Body-Love Wellness Circles by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an immersion into the power of body-acceptance.The Circles will be focused around transforming the relationship you have or may not have with your body, food and yourself.This post is part of the Body-Love Blog Tour, which is spreading body-acceptance to the masses. To learn more and join us, click here.
Last week, Matt and I had furniture delivered to our new house. I had just gotten out of the shower when the crew arrived, so I threw my hair up in a bun and tossed on a dress and cardigan.
The men did a nice job of setting up our living room and bedroom set, and, at the end, I had a couple of documents to sign. One of the men decided to make small talk.
“When are you due?”
Perhaps the rules are different elsewhere, but I’ve always known the rule of talking to women to be “Never attribute to pregnancy what can be attributed to fat.”
Since this is part of the Body-Love Blog Tour, some of you may not know my story. I use “fat” as a term that holds no positive or negative connotations, it simply is. A very Buddhist approach to body talk. I am fat: I weigh 225 lbs and am 5’4″. It’s fine.
I’ve spent years in therapy and on medication for my binge eating disorder, which is related to my diagnosed OCD. It has taken time to appreciate my body for what it can do rather than for what it looks like.
What can my ever-changing body do?
- I was a starter on my Varsity volleyball team at age 16 and 150 lbs (and 5’4″). We wore spandex shorts.
- I started dating at 155 lbs. I was 18.
- I took up running at 160 lbs. My first race was a 4-miler (weird, right?).
- I graduated college at 165 lbs. I wore a bikini on beach week.
- I chased tornadoes at 175 lbs. I met my now husband.
- I ran a half marathon at 185 lbs. It took me over 3 hours.
- I defended my graduate thesis at 210 lbs.
- I got married at 220 lbs.
- I hiked full-fledged mountains at 225 lbs.
You know what’s sad? It’s sad that I can remember my exact weight range from important events in my life.
Until I started therapy in 2012, I didn’t realize that this was an unhealthy way to view myself. As a number.
I can’t tell you the number of diets I went on over this 10-year period. Look at those numbers: they are in chronological order. Do you think dieting did me more harm or good?
The jump in weight between my half marathon and wedding represented the peak of my mental health breakdown. As my head deteriorated, so did my body’s self-care. Before officially adding chronic depression to my diagnoses, I stopped showering. I stopped exercising the day after my half marathon. I continued to binge eat, although those compulsions were waning under my new medication.
I’ve made a lot of improvements in my life. The most important one is the change in perception I have of my body.
My body is capable.
My body is tough.
My body is resilient.
I don’t need to be skinny, I need to be healthy.
There are no “good” foods and “bad” foods, there are only foods.
The man who delivered my furniture had good intentions. I had to make a split second decision, and I decided not to embarrass him the way he had (unintentionally) embarrassed me.
“When are you due?”
“Oh…not for awhile now.”
“Will it be your first?”
“Congratulations, I have a three-year old.”
And we parted ways. It’s true, we won’t be due for awhile now…probably a few years still.
I waited for the old, familiar feelings to hit me. I have to lose weight, ASAP! OMG I’m so fat! I’m going to eat everything in the fridge! No wait, I’m not going to eat for the rest of the day!
These feelings never hit. I awaited them; I was aware of them. I know how my head tends to react to even the suggestion that somebody somewhere maybe thinks I could lose some weight.
This was the first time the feared mistaken pregnancy comment was made to me. Surely I would start bawling soon?
But it never hit.
I’m still making progress, but knowing that a stranger’s perception of my body didn’t destroy my day felt good.