Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I think I just wanted to share the strong feeling I had while taking a shower tonight and slowly soaping up.  I just felt how important it is for women to love every part of ourselves, not matter how imperfect.  I have a goal to lose weight.  I put on about 50 lbs. in the space of one year, not just because of not eating right or not exercising.  My goal is to lose that 50 lbs.  

Some background:  I'm 5'3" and have weighed as little as 107 lbs.  I've struggled with weight all my womanly life, as defined by puberty.  I swam in high school and weighed 150 lbs., accompanied by constant re-affirmations by my family that I weighed too much.  When, after meticulously, relatively healthily, losing all that weight and reaching 120 lbs., which was my goal, then 107 lbs., not my goal but not an entirely unwelcome development, in my media-saturated mind, I found myself in a body I did not recognize.  I had so completely, negatively, associated myself with the slightly heavy body I had that, when I was lighter, I couldn't accept it.  It was an even deeper sadness than the self-loathing of feeling too heavy.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  I was exhilarated, I was alienated from my own body.

So this is what I want to say: wanting to lose weight is not bad.  The studies show that Americans are relatively and objectively, as a group, overweight.  Being overweight is bad for your heart, bad for your health - you don't know the inconvenience of ill-health until you have to monitor yourself for diabetes daily.  What I want to say even more: losing weight is at once physical and metaphysical.  

You have a metaphysical self.  It is that part of you which will not leave you.  If you do not love that part of yourself, losing weight will only be temporary.  I guess even now, I have a good in mind that is not entirely free of suspicion, losing weight and keeping weight off.  But I would argue that is not my only goal.  I want to feel good.  That is my ultimate goal.  And, while I know that being lighter is part of that destination, I also know, thru experience, that being lighter will mean nothing if I did not love myself when I was heavy.

So to all the women out there who are dieting, a not entirely free-of-cliche injunction: love yourself!  It's easy to say, harder to execute.  The good news is that the difficulty is only relative.  How can you not love yourself?  You are awesome, you are exactly, at this moment, how you were meant to be.  You are perfect.  Admire your physicality.  Admire how breathtakingly beautiful you are.  Associate yourself with your soul, that part of you which will not leave you, ever.

Then, if you happen to, thru hard work or chance, be lighter than you are now at some time in the future, it will still be, indelibly, you.  You will truly feel good because you felt good even when you were heavier.  Because you loved, and love, you.  It's all very paradoxical, yet true.

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