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Pep Rally 1- Body Image

Posted Jan 27 2009 7:16pm
As a kid, I was fat. No other way to put it. Just fat. It was a an emotional issue and an independence issue as my mother, Bless Her Heart, was a lovingly controlling mother to the nth degree. That with a fiery girlchild with six planets in Leo who is half intense Italian and hates being a kid (wanting freedom above anthing else) = lethal situation for my body. I sure showed her! I ate and she couldn't stop me no matter how hard she tried. I remember in 4th grade weighing 163 lbs and while tall for my age, I could not carry that with any inkling of grace.

In high school I discovered a productive and sexy way to become the thin person I wanted to be. I went anorexic/bulemic for a couple of years before it had a name. My particular flavor of it was taking copious amounts of speed and to only eat a package of red licorice ropes and two chocolate chip cookies a day (that would be the anorexic part). Then on Saturdays, I would drink tons of alcohol and eat things like cashews, doritoes and pizza all at the same time. I did not have to induce vomiting...it just happened as my poor system tried to survive the onslaught.

I was pretty normal in weight in my early twenties, but by the mid twenties I was miserable, drinking lots of beer, pregnant twice and gained lots of weight. Then in 1991, I lost 75 pounds in six months by cutting out alcohol, coffee, sugar, wheat and dairy plus doing strict food combining. In addition I worked intensely on the emotional reasons that put the weight on in the first place. Long about 1997(ish), I lost another 10 pounds. I was too skinny then and slowly gained that ten pounds back. Then last year, in the middle of all this transitional stress I am doing right now, I started to gain again. I have added another ten pounds and I am NOT happy. My clothes don't fit like they should (but I can still get in them at least). I feel ick. I keep trying to lose the weight, but it won't come off. I know that I have been "needing" the protection right now for some reason and I also know that I have not been willing to do the inner work to explore that need so that I can safely let the weight go. All in all I have been pretty darn angry at my body and its "betrayal" (from my victim voice).

But this morning on my pondering walk, I re-remembered (in another Dory* moment) that I have not been accepting of my body for most of my life. And that's just silly.

And it's going to change.

Pondering memory #1: When I lost the big weight in 1991, it really started to come off when I had this ah-ha moment. I was reading in a book about a man who had become a quadraplegic from an accident. He said it was the biggest blessing he had ever received and that he gave thanks for it every day for the ways in which it had opened his eyes. This astounded me. Then, the lightbulb: I started to consider that I could see my weight in the same way, that this was my "disability" masking a gift. That it was there to teach me something about myself. That it had actually served me in ways that nothing else had. My fat was my friend. I remember taking off my clothes in front of a mirror and touching myself all over and thanking the different parts of me for the ways in which they had served and protected me. I started to appreciate my body. Soon after that, I got what I call an inner "click"- everything internally lined up and the weight just started to melt.

#2: Mara, an amazing woman I know, came to mind. I am sure she is at least 66 right now, but I swear she passes for 50ish every time. Without any plastic surgery or botox. Without dying her hair. Even her body looks firm and full unlike any other woman her age, in fact better than most 50 year olds. A few years back, both she and her husband got cancer- he in his prostate, she in her uterus. It spurred them on to explore their sexuality in ways they had never done in their 40+ years of marriage. They were a new couple. I love their story...hm..may need to post about them some day.

Anyway... Mara attended a yearlong women's workshop that I offered that was a combination of Tantra and the Pagan celebrations of the Wheel of the Year. One of the exercises I had the women do was to break into groups of four, then either stand or sit nude in front of the other women in their group and talk about their body inch by inch, sharing the ways in which they liked and hated their bodies. It ended with yoni (pussy) and opening themselves for the women to see all of them. At the end of that, the woman lays down in the middle and the other three women touch her and carress her, whispering things to her about how beautiful she is. It is very sweet. Every time, tears flow. The healing is profound.

I remember Mara telling us that she liked her body now, finally, and that she had had a realization that at the age of 20 she had hated her body....and then when she turned 30, she hated that body and all she could think about was how much she wished she had her 20 year old body (the body formerly hated). And when she was 40 and still hating her body, she wished she had the 30 year old body...man that had been HOT! And ohmygod..to dream of having that 20 year old body that was hers so long ago. And so it went through the decades. And she decided to love where she was at when she was there because she would end up wanting it back anyway. We all liked that perspective.

So today I am beginning again, to go on a rampage of appreciation for my body:

I am thankful I am healthy
I am so thankful that I can walk. And do it well.
I am thankful for the ways my body feels pleasure
I am thankful for the ways in which I feel orgasmic energy
I love that I feel touch so intensely
I am so thankful that I dance with all my heart and soul.
I give thanks for being proportionate....when I gain or lose weight all of me does, not just my ass, not just my thighs. I am always curvy, just different sizes of it.
I am thankful that I am pretty
I am thankful for my gloriously curly hair
I am thankful for my eyes
I give thanks for my lips, which my artist mother said are perfect
I give thanks for the fact that no matter what, my body never lies
I trust the inherent wisdom of my body and know that when it is time, the weight will come off effortlessly as it has done before
I give thanks for my body because it is what allows me to be alive and experience this earth

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*My kids call me Dory in honor of the fish who can never remember things from the kid's movie "Finding Nemo." Excellent film, by the way, and one I have recommended to many high powered business men. And every one has been delighted that they saw it. Loverman even liked it and laughed lots. It makes people happy.
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