Hi friends! So today I had a giant breakthrough. Like Jack and the Beanstalk Giant GIANT.
*Deep breath* I went for a run today in just a sports bra. (And pants, I was wearing pants.)
It may not seem like a giant deal to some, however with my history and battle with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, shame, fear, and many other shitty thoughts and feelings...it was freaking huge. And fantastic. And a giant FUCK YEAH! moment. I've always seen people in little crop tops, or sports bras or whatever, and I would always think "Someday, I'll do that. When I'm _____(thinner, more fit, have killer abs, etc.)" I realized I had been harbouring feelings of anger and resentment as well deep inside towards those people, because I feel like I'm missing out on that experience, the freedom, the power, the love and pride in my body. It was about stripping away those negative feelings and realizing that it really was just admiration, I just wanted that experience for myself. Especially is this killer weather that we have to wait all winter for in Toronto.
So, I did it.
After a couple days of hemming and hawing and having to put a shirt on last minute, making excuses etc., I did it. It was still a little scary and a little weird and a little uncomfortable - I still at first kept trying to pull my pants up to my bra line til I gave myself a frontal wedgie (ok, TMI sorry lol) but slowly I allowed the clothes to settle where they settled. I allowed the wind and sun to hit my belly, and I felt so goddamn free, happy, and light. I forgot that it was me in a sports bra. I forgot that I needed to hide. I just focused on the feeling of running and feeling the earth's kisses on my body.
I've been ashamed of my body for as long as I can remember. I don't even remember a time that I was carefree and open and naked and wonderful. It was always the stress of covering up, hiding, wondering if my legs were pressed up against a chair or if I could pull my shirt out to hide my belly hanging over my non-stretch denim when I sat down. If my shirts could hide my arms, or what people would think if they saw my stretch marks. One of my earliest memories was never being able to wipe my face with my shirt after drinking water from the fountain in grade 2 or 3. I was afraid of showing my belly - already being jealous and in awe of the other girls who seemed so carefree and could wipe their mouths with their shirts. Add to that the entertainment industry and the myriad of perfectly toned and tanned and gorgeous and chiseled bodies I've been in close contact with over the years. (Only love for all of them, though!).
There are many other difficult memories and things I learned - from my family, from society, from TV, etc. that I won't get into (maybe, in another post), that contributed to these beliefs that no longer serve me. I just wanted to give some love and light to anyone else out there who may be feeling stressed about their body, or feeling shame or hurt or pain. I've been there, and I still battle this. Yet there is hope. There aren't only some of us humans, like I have believed in the past, that deserve to feel good or happy or safe in our bodies. We ALL deserve to, no matter what size or shape you are. No matter what point you are in on your journey, you deserve to love you body, just as it is, right now. I'm still continuing on my way, trudging along, and honestly some days are easier than others. Yet, the difficult crying-and-wanting-to-spend-days-in-bed-because-of-how-I-look-days are becoming less and less. The days that I feel great and healthy and feel gratitude and love for my body are becoming more common. And this is a place I never thought was possible for a "person like me". A miracle, really.
I also think that it is such a taboo topic and no one really talks about these things. If we only knew how many other people struggle or feel a certain way about their bodies, we wouldn't be so alone. This is something I'm very passionate about bringing awareness to, and I think if we all open our hearts and connect and support each other this stress and body-hatred can slowly dissolve. I'm not saying that we all need to prance around in thong bikinis in the streets. Though, if you want to do that more power to ya. It’s also not about wearing things because we feel like we “should” or to impress or make people like you. That’s giving away your power. It's about wearing what you want to wear, what makes you feel alive and powerful and beautiful, and not needing to wait until you feel like your body is perfect. Of course there are still things I want to work on, build strength and flexibility and even more body awareness. Yet I don't want that to stop me from living life now. No more.
All of this sharing my feelings stuff and all of your love and support has been madly helping my journey. I've also learned the connection between being "seen" as I talked about in my other post, and physically being seen. Mind-body-soul.. all connected. So again from the bottom of my heart, thank you thank you thank you for being a part of this crazy ride. Sending you lots of love and light and strength. I believe in you! And, you're incredibly beautiful just the way you are.