Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Declaring my Independence

This is a slight detour from the discussion of the homestead and permaculture -- a brief return to the original theme of this blog. I hope you will indulge me.

I'm sure you have heard the old adage: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Based on that, I've been insane for 38 years. For 38 years I have battled my weight desperate to reach and hold on to a "normal" weight. I have dieted, worshiped the scale, starved, binged, purged, exercised to excess, and felt the shame just grow and grow. For 38 years I have hated the face in the mirror, wished it was thin and pretty. For 38 years I have hated my body, always wanting it to look like normal people's bodies. You know what all that misery and self hate got me? Fatter and heavier with shame and self loathing.

As of today -- I declare my independence.
  • I will no longer "go on a diet"
  • I will not worship the number on the scale
  • I will not measure my worth by the scale or the size of my clothes.
  • I will not feel shame for eating a piece of cake. 
  • I will not kill myself at the gym. 
  • I will not worry that my family will be ashamed or embarrassed being seen with me. 
  • I will not allow the judgmental looks of others to shame me -- they matter not.
  • I will not avoid the face in the mirror.
  • I will eat to be healthy.
  • I will exercise to regain and maintain my mobility and health.
  • I will love the person in the mirror because God loves her.
  • I will redirect all that energy to becoming the woman God designed me to be.
 This pretty little girl with the soft features was told she was fat. She was told she was too fat and ugly to be included in the school yard games. She was told that because of her size, she deserved to be hit and ridiculed and pushed off the school bus seats. She believed and was ashamed. That shame made her heavier. It made her see herself as ugly. She had no one to tell her it was lies. Instead, adults said things like "you would be so pretty if only you lost some weight". If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me, I'd be rich.

The overweight lady on the right had the time of her life hiking in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. She felt more alive and more in her element than she could remember ever feeling.  She never lost weight on those hikes even though she didn't have much of an appetite during the hikes -- even on multi-day hikes. But, that didn't matter. What mattered is that she was just as capable as skinny hikers (much to their surprise) and she didn't feel like she had to make excuses for herself.  I don't know if I'll be able to go hiking again. My camping hammock has a weight limit and my mobility is not adequate at the moment. Whether I ever walk the trails of the Smokies again or not, I want to feel about myself the way I felt on those hikes.

1 comment:

  1. You are intelligent, capable, beautiful. Do these things and more not to prove anything to anyone, but because you love yourself. You deserve happiness, Tina. Period.