Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Celebrating in My Pants
(Please excuse the title...I could NOT resist.)
Being depressed enough for a major portion of your life to the point that you are pretty much disconnected from any real experience of your body does not exactly make for physical fitness. To say the least.
When I have been "thin" in the past, it's been due to a cocktail of under-eating and over-exercising or just such severe anxiety that my body had started to gnaw at itself from the inside.
For the past few years, I have gotten happy "enough" to stop wanting to die, but I was not joyous or exuberant in any way. My main goal in life has been to feel safe, and one of the ways I have done that in the recent past is to stay a bit on the heavy side. I then used that as an excuse to hide, to not wear anything too pretty, too shiny. You know, to stay in the background of life.
And I always had the excuse of "Well...I don't want to buy anything nice...I will lose weight some day and then what?" I'm sure this is familiar to a lot of people.
Then, of course, the unexpected happened and I returned to my first love -- dance. I dance every day, and most days, I dance a lot. And do yoga. And other things.
But I do not own a scale; I do not use a measuring tape; I do not count calories; I do not call some foods "bad" and others "good"; I do not ignore cravings. The scale, the tape, the calories...all of it can be very bad for those of us who have suffered from eating disorders or body image disorders.
Instead of flirting with potential disaster and definite numbers-induced self-hatred, I just do my thing -- dance my joy, every day.
Little by little, I feel my confidence building -- along with my strength and balance and flexibility (all of those literally and metaphorically).
Little by little, I shed things I no longer need -- weight, yes, but also insecurity and the desire to hide. I find myself wanting to look glittery, wanting to show off...a bit...that is hard to admit.
I am...wow...proud of myself. I am grimacing as I write that. That is how weird that feels -- that I am making a freaking face at the screen as I watch that sentence appear before me.
I am proud of myself. I am proud of what I have done, what I will do, who I am, and (god forbid) what I look like -- strong and capable and shiny.
It's not really a thing we girls, in this culture, are ever supposed to say out loud, is it? We are supposed to stay humble, not show off, be quiet.
Nope. Not this Chick. Not any more. I have been graced with gifts but I also work damn hard to improve, to grow, to stretch myself. I'm allowed to claim a little credit.
That little pile in that picture? I went shopping for some clothes to go dancing in, and I was in the dressing room NOT HATING MY BODY.
How f'ing cool is that?
(Tomorrow I'll be posting the first of a new interview series called EmBody Talk. That is called a teaser. ((giggle)) )