I don’t think I could ever stop writing in personal anecdotes and baring my honest feelings so I better stop hesitating to post in fear of being ‘too personal’. My writing is characteristically personal — I’m rarely satisfied with it otherwise. But I digress.
I’ve been meaning to document in words how I’ve become much kinder to myself in past weeks.
I’ve recently had a wake up call with regards to my health. Or more accurately, I am no longer in denial of the issues that my body has been screaming at me about for years now. My body is no longer kidding when it speaks of the high risk of heart disease and diabetes that I inherited, so now I listen.
I was threatened with trip to the dietitian and my immediate reaction was to reject the notion entirely, clinging desperately to the peace that I had conjured between mind and body. I remembered all the harm that dieting had done on my psyche — the shame, pain and danger that came with it and its counterparts that preached ‘health’. I wasn’t at all ready to give up the sense of self I had gained from letting go of obsessing over my lack of control and self-restraint in what I thought was a fundamental and simple aspect of human life. I had fought so hard against myself and my body for so long that once I waved the white flag, even considering taking up arms again brought paralyzing flashbacks of war.
And then I took a moment to think about what exactly it was that I was holding on to and I realized that I had reconnected to a love of myself that I don’t remember having had passed the age of six. I had stopped looking away when I glimpsed myself in the mirror. Instead I looked, and stared and smiled and laughed and was able to genuinely compliment myself. And genuinely believe those compliments as truths. Something had changed when I came home and forced myself to let go of all the pressure — work, school, mind and body.
The relief — to not exhaust yourself with hate every day — itself is astounding; it also does wonders for your complexion. I have learned to love my body and it just so happens that loving your body does a lot more in the way of health than shaming it ever could. On average, I have smiled and laughed a lot more and people have noticed. Even on the days that I struggle to look myself in the mirror, I thank myself for having come this far.
I am still wary of climbing onto the proverbial wagon when it comes to my trying to lose weight because I don’t want to fall into old habits. And, yes, insecurities are still abound. But I have found a respect for my body, one that I will protect with my life. I am done with antagonizing myself and policing what I wear and chastising myself for eating to much of the ‘wrong’ thing or not trying hard enough to bend this body to my will. My body is my own and I am so okay with it. It’s time that I start to respect and honour myself and the flesh and bone that carries me.