Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Years Out of the Shadows

Today is the 30th anniversary of Shadow on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression.

I'm relatively new to this whole loving my body thing. I can't even express how incredibly grateful I am to have such strength of will as the women who contributed to this groundbreaking book to draw from.

One of the first things I learned when I chose to move away from the self hatred bubble I was living in was that I was not going to be able to do this alone. I had to spend as much time as I could devote to reading and listening to others, women especially, who were on this journey of self love and body acceptance. I am constantly drawing from women who have walked this path before me. I have the internet at my fingertips making that support easy to find and relatively safe from hatred.

Thirty years ago these women came together to set the foundation. It takes great courage to call out oppression for what it is, to claim the right to exist in a fat body in this world of thin privilege. Today I still struggle to speak up when I'm being shamed or bullied. What these women had the courage to accomplish 30 years ago emboldens me.

Thank you, today I celebrate your strength and courage. Take a look at the rest of the blog carnival celebration here

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Accepting Me

I have been doing a lot of work with myself over the last few years.

I have always had some sort of problem with food and body image. Since my earliest memory. Afraid to eat. Afraid to look in a mirror. Afraid to go clothes shopping.

To be fair, I wasn't fat when I was younger. The largest size I had reached before the age of 18 was likely a 12, possibly a 16. After having my fifth child I hovered between a size 12 to a size 16. It always horrified me when I got near the 16 end.

Don't worry this isn't going to be a lifes story. Just giving a little bit of a background. Someday I will write out that long story of becoming actually truly fat. Not today though.

I have learned to not be afraid of food. I have learned to not feel guilt for wanting to eat, for desiring delicious food that I love, for consuming food at all. Yes I know what it feels like to hate myself for eating, at all.

The last few days have been a bit surreal for me. For the first time in about a year now, people I care about have been hinting that weight loss should be a goal for me. I am not at all use to facing this from friends and family. Oh sure I get it from random strangers, people in clothing stores, people on style forums, people randomly in public. I just can't recall the last time that a friend or family member, knowing the journey of FA and HAES I have been very vocal about, has chosen to point me in the direction of reducing my food intake to force my body to consume itself so that I can become smaller.

I have been finding a voice within FA. A voice of my own. Perhaps my willingness to speak up more audibly has made those close to me feel this need to shout me down? To save me? I don't know.

I'm prepared for a stranger to send me messages reminding me I'm fat and suggesting ways for me to become less fat. I wasn't prepared for my loved ones, who have been witness to my journey, mostly on Facebook, to begin the subtle suggesting that there may be hope for me yet.

I'm not quite sure what to do with this. I suppose I better become prepared.