I feel a little broken this week [and last] and I said I’d keep it real during this self portrait project- so that’s what I am doing today.
I always see comments from people in the fitness industry shitting on the body positive movement. It makes me mad for many reasons but I’m going to list the ones that are most personal for me.
Right now I am wearing a brace to help my wrist and over photographing (take care of your body friends, don’t overshoot and work too much, its bad for your mental and apparently physical health, too [lol]) and although its to help this issue, it feels more like a boxing glove – which is honestly how I’ve felt my whole life dealing with my own personal battles but the last year, damn, I swear I’m fighting every single day.
Besides the fact that most fitness studies are done on young men, a lot of these people don’t understand hormones or genetics.
From ages 14 to 26 I had a severe eating disorder.
From 14 to 18 I was always in two sports and I probably only ate 1000 cal a day while doing a four hours of sprinting and movement.
From 18 to 22 I never allowed myself to eat unless I ran 4 miles or did some sort of cardiovascular activity in my bedroom.
From 22-25 I ate 600 cals a day and went to the gym 2 hours a day. I was rewarded with compliments about my DeDicAtiOn when really I was abusing my body.
Years 26-28 was spent doing many ‘fad diets’ trying to understand why my body stopped responding to starvation and excessive work outs.
28-30 has been spent in recovery understanding what I have been doing was not right for my body.
I am a hormonal nightmare. I have hypothyroidism. I have no gallbladder to really digest fats. I have IBS. My body did not present anorexia because of these factors and inability to be small. I’ve noticed the shift in ways people have talked to me since gaining a bit more weight and actually feeding myself nutrients vs the applause I got when I was thinner. I was thinner but damn did I have to try SO hard to be that way.
The body positive movement is what we have when we realize we can and should love our bodies for what it is able to do for us. It is not us “giving up,“ it is us accepting and loving what we were given. It is coming to the realization that the standards created in the media are not sustainable and are certainly not a ‘one size fits all.’ It’s not all about dEdIcAtiOn to a diet or fitness regime, some people literally will never be able to achieve whats presented as ‘perfect’ in the fitness industry because their body processes things differently than a young person with a great metabolism.
As I am 30 now and going thru recovery, it’s so damn hard to un-train this shit. All of the fat phobia I was taught I am unlearning. Due to my thyroid issues I probably will gain weight despite my everyday work outs and eating clean, but I’m learning that gaining weight is not the worst thing ever going to happen to me. Health is not size. But I am not going to say this lightly: this is hard for me.
I’m not even considered ‘big,’ although my mind tells me otherwise, but I have learned so much in the way this profit-over-health idea has taken over the diet and fitness industry and have brain washed us all to believe we are not good enough. The Body Positive movement is the reason I felt okay getting help, acknowledging my problems, slowly accepting my body [even when its super painful like today], and one day I hope the idea that health is not weight, and fitness is not six packs, will over come the fitness Industry.
If you are struggling, as I am crying right now, I am too. This is hard stuff. Yes, someone always has it worse. Yes, someone may be dealing with harder scenarios. No, that doesn’t take away from your pain. This is hard, fam. I will say it again, this is hard. Three weeks ago I had major ups in my progress mentally and this last week or two I have just ran backwards; wanting to do starvations quick fix diets, wanting to work out more, but my wrist injury has kept me in check, and my husband has been a good accountability partner telling me to overcome my mental blocks which tell me to not eat.
Progress happens over years. Change happens over decades. If we can progress our minds to help the next generation, maybe we can change the industry for the little ones growing up now.