It’s not a random occurrence that there is so much talk of food and a more than normal preoccupation with eating well around here. Of late — all through this year actually — food (and my relationship with it) has emerged as a big piece in my story. The need to look at why I was compelled to eat a certain way, or not eat certain things to be more precise, was entirely spurred by a year of shedding so much weight and still feeling a sense of dissatisfaction and emptiness deep down, with regard to the way my body looked and felt. As much as I celebrated how much my body had coped with what I was putting it through, and marvelled at the body’s capacity to transform in such a dramatic way, I was also appalled at how unrealistic my ideals were and how harsh I was being towards my body.
Somewhere in there was also some guilt about even admitting to struggling with this. Because I have never been typically “fat”. And right there was proof. Of my selective blindness, of my denial of the truth, of these wholly unrealistic ideals I was holding myself up to, even as my fitness mantra was one of fitness and not slimness. And a wild discomfort that my newfound thinness had actually given me a license to own by body some. The selfies I was never able to take, were suddenly so easy. Sharing pictures of myself became comfortable. And let’s not even go into how my dressing changed.
I wondered, did it mean I had an inherent need to conform to an accepted standard of shape and size? Did I not feel as kindly towards my body anyway? It was a harsh reality check to wake up to my own double standards and the effect it had on me, my sense of worth and the truth about how how I really felt about my body.
Today, approximately eight months on from when I started to question and examine these aspects of what I hitherto assumed was just a “fitness obsession”, I find myself coming back to me. Regaining parts I’d ignored and shut away. Finding form where there was none. Regaining that sweet spot of a healthy balanced relationship other everything that I put in my mouth. Feeling whole again. Literally and figuratively. Yes my pants are much tighter than they were last year and yes I know how good getting off sugar and rice was — for my skin, for my energy levels more than anything else. But I will not terrorise my body to conform anymore. I have a long way to go, but today I felt like I was in my body again. Wholly, completely myself. No parts missing, no parts feeling heavy or like a burden, nothing I wanted to change. And I want to remember it. For good.
Two years ago: Day 221: On the road