I just read an amazing article that lifted my spirits and made me think about the way I view myself. “Ten Rules for Fat Girls” is a reminder that we’re all beautiful and that we shouldn’t let anyone treat us like crap for our size – even ourselves. Please read it – whether you’re a chub, love a chub or hate a chub, it has a good message for everyone. The blog’s author is Dianne Sylvan – a Wiccan; the author of the “Shadow World” series (which I may now check out, even though I’m more of a were-beast girl myself, and she writes about vampires); and the author of two books on spirituality, “The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition” (which I have heard of!) and “The Body Sacred” (which I’m so gonna try to get my Joshwa to give me for Yule).
Now, back to the article. Let me start by saying, I struggle every day with my self-image. It’s a struggle that started when I was 13 and I have realized will likely be a part of the rest of my life. The good news is that in the last six years, it’s a struggle that has become easier, especially since I was blessed with my greatest cheerleader. Joshwa tells me everyday that I am beautiful and loved. Now, I’m not going to get into all the things that led me to think there was something wrong with my body. The point is that I did see myself as lacking in many ways, and I punished myself, first by denying myself food (or eating too much and “purging”) and then by over-eating to compensate and “prove I was better”. Either way, I was hating my body. But I’ve always been able to portray the image of a happy, confident woman who was in control of her life. And to a point, the it became true. When I’m in public, I am confident. I’m “tough as nails”. I’ve even been described as a “salt of the earth” type. All which suits me. But it’s in those private moments that I look at myself and see something disgusting and unworthy.
Yes, I said “see”. Because I still do. Usually when I am at my lowest, at my weakest – like now, with my struggle to get pregnant. People tell me to “just lose weight” as if that will fix all my problems. And then my own mother telling me that she didn’t think I could get pregnant on my own – even though she said nothing about my weight – in my mind only adds to my self-image issues for my lack of pregnancy.
But here are the facts. I am 6 feet 1 inch tall. I am a large-boned woman. At 180 lbs, I was unhealthy – and according to “modern medicine”, that is my ideal weight. I am not meant to be a thin woman. I’m not. My ideal weight is 230 lbs, and I’m proud to say it. My ideal size it a 20 or 22, and I’m proud of that. Do you know why? Because I am built like a goddess. My body was created to bring life into this world and if there is a failing in my ability to do so, it is not because of the shape I was given, it was because of the medical procedures I had done when I was 20 and 21 years old. I know this. And today, thanks to Ms. Sylvan’s article, I love myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I do want to exercise more – I miss all the walking Joshwa and I did in Chicago and I miss being outside all the time. But the lack has as much to do with Joshwa’s crazy schedule and the fact that walking alone isn’t nearly as much fun here as walking with Joshwa or wandering alone through the woods. And I want to eat healthier – but I’ve been moving towards that for the last three years. I want more veggies in our diet, more fresh foods – and that’s gotten harder since coming to Alabama because, shockingly, it isn’t as cheap or as easily available as it was in Chicago. I plan on growing more and more of our food when I can, but at the moment it is impractical, especially since we plan on moving soon (fingers crossed).
But none of that should affect the way I see myself. Because when it comes down to it, at my healthiest, my body looks much as it looks now. And you know what? I do love my body. I love who I am. And my health is better now than it was at 14 when I was thin – or as thin as my adult body was able to be (because, yes, at 14 I was already full-sized, just thinner). And, as Ms. Sylvan said, I would never let anyone talk shit about me because of my size – I’ve snapped many a nose off when someone dared talk shit. But I sometimes let myself say things like that about myself. That stops today. Well, I’ll at least come back to that article and remind myself that I am beautiful. I am God and Goddess blessed. I mean, over the last year I’ve documented my life. And all it takes is a read over the things that have happened to me and the things that I’ve jumped into, to see how blessed my life is.
I am beautiful. I am loved. I am blessed. I am a child of the God and Goddess. I am a child of a family of strong women who – though none of them really understand me – love me exactly as I am.
And you know what? So are you. I may not know you, but I know that. Maybe you don’t worship the God and Goddess – that’s fine. But you are a child of the same Divine source that created me, no matter what name you put to it. And if you are an Atheist? I believe that the Divine source made you that way, but you can drop that part. And if you weren’t blessed with a family that loves you – there is one out there for you. I have sisters that come from completely different families. Some of whom I haven’t seen in a year. But I love them and they love me. And so long as you love yourself, you can find those people who will love you as well.
So everyday, when you look in the mirror, remember you are loved and there is at least one person out there who thinks you’re beautiful.
Brightest blessings to all of us, in all our forms.