I am not getting wrinkles. I'm gaining character in my face. Those laugh lines were meant to be there. So were the furrows between my eyebrows.
Twenty-some years ago I dealt with a very painful and hard addiction called bulimia. Bulimia is a type of eating disorder where one binges on usual...
Substance abuse and eating disorders are both mental illnesses. We are prone to blame the sufferer, to dwell in ignorance and shame those who suffer. We forget that lives are lost, we forget that families mourn each day. The nation mourns when we lose great talent, but we do not mourn when we lose the unknown.
Just like you can be disappointed with your kids and still love your kids anyway, you can be disappointed with your body and still love your body, anyway. Disappointment does not have to "erase" your love.
I can tell my daughter that nothing is as beautiful as her little body exactly as it is no matter if she is tall, short, big or small. But I am sure she sees through my platitudes. Because she sees a mom who is always on a diet. She sees a mom who looks in the mirror and sighs.
It wasn't long ago that the mere whisper of the word "fat" would have people plugging their ears in avoidance. All the other descriptors were somehow acceptable: overweight, obese, porcine, pudgy, plump, tubby, portly... But that little three-letter word "FAT" scared the bejesus out of everyone.
People value, respect and choose us when we value, respect and choose ourselves. It has taken me years to discover this.
This is my small attempt at understanding the way we keep ourselves underfoot, the way we don't say what we want to say for fear of losing what we probably never had in the first place.
We can become more aware of how we feel about our bodies, and what our bodies need by reminding ourselves that hunger is not always about food. Food and emotions are deeply connected.
When I was younger, I used to love ripping off my shirt for a new lover. My torso has always been my best feature, and my breasts were near-perfect. Insecure about who I was, and sure I wasn't good enough, I put far too high a premium on the response my body, and especially my breasts, elicited.
One can never assess one's state of health or degree of happiness simply by physical appearance alone. It's what's on the inside that counts, cheesy or not. True beauty does not have a size. All bodies are beautiful, and the only way to lasting happiness is through acceptance.
It is not reasonable to expect my own hair to look exactly the same every day because hair is living, because weather changes, because sometimes I sleep really weird or because I run late.
I should've stopped there. It could have been enough to admire the photograph, to rejoice in the photographer's ability to capture the joy and carefree art of two friends catching up after a year apart. It should have been.
It is a bathing suit, people. Perhaps we should all just relax.
In an era with sex on our fingertips, literally just a swipe away, we have seen an increase of beauty culture that has required Adonis-type bodies to be deemed attractive in the queer community.
I still have the tough days where the diet industry gets its hooks in me. I still feel a little guilty every time I rip open a little packet of fake sugar. But most days I feel proud of how far I've come. I relish food for the experience it brings, for the sustenance it gives me.