Monday, August 26, 2013

My Beloved Body

I am currently taking part in Dominee Wyrick's Blessing Manifesting Monthly Challenges, and this month is The Body Beloved. This is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl. I started gaining weight before I was 10 and was often ridiculed in school for it, which led to low self-esteem and comfort eating and more weight gain. By the time I was in my 20s I was nearing 200 pounds and had tried many dieting techniques already. I hated that my clothes were too tight, that my boobs were so big, that my thighs rubbed together, that my cheeks were so chubby, that everything wiggled and jiggled and bounced around with ever small movement.

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):

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!

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing and being so open and telling your story! Oh how I get the helium balloon thing! When I lost weight I remember saying that my boobs looked like men's socks with rocks in them, haha. My poor deflated boobs and my badonkadonk was no longer very impressive either!
    That's something they don't tell you about losing weight, the skin doesn't always cooperate.
    Thank you thank you for sharing such great links. I think the Love Yourself Challenge is my favorite but Stop Hating Your Body is pretty awesome too. It also begs the question WHY AREN'T I ON TUMBLR? I must remedy that.

    Thank you for being you!

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    1. Thank *you* for offering such a safe place to talk about the harder things, and giving me the courage to talk about these important things here! ♥♥♥

      Tumblr often leads to a big loss of time for me, as does pinterest, but in small doses they can both be pretty fun & informative. (Assuming you follow the right folks!)

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  2. Powerful post and resources. You are beautiful.

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  3. I hate those messages that seem to be on auto-repeat for many of us. But I'm so glad we have places to connect and resources like the ones you mentioned. It takes time, but I believe we can see our bodies for the beautiful works of art they are. Cheers to body love!

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