fuck Yeah Chubby Fashion - fashion blog for plus-sized people
- Fat bodies - a blog dedicated to fat bodies
- Exciting Fat People - fat people who aren't just striving to be thin!
- BodyPosiBikiniBabes - women of all sizes & shapes wearing bikinis
- The Love Yourself Challenge - positive and encouraging pics for those who struggle with body image & more
- Stop Hating Your Body - place of encouragement to talk about body image
- The Fat Grackle - random images and words that focus on fat acceptance
- Fat People Art - art that doesn't conform to traditional body standards
I realize this list leans more toward fat-positive sites, because that's what's personal to me, but I am well aware that thin people have body issues too! I hope that this list can help anyone feeling hateful toward their own bodies; let me know in a comment if you have a favorite body-positive place, and don't forget to check out the Monthly Challenge!