Well here we are…another International Women’s Day is in the books.
Every year, I’ve got to be honest, International Women’s Day rolls around, and I brace myself for the militant “girl power” I’m going to be slapped across the face with on social media.
You know what I’m talking about: the fists in the air, “patriarchy” rebels that use this day to not just celebrate womanhood — which to be clear, is a beautiful thing — but to attack and belittle men.
I mean, just watch 10 seconds of Taylor Swift‘s new music video, “The Man” — where she spends the entire music video emasculating and ridiculing the male gender — and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
But I always scratch my head and wonder — since when do we have to shit on men in order to celebrate women? (excuse my french)
Frankly, they’re missing the point.
Contrary to my commentary up ’til now, I am very pro-woman. Which seems like a dumb thing to say…it’s like…look, we all came from a woman…we are all pro-woman. DUH
But in light of IWD, I am pro-woman in a very different vein than say, my men-bashing, “p*$$y-power” contemporaries.
I am pro-woman because of the beautiful gift we have as women to bring life into this world.
Because for a long time, I was not able to do so.
One of the things they don’t talk about when it comes to anorexia, is how it impacts the woman’s fertility.
When you are so dangerously low weight, the body goes into survival mode, and does everything it can to merely keep you alive. And that means “shutting down” all your secondary functions in your body. And surprise, surprise, the reproductive system is one of the first to go.
As it did for me. For 10 years – clearly well into my recovery — I grieved the fact that I was infertile. I mourned my womanhood. That was what I believed I was put on this earth to do: be a mom and bring beautiful little babies into this world. And I had to come to terms with the fact that, because of my actions those many years ago, my body hadn’t recovered that ability, due to the trauma I put in through in the eating disorder.
Thanks be to God, that I have since regained my fertility. Yes, in the last two years, my body has fully and completely restored that ability.
Seriously, praise the Lord. Not a day goes by, that I don’t thank God for healing that part of me, once stolen by the anorexia. And I look forward to one day, bringing life into the world.
And so for me, that is what I celebrate on International Women’s Day.
Yes, women are strong, brave, capable of anything a man can do, worthy of equal wages and opportunities, deserving of a work place and community free from unwanted sexual advances, and meriting just as much recognition for their tremendous contributions to the arts, sciences, corporate and domestic environments.
And those should absolutely be celebrated on IWD.
But women are also life bearers. We can bring life into this world. And that is a powerful, beautiful, and uniquely feminine thing.
And as an aside, it breaks my heart to see women fighting for the right to “choose” to end that life through abortion. That is the antithesis of “girl power,” if you ask me. But that’s beside the point.
Two things before I sign off:
1. I am well aware that there are women reading this that find themselves in that very painful reality of infertility. And to those strong, beautiful women, I want to just say this: During those ten years, I had to fight the lies being thrown at me by the enemy, that my worth as a woman was tied to my ability to have biological children. But the fact is, that is a lie from the pit of hell. Motherhood comes in all shapes, sizes, and situations. Adoption, spiritual motherhood, foster parenting, social work, volunteering. God put in every woman, the heart of a mother, regardless of whether or not she is able to physically produce children of her own. And He will use that heart, he so lovingly placed in you. The world needs your heart. So please hear me: fertility does not a woman make.
2. Secondly, in terms of regaining my fertility, I want to just speak to my eating disorder recovery warriors out there who are struggling with this. Because, believe me, I’ve been there. I know how scary the thought is of getting your period back. But please trust me, fast forward the clock to years down the road, when you are living abundantly in recovery, and want to be able to have children one day — there is nothing more you will want, than to be menstruating.
SO – here’s what I wish someone would have told me. Or rather, here’s what I wish I would have believed:
EATING FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT
Let me explain: for years in my recovery, I would stay away from fats: oils, butter, avocado, etc — it was a lingering “food fear” I held onto. And I avoided it like the plague, for fear that it would make me fat.
But here’s the thing: despite it’s name, it doesn’t make you fat!
Granted, I’m not talking about scarfing deep fried Twinkies, but let me tell you: today, I get probably 40% of my daily calories from healthy, unsaturated dietary fats: olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, salmon. I kid you not, I eat probably close to 1/2 cup of olive oil A DAY.
And you know what? It hasn’t made me fat.
You know what has happened since adopting my fat-loving diet? I GOT MY PERIOD BACK. It made my dry scalp clear up. I no longer have dry, cracked skin. My hair is shiny. I haven’t gotten sick in 2 years.
Healthy, unsaturated dietary fat is your best friend. And it restored my fertility.
So there you go.
If you’ve made it this far: I salute you.
Happy International Women’s Day – I sincerely hope we can all celebrate one another and work together – both men and women – to create a world that is supportive and receptive to one another, regardless of gender, race, creed, nationality, or life stage: from conception to natural death.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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