Enter self love
The very core of an eating disorder is to hate everything about yourself. I hated everything about myself and I was damn good at it too. My body was disgusting to me. The few times I would allow myself a glimpse in a show window or God forbid a mirror I was always disappointed. Where was my thigh gap, my blonde hair, my clear skin? Where was my thin privilege? I not only wanted to be thin I wanted the benefits that came along with it. The extras, I know I didn’t imagine, that came along with being thin.
More job opportunities, social acceptance and maybe a free coffee from an admirer at Starbuck thrown my way. As hard as I tried I could not get there. I wanted so badly to be there.
I tried to kill myself twice. I took pills to get away. I was done and had finally decided to cash in my chips. The last job of my body would be to carry me away and it failed me again. My body said no and kept me going. At that point it didn’t have a label
other than alive. That still was not enough. I still couldn’t find body positivity at that point. Being alive should have been enough but a couple more years of therapy were still ahead before body positivity began to poke her cute little head out. A lot of things were thrown at me during therapy but the most important piece of advice that stuck came from my dietician. She told me “you don’t have to love your body you just have to tolerate it”. When I heard that I felt relieved. What I been working for was no longer the goal. I could sit back and relax. Finally, the pressure was gone. If someone asked I would no longer have to think of something I like about myself. Being meh about what I looked like was okay and damnit I was going to embrace the meh. For those of you who don’t know meh is a therapeutic term meaning ugh.
I lived in meh for quite awhile and probably could have lived there for the rest of my life. But I wanted more and what I wanted is what the body positive community had. I first became exposed to them on Instagram. These women were embracing their bodies. They were using the word fat to describe who they were and there was no sense of shame there. I called myself fat all the time, but it was vile and with anger. My first bopo hero was @bodyposipanda. She is this stunning woman who shakes and jiggles every roll and ripple of her body with strength and joy. A stunning writer, she has better informed me about eating disorders and reminded me that the texture of my body is something to be loved. @glittersandlazers is another badass that has combined beauty, fashion and self-love. She bucks standards and takes some amazing photos. @erinunleashes, paralyzed since birth, describes the movement of her beauty with her chair. Each of these women are completely different not just in general but in the world of body positivity. Each must be acknowledged and given love for their contribution. None more than other for looking more acceptable or gasp more normal. There is no normal. I am a member of the body positive community. I have mourned the loss of my body reaching an ideal. I had to in order to survive.
And then I took a plunge. I dressed up, took some pictures and posted them online. I did it without criticizing myself. I did it while saying “hey I look good there”. And I’m going to keep doing it. No, I don’t have blonde hair. My thighs touch, and my stomach is squishy but I am not spitting venom as I type those words. They are truth, merely facts about myself.