The Line in the Sand
There is a lot to life. We exist in so many ways in our bodies while we spend time of this eary. I'm currently back home in Spokane WA with family as my uncle is fighting ALS/Lou Gherig's disease. It's truely a harsh reality check that we aren't are on this planet forever and that we don't get to choose man things in our lives. We've been spending as much time as we can as a family, laughing, playing with the littles, talking about the beauty in our lives and the sadness we all feel. I'm am so thankful for the time to be here and be present with my family. It's freeing to know we're together (especially in the COVID era!) It's times like this that I'm also so thankful that the pursuit of thinness doesn’t have a space in my world. It doesn’t take up precious time and or affect my ability to be present with my family. At least, not anymore.
It wasn’t always like this though. There was a time when wishing for thinness and a body that was “better” was almost always on my mind. It impacted how I showed up for myself and others, how I moved my body, what I ate, what adventures I let myself have, what I thought myself capable of, etc.
I missed so much of my life from 13-28. And then, in the pursuit of one last magic fix, I picked up a book about health at every size and my world was shifted, every so slightly, into the realization that maybe my body wasn’t bad and unhealthy and broken. That maybe, just maybe, the systems around me had some flaws.
That little seed planted right then and there grew into a deep exploration of the truths I was telling myself and who told me those truths. That examination, prior to my pregnancy allowed me to enter the TTC phase, pregnancy, labor and parenthood with a firm stance on what I wanted my experience to look like and it sure as shit didn't involve being consumed by dieting, calorie counting, restriction, elimination diets, etc. This vision for my pregnancy, vetting of care providers, changing my social media feeds, and talk therapy were the keys to unlocking the belief that I didn’t need to change my body for anyone- not even myself.
I now focus on what makes me feel good and alive and happy and yes, that does include which foods I find nourishing and foods I just find damn delicious. And it includes so much more, intentional joyous movement, my head space, the people in my life, the books I read, etc.
It is an intentional and conscious decision that at 33, on the other side of that journey and childbirth, I have formally and officially drawn the line in the sand. And even with that line I'm still learning how to keep the edges of that line from being sucked back into the ocean or permanently annihilated by the loud and constant waves of diet culture, weight stigma, physical spaces that remind me “we’re not made for you”.
That wave can get pretty damn loud sometimes and that wave exists in an ocean of other things that occur in our lives. We’re not just fat. For many- that’s not our only identity or our only marginalized identity. We exist inside love, success, grief, loss, sex, children, pets, promotions, adventure, and on and on.
For me, letting go of and then outwardly rejecting diet culture and stigma that I faced and continue to face.
Operating as a fat person accepting my fatness- especially in the medicalized world of birth- is not easy. I doubt it will ever be easy. But this message that I carry in my heart and in my bones, this belief that birth can be a deep transformation and free of stigma, is vital and I won’t stop. I can’t.
I invite you to message me if you’re not sure where to start or you’re on your own journey and you want to compare notes.