Let’s start with step count. Yesterday, I did 19,000 steps. My low was on Monday at 2,700, but with 19,000 yesterday, I have an average of 6,600. Go, me! The 19,000 happened on a family day trip that involved walking more than I anticipated and maybe more than I wanted. But today —
— I weighed myself and was at 163. Only 8 more pounds to get back to my last low level, only 28 to where I might feel satisfied with my weight.
The chakra dance lessons have been lovely. Ok, full disclosue, I’ve only actually done the first one, but I loved it. Eventually, I’ll do more. I’m working on not being irritated with myself for not doing it every day, because really, I don’t do anything every day. Except brush my teeth, I do that at least twice a day, every single day.
AND I read this article called Smash the Wellness Industry. (I know, I know, another article.) And sharing this today doesn’t fit very well with me sharing my weight loss goal, I know this, but I still love what it says. And really, I don’t have to be consistent, do I?
See what you think about this:
I had paid a lot of money to see a dietitian once before, in New York. When I told her that I loved food, that I’d always had a big appetite, she had nodded sympathetically, as if I had a tough road ahead of me. “The thing is,” she said with a grimace, “you’re a small person and you don’t need a lot of food.”
The new dietitian had a different take. “What a gift,” she said, appreciatively, “to love food. It’s one of the greatest pleasures in life. Can you think of your appetite as a gift?” It took me a moment to wrap my head around such a radical suggestion. Then I began to cry.
Two years into my work with her, I feel lighter than I ever have. Food is a part of my life — a fun part — but it no longer tastes irresistible, the way it did when I told myself I couldn’t have it. My body looks as it always has when I’m not restricting or bingeing. I’m not “good” one day so that I can be “bad” another, which I once foolishly celebrated as balance.
I know I’ve read about this approach before, but for some reason it struck me differently this time. I want to do that. And this:
I no longer define food as whole or clean or sinful or a cheat. It has no moral value. Neither should my weight, though I’m still trying to separate my worth from my appearance. They are two necklaces that have gotten tangled over the course of my 35 years, their thin metal chains tied up in thin metal knots. Eventually, I will pry them apart.
Most days, I feel good in my skin. That said, I am probably never going to love my body, and that’s O.K. I think loving our bodies is not only an unrealistic goal in our appearance-obsessed society but also a limiting one. No one is telling men that they need to love their bodies to live full and meaningful lives. We don’t need to love our bodies to respect them.
And finally, this really struck me —
Finally, wellness also contributes to the insulting cultural subtext that women cannot be trusted to make decisions when it comes to our own bodies, even when it comes to nourishing them. We must adhere to some sort of “program” or we will go off the rails.
We cannot push to eradicate the harassment, abuse and oppression of women while continuing to serve a system that demands we hurt ourselves to be more attractive and less threatening to men.
So that’s where I am today. Don’t know where that’s going to take me, but we’ll see.