I’ve written, extensively, about my struggle with all things “The Body”. Recently I have made a conscious effort to embrace the fact that Jasmine and “my body” are the same person. My circumstances are: I pack on the pounds as a trauma reaction and then the pounds don’t come off very quickly because I have a chronic disease that affects my metabolic process and makes weight loss near impossible. Even if I didn’t have those “legitimate reasons” for having excess weight is would still be hard. Women and their bodies have it rough. Women have it rough. In a world of fat/skinny bashing, stereotyping, and a misogynistic media force, it can be really hard in your own body. We are always being told our bodies are “right” the way they are. So much of what we are told is a narrative based on having someone else’s body, get a BEACH BODY, a GYM BODY, a DANCER BODY a BIKINI BODY.
I get it! No company is going to sell products by encouraging body contentment. In fact they have to create the need (OHMYGAWD WHY DON’T YOU LOOK LIKE JENNIFER HUDSON!) so that you’ll take the bait that their product is JUST.WHAT.YOU.NEED.TO.LOOK.LIKE.JENNIFER.HUDSON!
The world used to honor, mostly, the functional body but even now that isn’t enough. You have to have a Brazilian backside, with inflatable on the front, a twiggy waist, and Keira Knightly legs. I don’t even know what that person looks like.
The “real women have curves” movement was a step in normalizing the anti-runway model body, but then the more lean women were ostracized. Cecily wrote about being in her body the other day and I hear parts of my own inner body voice in what she had to say AND Kristina wrote about how being skinny is complicated and I heard my own inner body voice as well. I hear my story in Kristina’s story because lots of women look at my body and my athletic ability and say, “I wanna be like that.”
Of course I don’t remember that when I am bashing myself. When I am in my head I imagine that mine is the worst of the worst on the body list and no one will even find ‘all dis chubby’ attractive.
Add the fact that my husband had affairs, secretly, for all five years of our marriage and THIS lady’s self esteem is quickly spiraling into, “at least the cookies love me” zone.
I’ve defined myself by an arbitrary number on the scale for too long.
But lately I have been fighting back! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you’ve seen many check-in status updates to the gym. I’ve started going to the gym 3-4 days a week and doing functional fitness around the house the other days. I’ve created goals for myself that focus on fitness and not the scale. For example: I created a fitness bucket list awhile ago. This list is a way for me to feel like I am accomplishing my goals AND it helps me keep fitness fun. I get to try new experiences, which I totally love (usually).
I’ve purchased a cool pair of running shorts. These running shorts CURRENTLY look like booty shorts, but I expect as I keep a healthy level of activity and body movement the fit will start to change.
I am working very hard to stop focusing on what I don’t like and start realizing and focusing on what I love. I am a friggin’ talented Zumba instructor, I can run a 5K, I am VERY strong, also… have I mentioned that I happen to be an exceptionally beautiful woman? I totally am.
Do you have a fitness bucket list? If so what is on it? If not, what would you put on it? If you are interested in changing your body/fitness level, what NON-scale goals do you use to encourage and empower yourself?