I spend a lot of time writing about bodies. Reading about bodies. Thinking about bodies.
Maybe too much time.
It started after my second son was born. I went back to counseling because my mind couldn’t let go of the old eating disorder lies. I wasn’t doing the behaviors anymore, but the thought that everything would be better if I just lost weight continued to torment me.
My body has never been good enough-- and will never be good enough-- for my eating disorder. I try not to care what it thinks. But it is always right there ready to offer its opinion.
I suppose it really started in college when I devoted my extra time to exercising and tried to eat only healthy foods. I became obsessive and overwhelmed. My emotions raged. That’s when I first went to a counselor. And learned about intuitive eating.
I’ve written about intuitive eating and how it changed my life. It was revolutionary for my younger self to learn that not dieting was an option. I didn’t know that. I assumed that dieting was the right thing to do… the healthy thing to do.
I’ve learned that health is complicated.
As a nurse, I witness the terrible fatphobia that taints our healthcare system. I want to change that. I want people to know that health and weight are not the same thing. I’ve written about that too. I’ve written about weight stigma and body neutrality and the many problems with the BMI and our weight-centric health care model.
I continue to read and learn more about all these nuanced issues. I continue to write.
I’m writing a young adult novel about disordered eating. Maybe if I share a fictional version of my story, I can help the next generation move away from a life of hating their body-- from not feeling good enough.
I write and write and write. I am still writing. I love my book and yet, sometimes I feel like a fraud.
My book is about healing from an eating disorder while in a bigger body. One day at my parent’s house, I studied the family scrapbook to remember what it was like to be a high school senior. I was shocked to see how thin I was. I had no idea.
I’ve had to learn about thin privilege.
My body has always felt like a problem. Maybe it truly started in elementary school when I wrote my first diet plan. I’ve always been trying to change my body.
I write a lot about self-acceptance and self-love. Still, when I look in the mirror, I see a problem to be fixed. I see something that isn’t good enough. I want to accept my body. I want to love myself. I want to be confident that my weight is not a reflection of my health and worth.
And yet, there is always a voice offering a different opinion.