I gained thirty pounds in the last year. Sometimes it feels like voluptuous curves and softness over bone. Sometimes it feels like I’m wearing a costume that doesn’t fit right, hanging slack onto my chest.
In an effort to be body positive and not complain about it, I complain about it constantly. I tell people who I haven’t seen in a year how I am definitely *not* going to mention my weight gain.
I don’t really feel that positive about it because it isn’t some natural landing point of healthy self care. It’s what happens when I stop exercising and eat way more than I want or need because of too much, or too little, comfort. And, while I can own the old, sadder self-worth story, I can also override it. Gaining and losing weight is what bodies do for all kind of reasons. A year ago, I shifted my focus away from super conscious eating and exercising to doing love and relationship stuff which, as you know, is less… focused. I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve expanded my ability to withstand tenderness, intimacy, and develop healthy boundaries. A thousand percent worth every ounce.
Eating is inextricably enmeshed into how we (often) do love.
See also how we (often) do: protection, comfort, self soothing, celebration, devastation, connection.
Wanting to return to lean doesn’t mean I hate my body.
Asses are in vogue and mine is spectacular. I’m tall and carry myself with pride. Likely, it’s a literal non-event for anyone who knows me, until I bring it up. Which I do.
The irony of this post is not lost on me.
So I’m not completely carefree about it, but unlike when I was younger and pinned ALL of my worth on external validation and my looks-advantage, I’ve got a real level of chill these days. There are things I care about with so much more urgency: parenting, smashing the patriarchy and systemic oppression, making sure the garbage gets to the curb every Tuesday, and that we don’t run out of toilet paper. You know. EVERYTHING ELSE.
But, for my particular bag of bones, lighter is how I land when I’m taking the best care and now it’s time to to dive back into the kind of body focus that propels me and my best work forward.
I trust that my body, and the energy it carries, will respond well to the love.
I always wish to do no (more) harm.
I always want to be more of a beacon and less of a vacuum.
I do my best writing when I’m running. It’s just a fact.
I need the strength to sit still for hours of reading and writing.
I have more fight in me when my joints don’t ache and my body feels strong, when I’m circulating blood and oxygen like a well-oiled machine. And yes, when my clothes fit beautifully.
I also like to look my best.
So, I’ve started a detox/cleanse thing this week to help reset my habits and clear out my system and I’m so excited to feel this ready. And yes, I do want to lose weight, but I’m not wholly stuck on that factor. What I really want is the energy to restore magic to a planet drowning in grief. At least in my little corner of the globe.
I want to vote for personal and planetary health with my money and my plate.
I want to have the stamina to rise up and up, and the energy to grab the hands of others and pull them up with me.
Imagine a world where ALL of us are taking such excellent care of our bodies (whatever the size, obviously) that they’re less likely to break down. ALL of us taking such excellent care of our bodies that we have the energy to help others take care of their bodies when they, inevitably, do break down. ALL of us taking such excellent, and loving, care of our bodies that we are able to resist, together, the relentless tide of insanity and unrest that thrives on our exhaustion and depression.
Imagine the high holy cathedrals we build for housing sickness becoming high holy temples devoted to creating and maintaining wellness.
Imagine that we collectively realize our bodies are the vehicles that allow us to give and receive love, to walk the planet, to show up and to stand up. And we pursue our own versions of soldier-status strength, becoming an unstoppable force of rebellion against anything that would dare tell us otherwise.
And that includes action. And acceptance. And more action. And more acceptance.
I know for a fact that prioritizing body health from a source of self-love, rather than self-loathing, enhances mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I know for a fact it makes me a better, more thoughtful citizen, mother, coach, and friend.
I want that. And I won’t stop returning to it, no matter how many times life takes me on detours. I’m still here. Doing it all perfectly imperfectly.
And I want that for you too.
What does taking excellent care of your body look like?
I am so glad you’re here.