Every week, I read the Joy Fit story on MSNBC.com. Really, I can't tell you why because I've no idea why I keep reading it. But I do. Today's story struck me hard - but not in the way they meant it to be striking. Here's what the woman said:
"I felt like my worth as a person was directly attached to my size."
No shit, right? This was another mental ninja-bomb that just went off in my head, and here we are.
For as long as I can remember, I've felt as though my self-worth was correlated to my size. If my size went down, I was worth more. If my size went up, I was worth less. If someone commented on my size, it meant that they could see how "bad" I had been. But something is unfurling in my brain, you guys. Something is being uncovered, and it is smashing all of those old feelings to bits.
Because you see, I wasn't being bad. I wasn't being a naughty chub snacking on everything I could get my hands on. I DID put back a 12-pack of cupcakes for Valentine's day all by myself, but I realized that this was behavior stemming from a mental state that has seen been leveled. I was covering up something - not being "bad." There was no criminal behavior involved. There was no moral corruption. My behavior, although perhaps not particularly helpful to my overall mental state, was not wrong or right. It just was.
I just am.
If I'm going to accept my body and all of its conundrums, I have to accept its size, too. It just is the way it is. I have stubby toes. That's just the way it is. I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. That's just the way it is. I'm bipolar with PTSD. That's just the way it is. And I'm a size 18/20. That's just the way it is. There's nothing "wrong" CLEARLY with any of these things. They just are.
I won't go so far as to say I'm comfortable in my body now because me and my body are still working on the process together. But my mind gets it. My mind understands that fat is not moral. It just is. My mind understands that eating a quarter-pounder with cheese is not wrong. It just is. My mind is beginning to open doors for the rest of me, and I feel lighter - no pun intended. I feel less weighed down by this notion that I'm a bad girl for being a big girl.
I'm beginning to understand - mentally, emotionally, and spiritually - that my self-worth is not correlated to my size. And it is a wonderful thing.