I wear an extra small now.
I loathe even writing that.
It’s weird to have something that so many people want so badly - or think they want it - and hating it.
I opened this Athleta catalogue - I’m not sure how I even started receiving it since I never shop there - but I like looking through the workout clothes. I’ve got to let go of the past and give away - no THROW AWAY, they are sooooo old - my old workout clothes. The pants literally slide off my hips now! What the fuck!? I’ve had hips since I was 16 and no amount of healthy eating or workouts has changed that.
Now that “society” is finally embracing super strong looking women like the ones in this photo - and women of color woot! - I’m turning into this frail little lady. ARRRRGGGGHHHH! It’s like seeing gluten-free waffle cones at a vegan ice cream place - all the foods I love and can eat are EVERYWHERE and I can NOT EAT THEM.
My timing sucks.
As I’ve mentioned in here before, I’ve never aspired to be waif-y thin. I’m trying to remember when my ideas around that started forming. I feel really lucky I didn’t obsess about my body shape much when I was young.
I was WAY more concerned with how pasty white I was and how embarrassed I was of my red hair (my mom said I could dye it any time, which of course, reverse psychology works wonders in adolescence and I never dyed until later in my twenties when I’d “streak” it 90s style).
I remember jogging around the track freshman year in high school and hearing some boys behind me. I braced myself for them to tease me about my super white legs.
Then they passed me right by without saying a word and I was like “wait, is this high school? Will I finally be teased less about my skin?”
I was TORMENTED as a child for my skin color and hair. So I guess all my teenage angst went into being insecure about that and less focused on my body. I do remember thinking my thighs were too chunky but then I’d think: well, they make me a fast runner and good at soccer and I’d carry on. I know bizarrely healthy!
My mom was given a really hard time for being overweight for her whole childhood so she did her best to not say anything judgmental or shaming about our bodies - which I guess worked for the most part. We’d hear stories about how fricking strong she was in Girl Scouts, carrying 50 pound packs up the mountain at only 12 years old (she is still freakishly strong - I’ve had doctors straight up tell me she’s about to die and I’m like mmmmmm…you don’t know her. and of course, she lived. Both my parents are freakishly strong which is the main reason I think my crap genes haven’t taken me out yet - battle of the DNA - who will win??). And my dad was ALWAYS encouraging us to do sports and talking about being fit and strong.
So that’s what I focused on!
I don’t know. I’m sure the fact that I was naturally petite has a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t hate on my body too. I find it so strange that people think they’re “better” than others because of the shell they’re walking around in - when a lot of it’s simply genetic luck. Oh yeah you’re superior because the combination of DNA in your body happened to result in how you look. So fucking weird to me. I’ve always thought that was weird, way before I understood things like white supremacy, patriarchy, aryan race.
Why judge someone based on how they look? I sense people so much, I can feel their energy and what kind of person they are and have been able to do that since I was a kid. So if someone was considered “good-looking” but emanated horrible energy, I wouldn’t find them attractive at all.
In high school, my girlfriends would run over to me and ask me “what do you think of so and so?” And I’d say whatever popped into my head. Once, in my twenties, the words “vain and selfish” popped out of my mouth about a friend’s brand new boyfriend.
She didn’t like that so much so I stopped sharing that information with people moving forward. I discovered people - and I mean adults, kids and teens love that I tell the truth - often don’t want to hear the truth.
Turns out I was exactly spot on - I usually am unfortunately - argh, he was SUCH a dick to her for their entire relationship. But he was hot!! (Of course, not to me, because I felt such gross energy coming from him.) Thank goodness she finally left that asshole.
Back to my weird relationship with my body: Most of my adulthood, I’d go up and down - I’m just over five feet tall so even a 10 pound change on me is very noticeable - and I’d roll with it.
As a friend once said: you don’t get emotional about it.
But that’s not entirely true. I get emotional about getting too thin! I HATE being scrawny. HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT. It only happens when I’m super sick and feeling weak. So all my connotations with scrawny have to do with misery, pain and hunger.
I like being muscular. I like looking like I work out. I like looking strong. I like FEELING strong. I was so so happy when I saw this ad in the magazine because this is exactly the kind of thing that inspires me! Eventually, if I can get some strength back, I will start sharing more of my exercises and stretches to improve motility since I haven’t seen anything else like it and it may help some people.
Also, I get bored out of my mind being stuck at home doing my movement “routine” so I figure, why not turn it into an educational tool for others? (Make some art out of a painful situation…)
I can do some pretty strange things now (mostly involving balance which has always been a strength for me). You’ll have to stick around to find out what this bizarre body can do!
I’ve lost a few more pounds in the past week which I’ve worked so hard NOT to do. I’ve added in sheep’s yogurt and continuing to eat cream cheese to help stop the downward spiral. If my gut isn’t absorbing much…which I’m afraid it isn’t…then it’s not going to matter so much what I put inside me! This is the terrifying part! What if the nutrients simply aren’t being absorbed but the GI tissue?
The primary care doctor I met with on Wed wants to wait on the TPN which I’m fine with as long as she’s on board to pull the trigger if I get worse - I won’t have the capacity to find a doctor if things get worse so I feel VERY lucky I have her on my team now. Only took THREE YEARS to get to her! And crying on the Internet too!
TPN is a really big deal though.
I may never get off of it. Long-term use can cause liver toxicity. It could blow out my PICC line so that I require a port in my chest again. All of it sounds horrible. What if I can never eat regular food again? How will that impact my life and mental health?
But slowly starving to death sounds a lot worse so we’ll just have to wait and see if I can pull this thing back. I was so happy I ate 4 little eggs on Friday!
Yesterday, however, I didn’t end up eating any eggs at all. I was in pain, my back hurt and I was so tired (I fell asleep on the table at my acupuncturists and she is so sweet, she let me take a nap while she worked!! I love my acupuncturists so much!).
I’ve been in bed a lot of the weekend (where I still am!) and it’s SO gorgeous out. I do hope to get in an evening walk. I haven’t gone for a walk outside since San Diego in February! How fucked up is that?
It gets complicated if I need to use the restroom, and I dehydrate quicker than ever when I’m walking outside in semi-warm weather. That’s why it’s so nice when it’s light out late now in Seattle. I can do a late evening walk when it’s not so warm - if my stomach is cooperating.
I guess I have to accept that my body is going to do what it’s going to do. It’s going to look the way it looks. I need to take in the body positive (BoPo I just learned is the moniker for that) messaging and accept that I don’t have the same curvy figure I used to.
I think I could gain a bit on the TPN which makes me excited as a possibility and motivating to do it.
It’s such a strange thing to desire in our culture obsessed with weight loss but I suppose that’s been the case throughout history, right? The wealthy often desire the look of the peasants!! Nobody thinks of it that way these days but a lot of this could be viewed through the lens of class.
Those that have a lot of resources, access to food, and time also have the luxury of focusing on their body shape. During my nutrition education days, time and money were often the obstacles to healthy eating and exercise in the lower-income brackets.
Unfortunately, not having a lot of time and money TODAY means that people rely on cheap processed food rather than in the old days, vegetables from their garden and eggs from a few scrawny chickens.
Again, the United States has found a way to penalize the poor. Peasants USED to be have bodies that reflected hard work and a basic whole foods diet.
Now, the artisanal / speciality foods scene is PRICEY. Along with organic vegetables and non-dairy milks and so many quality ingredients. It’s the shit food that’s cheap.
I am proud of the work that was done during my 20 years as a nutritionist though. When we started nobody gave a shit about nutrition. When I left, the world was obsessed with it.
It’s interesting how so few people understand what it means to launch a Movement. What it really requires. The sacrifices it demands.
I’m thrilled that so many people worked their asses off in the Body Positive Movement so that photos like this are showing up in houses with little girls. For anyone that doesn’t work in any area of social justice, I hope they appreciate that the above photo doesn’t just “happen” - it takes the tireless work of many people who endure years of being spit on before it goes mainstream.
Big shout out to those hard working men and women who have created the Body Positive Movement! You are ROCK STARS!!
Oh man, this photo makes me so so happy!
The fucking Patriarchy and it’s ridiculous parameters. Unachievable parameters. Super thin! Super rich! Super happy! Super married! Super this! Super that! Fucking Ivanka. What a perfect example of an evil woman upholding the whole damn system. Who wants to look like a doll?
Good thing I never have and never will!
Now, if only the many Movements that’s are in it’s infancy stages could move a tiny bit faster…I can’t wait until the young women start shaving their heads? What? Who me trying to start a little Movement from my little bedroom in my little spot in the world? Maybe…..
I’ve been waiting a very, very long time for this moment in history.
Even if I don’t live for a whole longer, I’m going to shred the Patriarchy every second I’m being dragged out of this world.
You’re beautiful! Whoever you are - if anyone is even reading this - please believe me! It’s our bulges and our weirdness and our uniqueness and our bizarre bodies and our skin color and whatever is emanating from our heart and souls that make us beautiful!
The outside is simply a shell housing unique gorgeous beings.
Trust me on this: a shell is just simply a shell. We’ve got to take good care of our shells since we haven’t figured out how to switch them (yet?) but it’s still an inconsequential shell.
So strange to me how much people judge, worry and focus on the shell.
I pray every day for healthier organs. If only. If only there was a way to improve my organ function and I could eat again and run outside again and box at a class again and travel to hike again…I’d work my ass off to look like the women in these photos.
For now…I rest. And I shred. :)