Well, in case you didn’t know, it’s “Body Positivity Week.”
Yep, thanks to BuzzFeed, we’re being bombarded with full-frontal content about Forget-You-I-Love-My-Curves, and NGAFudge-ing about what anyone thinks about our cellulite, and Dag-Nabit I’m wearing a bikini if I want to, and how dare you body shame me.
It’s actually kind of ironic how it’s Body POSITIVITY Week, and yet so many of the articles have an acoustically negative skew.
Granted, not all…but I spent a good 45 minutes parusing the articles, — because, hey…this is sorta my wheelhouse — and I maaaaybe came across two articles that I actually could get behind.
Now, I know this may seem a little “off-brand” for me to not be all gung-ho about a week that, from the surface, is about loving yourself and your body and embracing your beauty.
And, absolutely, I am obviously on board for all of those things.
But, I’ve got to be honest. I’m personally not on the “BoPo” train.
And this is coming from a girl who will
regularly spontaneously turn on some Selena Gomez’s Hands to Myself, or Arianna Grande’s Dangerous Woman and have an all out dance party in my apartment. Sometimes in costume.
So, I get it. It’s important to love yourself.
But body positivity…
This is a topic where things get…complicated.
You see, recovering from anorexia is something that you almost cannot put into words.
First, mentally – it is a life long battle. The sheer abhorrence of self that led to the symptoms of anorexia (i.e.: the weight loss) must be overcome in order to fully recover. So for starters, you have to silence the voice of ED in your head that is constantly tearing you down with insults that would make an inmate blush.
But then, there’s the physical.
Going from 78 pounds to a healthy weight — the changes your body makes are so, just, inexplicable. You would think that the things like, filling out your jeans or not being gaunt and skeletal, would be the biggest things you notice. But in fact, that’s not the case. Things like, squeezing your hand into a ball and feeling more flesh on your knuckles. Walking barefoot and not feeling your heel bones ache against the tile. Making a facial expression and not feeling your skin tighten because it was stretched so thin. These were the types of changes that I would fixate on.
I had literally scrutinized every centimeter of my body. So believe me when I say that I knew the changes that were going on in my body.
But back to body positivity.
Knowing these changes I was going through, one would think that body positivity was how I got through it. That by falling in love with my new and healthy body was how I overcame the disease.
Well…That could not be farther from the truth.
And unpopular opinion alert: body positivity was not even on my radar at all.
Eventually, did I learn to love and accept my body? Sure – it’s still a journey, but I’m getting there.
That’s the thing about Body Positivity Week — it’s still focusing on our physical bodies. Obsessing over how much we love the imperfections and curves and “handfuls of lovin’” at one spot or another.
OK. That’s great.
But the way I learned to love my body was to stop focusing on my body.
I had to stop scrutinizing every 0.2 ounces that fluctuated on the scale. Stop meticulously surveying how this or that looked today. How something had changed, or grown, or gotten _____er or ______er overnight. Stop comparing my body, even in a healthy mindset, to other friends, family members, models, actors, people on the street. I had to just stop focusing on it.
I had to stop seeing myself through my distorted and irrational eyes.
I had to see myself through God’s eyes.
I had to see myself through the eyes of my Creator, who loves me unconditionally. And, even though I have done all of this crap, when He sees me, sees only a precious daughter, who has value and worth, just for being His.
Radical: affecting the fundamental nature of something.
My fundamental nature was that I was broken. And spoiler alert, we all are in one way or another.
But I was broken. I had lied, manipulated people, destroyed my body purposefully, hated myself, was angry, selfish, self-centered.
God loved me despite all of those things. His love was radical. It changed me. Changed my fundamental nature. It took what was broken and made it new.
So in order to heal from my anorexia, I had to be radical with my body, too. And radically accept it.
And to do that, I had to stop focusing on it.
I kept my eyes on Him, not on the mirror.
I kept my thoughts on His love, His mercy, His forgiveness – not on how I feel about my body.
Do I appreciate my health and life and recovered body every day? You bet your A.
But not because I want to say, “screw the media and its unhealthy standards of beauty.”
I celebrate my body because I celebrate the soul that is in it.
The soul that was broken and then restored by a good and loving Father. That interior transformation is reflected in the outer transformation.
And that transformation comes from one source: Him.
But for me, it’s more than that. I don’t want to just celebrate my body. I want to celebrate He who restored my body. I want to celebrate the transformation He facilitated — mind, spirit, and yes…body.