This past summer I spent 3 months in Asia, backpacking through parts of Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. Delicious food offerings filled my days, ice cream cones by night. My pants were loose, as were my tops, and the last thing on my mind was counting calories. I hadn't ever done it back at home and I wasn't going to start now.
Arriving back to California, it became a little more evident that this indulgent relationship I had with my meals had implications less desirable to me. Less desirable to most women. I had gained weight. Enough weight to put a majority of my jeans in a pile that would be out of commission for a while. An equation that called for addition rather than subtraction. Stripping my wardrobe and my worth simultaneously, these added pounds were all I could think about.
I hated that this was consuming me. I was doing the work, seeing myself on deeper levels and enjoying the discoveries. Intimately aware that some added weight meant nothing at all. But why did it feel like it did? Like my value, my abilities, my beauty, was dependent on being thin. I reflected on the days when I was my smallest. Was life richer? More worth while? Were my relationships more fulfilling? No, nope, not even close. I began to wonder if my desire to be skinnier was solely fueled by social delusion and manipulated media messages, selling me a version of myself that would never be good enough.
I was tired of playing the game, of constantly trying to outrun my desire to be thinner.
I decided it was time to do personal work in this arena, here and now. I didn't have it in me any longer to push the painful conversations aside, believing that this war would just disappear one day on it's own. It was time to face the topic of body image, head on, in my own skin, and to recognize that these battle grounds I had created within my own body could not sustain healthy living long term.
Body image can be a dark and windy road with hidden stories of shame around every corner. I can't pretend that I've found my way but I know I can't do it alone. I brought some guides into the conversation to help me along the way. These books are my friendly companions who know the realities many of us face every day in our bodies. Who have allowed the mirror to tell us who we aren't instead of telling the mirror who we are. Who are tired of feeling that the reflection they see of themselves in the mirror threatens rather than supports their existence. This is for me, this is for them, this is for us.