For years and years and years and years I wanted to be thinner. More willowy, lanky, muscular. When I did succeed in losing weight, my wants became more specific. I wanted a better butt, smaller thighs, a tinier waist, more sculpted arms. My body was never good enough, never finished. I never had a moment’s satisfaction or peace in my skin or a day without hunger until I allowed myself to forget all about it and become fat.
Every day that I was fat, I tried to like myself and to convince myself that size doesn’t matter. I didn’t need a thin body. How silly. How frivolous. Life is for living. And living meant eating and eating well. I never completely bought that line of reasoning, either, but I kept trying.
And then I became ill. From lack of movement and too much of the wrong kinds of food, from stress, and from all the bodily abuses of my past, the diets and the diet pills, I became ill.
One day it became clear to me that thin doesn’t matter. Fat doesn’t matter. Alive matters.
Longevity. Comfort. Rest. Clear-headedness. Fitness. Strong bones. Healthy skin. Good blood flow, a strong heart, clear vision, acute hearing. I wanted to move easily, fit in the world. I wanted to go from point A to point B on my own two feet. These things suddenly mattered.
As soon as I made fitness my goal and replaced measures of good health with my dress size and scale readings, an amazing thing happened. I not only felt better, but I began to like and even admire my one and only body. I don’t admire it for its beauty, I admire it for its astonishing ability to heal. I admire it for its ability to do more tomorrow than it can do today. I admire it for its ability to adapt and change and respond. Even a body over 40. Our bodies can do the most astonishing things, it turns out, if we just give them the chance.
Giving yur body a fighting chance takes more focus than it should. There’s a lot of bad food history and habit, bad food advertising and convenience, and so many reasons and ways to avoid moving your body. Making a habit of buying and eating fresh, whole food, including lots of veggies, and finding ways to both exercise daily and be more active throughout your day takes work.
That work doesn’t happen without making a lot of choices, all of them focused on a high priority, a commitment you make to becoming healthy, becoming fit.
Think about that, this week, will you? About committing to fitness, not thinness, and making exercise and movement a means to admiring your body, not loathing it. I will if you will.