The Body Post
I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies lately.
I’m 24 years old and I am technically quite overweight. I have no idea how much I actually weigh because I don’t care, and I don’t know what my BMI is because I also don’t care. I am healthy. It has taken a long, long time to get here.
I remember reading a poem once. I think it was in a Chicken Soup book, which I object to on moral grounds, but I used to read them as a middle schooler anyway. It went something like:
“looking through the catalogs
wanting the bodies
not the clothes”
and that was so accurate it took my breath away. What teenage girl hasn’t felt that? As women, we are led to believe that our bodies are communal property, that the only acceptable body type is lithe and thin, that thinness is the commodity prized above all else. Weight Watchers commercials tell us that “diets don’t work.” (which, incidentally, is true–but Weight Watchers is a diet, forfuckssake). We are told that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels, which is such bullshit, because have you HAD really good chocolate cake? Or a fresh tomato?
I used to not care what I put in my body. I scarfed down crap all the time. I ate when I wasn’t hungry. I was trying to fill something else.
Then I started reading Kate Harding and she made sense. Eat when you’re hungry. Eat what you feel like eating. Stop when you’re full.
OK, I told my body. Let’s try this.
This morning I went out to brunch with my dad. I looked at the menu. I saw the “healthy breakfast option” but I didn’t want wheat toast, egg whites and yogurt. I wanted baked brie and french toast.
So that’s what I had. I didn’t eat all of it. I ate until I was full. I remembered to savor the food, instead of scarfing it. I remember to listen to my body and I find that I crave things that are considered healthy just as much as crap. I want salad, green and bring and soaked in veggies, and I want juicy fresh tomatoes and soup loaded down with veggies and I want chocolate and cake and ice cream.
I’m getting better at liking my body. The only part I really, really hate is my ankle. OK, I hate both ankles. They just suck. They keep twisting.
But the rest of my body–I am strong enough to do round offs and flips and to jump and walk in the woods for ages and swim in the ocean, way far out, and my lap is broad enough to hold several kids, and when they jump on me my belly the roll of fat cushions both of us. And this is the way to do it. It’s a long process. It doesn’t always work. I don’t always believe that my body is OK the way it is, that I can be strong and healthy and happy and fat. But I believe it enough.