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)) )


AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

Great start!

Ruby said...

What a lovely post. You have every reason to be proud of yourself! And it makes me happy to hear that you are.

Kirsten Alicia said...

Hey BlissChick, what an awesome post!! Thanks for sharing it with us & KEEP DANCING!! :)

shiny mamaof6 said...

This post was very near and dear to my heart. I have experienced exactly the same thing as you. I no longer feel driven by that number on the scale. Freedom came with just living my life fully. Thank you for sharing.

differenceayearmakes said...

Wow! Now that is awesome!! Totally awesome!!

Amy said...

Pretty f'ing cool!

The Other Laura said...

You are inspiring me so much!

Tess said...

Fabulous, it really is inspiring. (I have to admit to a bit of transatlantic confusion when I first saw this post because of course in the UK, pants are trousers and, er, underpants are pants. But celebrating in your underpants would be perfectly fine too!)

Elize said...

awesome!!! thanks for sharing & inspiring.... keep dancing your bliss :)

bobbybegood1 said...

What a powerful and positive post. Whatever a person goes through in this life (if good, great - if bad and they came through the experience a stronger and better person for it, HOORAY!!) they should be proud of themselves. Women especially. We are beginning to take back our power, and not let society dictate to us how we should look. Personally, true beauty and strength come from within. You should be proud of yourself. So, SHINE ON Bliss. Cheers!!

Oh, let me introduce myself. My name is Bobbybegood1. I found your post through Tulips & Tea. I love your blog and posts. I hope we become good blogging friends. Stop by my blog for a visit and chat. Have a great day!

babs said...

What a beautiful post! You are shiny and glittery and I can totally tell that you are glowing. Yay!

Girlie-Queue said...

Thanks for not being humble :)This really is something to be proud of yourself for *living*. Thanks for your honesty and inspiration ♥S

Megan Potter said...

I have made a decision: You are, in fact, ME in some kind of alternate universe! Yep, that's definitely it.

The last two months (I'd say) I've been coming to realize that this is exactly why I weigh what I weigh (the word "invisible" has been making an appearance)... I'm still a few steps behind you in overcoming though!

You Go Girl!


Susan said...

What a hoot, Christine! And - YAY on you!

Shine on...glitter and all those girly fun things!

Feathers and boas?

IrishPoet said...

LOL great title Christine and it got my attention! How very appropriate though since I'm going thru similar period...just turned 50 last year and have gained about 10 lbs since Thanksgiving (it's been a long winter here!) and finding my pants don't fit so good lately and I hate it! I'm doing lots of yoga (just completed my YTT 2 weeks ago and already teaching here!) but still the love handles remain...I even have one pair of black cords that fit best and have worn them practically all winter, so much my co-workers are starting to talk?! :) Ok I'm starting to sound like too much of a 'Chick' here aren't I? Think I'll just slip away to eat some more baby carrots and think about starting that 10 day Lenten fast tomorrow? (and I'm not even Catholic, anymore!)

namaste, Michael :-)

IrishPoet said...

BTW I do love what you shared here and I'm goin' dancin' this weekend! :)

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Be proud! I agree wholeheartedly with losing the numbers ~ i.e. tape measure, scale, blah blah. Our bodies know what they're prime is ~ when they're "healthy" ... don't they?

svasti said...

Ah... and now I see where you're going with this. ;)

Yes, I think there is a tendency to hide behind our body whether we like it or not. And let's face it, most women DON'T like their bodies - we've been trained to think it's imperfect!

But then, we get to pile our self-loathing onto our physical form and it becomes an excuse for everything else. And a self-perpetuating cycle of abuse and neglect.

As you've pointed out, even when we do take care of ourselves it is sometimes not for the right reasons (you should check out Anthroyogini's latest post which is about very similar issues).

We do have to learn to love ourselves as we are, BUT then we also have to learn to love ourselves and our physical form full stop!

Dia said...

I love this post!!
You are certainly not alone in finding heavier more 'comfortable' (invisible) - I'm a massage therapist, & poor body image has held many back from seeking the comfort & pleasure of a good massage - so sad!!
I too love to dance - many forms - helps me enjoy being in this body. A friend facilitates Ecstatic Dance & my 5 year old granddaughter is a natural at 'free form' - though we also take Ballet (& I'm learning square dance!)
I *lost* ~ 15# since going gluten free last summer, & find myself enjoying having 'my old' (pre- menopause!) body *back* - I was dancing & doing water aerobics all along - intriguing stuff!

claire said...

'to stay in the background of life...'

Bravo, Christine. You're sensational!


Carolyn said...

This comment is a little late, but this post put a HUGE smile on my face!