I was going to just write a short recap tonight, on how my week of being “BOT” (Back On Track!) went, but I have been thinking about a lot of stuff lately.
Today I read THREE very powerful and honest posts:
- Lynn’s confession about disordered eating
- Krissie’s post about the body image issues she’s having with her post-weight-loss body
- Mary’s admission that she never sees herself as beautiful
All three of these posts broke my heart a little, because I like and admire all of these ladies a lot, and also because I saw myself in each of their posts, and judging by the comments, I’m not the only one who did.
You know, I have a real life friend who’s just started reading my blog, and to be honest, I had been quite reluctant to tell her about it (although now I’m totally fine with it.) My friend, and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this, has struggled with her own disordered eating and body image issues, and she has fought hard to come back from that. She now spends a good portion of her time trying to help others with the same issues. Honestly, I think she is amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
And for that reason, I didn’t want to tell her about my blog. Part of me felt ashamed, that I had succumbed to the typical desire to lose weight, that I was buying into all of our unhealthy cultural ideas of what women need to look like.
But lately I have come to have more respect for what I’ve done and for what I’m still doing. I am managing the disordered eating that I’ve struggled with for the last 25 years. My friend and I are not so different. Some people see food as evil, I saw it as love. It is neither of those things, and I am learning that, teaching myself day by day by day.
I used to think that I had to choose one side or the other: I could either lose weight, or I could learn to accept myself as I was. But now I know I have to do both. My weight was not just a fact about me that I had to accept, like my crooked nose or weird baby tooth. It was a symptom of a disorder that I needed to address. And simultaneously (you know, in case we weren’t having ENOUGH fun!) I have to work on the long and arduous process of accepting my body for what it is and what it isn’t.
And I am humbled sometimes, when I look around and see how much we all struggle with this. It makes me sad and, honestly, a little bit mad. How can we be expected to do so much? How can we travel so far?
And yet at the same time, how can we not?
I will say this: I am honoured to be on this journey with all of you. I am proud that we have claimed these little spaces on the web, where we are honest and real, where we can be both fragile and powerful, where we can show our beauty and our ugly bits too. I am proud to walk down this road with you.