The weather is getting warm out and it’s time to put away the big long cozy sweaters I’ve been wrapped in all winter.
For the past two days, I’ve been wearing outfits that show my shape. Yesterday I wore a t-shirt and a denim jacket with jeans. Several times through the course of the day I saw eyes wander towards my midsection and widen in surprise.
I don’t blame them. I’m the largest I’ve ever been in my life.
The question is, does it bother me? If so, why?
Do I actually think I look horrible? Or, rather, do I think I have an obligation to society to be thin and fit?
Is wearing a smaller size something that would make me happier?
Or… do I not actually care? Do I look in the mirror and like what I see?
I don’t hate my appearance.
Here is what I do hate:
I hate that liking my appearance right now feels like an act of rebellion.
If I’m being honest with myself, if I am able to separate my own voice from those in my head of others, I can acknowledge that I don’t think I look awful right now.
It’s true that when I exercise and eat right I feel better, physically and emotionally. However, when I have a lot going on in life I don’t have enough spoons for either.
Exercising and eating right aren’t really an option right now. I don’t have the emotional strength for it. I don’t have enough spoons every day.
Today, I am large. My attempts to work out regularly and to eat healthy meals exhaust me. What I think most people don’t understand is more often than not, these tasks are actually the last things to fall by the wayside when basic life management becomes too much to handle. They are not the first ones I let go of.
Maybe, on a good day, I’m able to make dinner for myself rather than buying something pre-made. Maybe I get laundry done. Maybe I take out the trash and recycling. Maybe I vacuum a little or clean the kitchen.
More often than not these days my evenings are a fog of just getting by. Of recovering from the emotional intensity of my workday.
My evenings are often a fog of recovery from all the negative self-talk I’ve subjected myself to throughout my workday.
When evening rolls around I’ve got nothing left.
And mornings… Well, mornings are when I write. That’s what I’m doing right now.
I could prioritize working out over spending my free morning hour writing. It’s possible. But which one is more important to me? Writing is my long-term goal, my life dream. Physical fitness feels like a fantasy.
Right now, as I recover from an abusive relationship and rebuild my sense of self, giving in to society’s pressure to look like someone on TV is not what’s right or realistic for me.
Maybe once this busy time at work passes I’ll have more spoons every day. Maybe I’ll start using my body again and allowing it to stretch, strengthen, and feel good.
Right now, I will not. Right now, I will continue getting by. And right now, I will use my strength to continue liking myself, in all the rebellious and confident and joyous ways that will entail.