I have a confession. My favorite foods are butter and pizza.
Veggies are okay. But you take those lil suckers and toss them in a skillet with a slab of Sweet Cream Salted Butter and I’ll eat two plates full. And pizza? Sigh, no more explanation needed.
These thoughts have been brewing deep for a while. Some I’m comfortable with and some I’m not. There’s not an easy way to get into this, so as usual, I’ll just jump right in.
I hate my body.
I mean there’s little parts I like. I love my hair. And my collar bone and shoulders. Sometimes I like my arms… and my feet. I like my feet.
I know, I know, before all y’all freak out, stop reading and are like “You skinny B!!” stick with me, I’m going somewhere with this.
…Speaking of “skinny,” this is a word that have been circling and circling in my mind lately. Why? Well perhaps it’s because I believe our culture has an unhealthy obsession with it and we can’t get away from it. I can’t get on Facebook or Instagram without seeing an Ad or woman with only a bra on showing her perfectly flat stomach without a millimeter of flubber. There’s lose fat quick gimmicky commercials, cook books just for this purpose, billboards, “fat slimming” clothes, the list goes on and on.
It has gotten in my subconscious. I woke up one morning and had a lil epiphany. It truly transformed my world and has become my mantra.
“LIFE IS NOT ABOUT BEING SKINNY!”
I screamed it in my bedroom. Worn out by the unbelievable pressure that I was putting on myself. Worn out by resisting, resisting food. Thinking about food all the time. Stressing about food all the time and how it was affecting my body. Worry and guilt hanging on my skin.
It is a slow, slow process of shifting my brain because I’m realizing how unhealthy of a place I’ve been in.
It’s a simple concept, but boy howdy, it is hard. When I am hungry. I eat. No more denying myself food, just-drink-water mentality. This means small meals throughout the day. AND I eat what I want. Sometimes those small meals are fruit with GASP cheese. Sometimes those small meals are boiled eggs and toast with, wait for it, like 10 pounds of butter. And sometimes those small meals are PIZZA!!!
I am also making a conscious effort to enjoy food. This might seem easy, but there is an inevitable consequence. I loooove my pizza going down, but after… afterwards the insane amount of guilt kicks in. “Now you’ve done it, you’ll get fat. It’s showing in your face. Ok. I’ll do two yoga classes tomorrow. Work it off. Maybe a walk too. Breathe, breathe.”
I counter this negative speak with the following: “Life is not about being skinny, life is not about being skinny. There is more to life than this. It is okay to enjoy food. I’ve done nothing wrong. I am beautiful.” I talk to myself like I talk to someone that I dearly love. It’s a slow process to counter the negative talk.
And here’s the kicker, I’ve gained weight. I have gained 10 pounds since I started doing this. I’ll give you a moment to let the shock settle.
So I really am doing this! The weight I was at before was slightly unhealthy. But more so, it was controlled with an iron fist. I regulated every bite that went in my mouth and it showed in my clenched jaw.
I observe my body now, 10 pounds heavier, it’s softer, I’m getting little curves and I’m working really, really hard to like it.
Where did the concept of an ideal woman’s body change? Now it seems the ideal is six pack abs, muscular arms, and sturdy quads. This sounds more like a man’s body. Not the natural soft flowing lines, squeezable thighs and tender curves of a woman’s.
I get it, I’m in my 30’s, still young and might sound all starry-eyed idealistic. I know that my body will continue to change, many things beyond my control. I realized I’m clinging tight to a thing I can’t control. And I’d rather let go of it now while I still can. I’ve gone through the blossoming age of my 20’s hating my body. And dagnabbit I’m not going to go through the prime of my 30’s and beyond hating it as well.
Awkward share time. I avoid mirrors like the plague. I don’t want to see myself. I just zero in on the things I can’t stand. A new practice is I close my bedroom or bathroom door, take all my clothes off, stand in front of the mirror and just stare. I face it. Take it all in. It’s terrifying. Then. I turn around and look at my backside. Grrrrrr. I HATE my backside. So many jiggles. So many jiggles.
Then I say out loud which parts of my body I like. And I have to change it up each day. Told you this was awkward. Then I repeat this phrase, “My confidence is in You, My confidence is in You, You are unchangeable.”
Because I’ve been wrapping up my self worth in the tightness of my thighs and placing my confidence in my skinniness. It’s exhausting. More so, those things have and will continue to change. And my God, my salvation, the one who believes my soul is beautiful and worthy to die for, never changes.