Tag Archives: gratitude

I Love My (Fat) Body

20 Oct

My core story should have warped my attitude toward my body.  My mother has been trying to lose weight my entire life, and that is part of her core story — the oldest of six, she was also the biggest, but not what I could consider fat.  Still, she was constantly subjected to words like pudgy, or told she’d be so pretty, if she’d just lose a little weight.  Nothing intentionally cruel, but the same bullshit a lot of women hear every single day.

I’m not sure my mother has ever seen herself as pretty.  (She is beautiful.)  She did gain weight after having three children and she’s been trying to lose it my entire life.  I’m 27.  I’ve spent 27 years watching my mother diet, exercise, and berate herself for the way she looks.

I love my body.  As much as my mother struggles with her own body, she never projected that onto me; she never once implied that I should lose some weight, or skip dessert, or start a punishing exercise regimen.  My grandparents, who did so much damage to her, have provided me with unconditional love and support and not one comment about my weight, ever.

I am not skinny.  I don’t own a scale, but I probably weight between 170 and 180 pounds at 5’3″.  That makes me technically obese, which makes me question the validity of the “obesity epidemic” I keep hearing about.  I feel fat, but when I say that, I mean my body has a wealth of adipose tissue; I do not mean that I am unattractive, or unhealthy, or “letting myself go,” or undesirable, or inadequate, or any of the other terrible things that word is supposed to mean.

I love my body and I want to spend more time living in my body.  I think my body is beautiful, so I’ll end this post by quoting something I wrote a few years ago that I still believe:

“My fat body is also beautiful. Beauty comes in many forms, and one of them is the way my ample hips curve into muscular legs. Another is the circular form of my stomach; I do not have a concave absence, I have a slightly protruding substance.

My fat body inspires people to ask me if I’d like some pie.”

I’m not sure I understand how, but my core beliefs about my body are drastically different than my mother’s.  I am grateful that she did not refer to her own core story when she was helping me write mine.

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This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.  What’s your body’s core story?

“Used to daydream in that small town”

6 Sep

I’m going home today.  Home being the small town where I grew up and where my family still lives.  I moved away almost three years ago, and for a while I visited about once every seven months (it just worked out that way), but I haven’t been there in a year.  I’m excited for a visit.

While I’m very glad I left and got out into the world a bit.  (And just a bit — there’s still so much I need to see and do.), I’m also glad I grew up there.  Less than 2,000 people live in my hometown.  I know of one place that has wireless (fortunately it’s one of my favorite places anyway) and cell phone reception will be spotty at best.

In such a small town, it’s easy to feel like you know everyone.  I actually know whom I would have married had I stayed — not due to overwhelming attraction, but because we were close the same age, both reasonably intelligent and attractive, and had a lot of mutual friends, both personally and through various generations of our family.  He left too, but had either of us wanted to stay there wasn’t really anyone else to date.

Small towns like that are stereotyped as narrow-minded.  Some probably are, but mine wasn’t.  Stupidity and laziness would make you a pariah, but working hard and being kind would get nearly anything forgiven.  I’ve always been fat and I’ve never shaved or wore a bra or make-up; you’d think I’d have been an easy target, but instead I was treated like a valued member of the community.  I might have been a bit odd, but I was their oddity and in a lot of ways I still am.

John Mellencamp sums it up nicely:

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

I’m going home, and while I have no desire to stay, I’m glad it’s home.

Wishcasting Wednesday: Yes

5 Jan

Photo credit: colon+right.bracket @ Flickr What do you wish to say yes to?

My ski school underwent significant restructuring this season, making it a potentially challenging season.  My wish for this season has been to say yes.  Yes to any lesson they care to assign me to, yes to any clinic I am offered, yes to early outs, yes to any small act I can do to make this easier for all of  us.  I love working there and I want their experiences with me to be just as beneficial as my experiences with them.

Are we the best ski school in the country?  Yes, I truly believe we are and I am grateful to be a part of it.

Actions > Words

14 Dec
Photo: shopkeeper expresses a nation's gratitu...
Image via Wikipedia

Reverb10: Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

I find it easy to appreciate things, easy to see the good in people, easy to find joy in my life.  What I find difficult is showing my appreciation.  I cannot count the number of times that I’ve kept my appreciation to myself instead of sharing it.  Part of the reason I do this is perfectionism — if I’m going to do something I want to do it right.  I am letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I’d like to stop this.  I want to show my gratitude simply and immediately instead of waiting until I can do it perfectly.  (Or never.  Never frequently comes before perfectly.)  What I’m going to try is a gratitude list.  At the end of the day I’m going to write down the things I appreciated throughout the day and I’m going to write down potential ways to show my appreciation — everything from the quick and easy to the grand perfection.  I believe that giving gratitude some space will make it easier to manifest tangibly.

Today’s example: I attended a wine-tasting class at work that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I appreciate the presenter’s approach and her willingness to share her experience with us.  I thanked her, but I also told some of my coworkers how much I enjoyed the class and sent a text to a mutual friend.  I frequently feel that I should be doing more to express my gratitude, but that felt like enough and none of it was onerous.  I want to express appreciation as easily as I feel it.

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