Several years ago, I was studying Music Business at a local tertiary institution, one of the best courses on the subject in Australia. Over the two years that I spent wandering these college halls, I dropped two dress sizes rather quickly using physically and psychologically dangerous methods. Amongst other tricks I picked up from "pro-ana support groups" (don't kid yourselves, these websites ARE instructing their followers on how to kill themselves - thankfully I realized it before it was too late) were drinking Ipecac to make myself vomit, 'detoxing' by consuming nothing but broth for 10 days, trying a 'mono' diet consisting of a plate of brown rice each day and playing games to see how long I could starve without fainting. My body rebelled against the torture as it was built to do. If these hips could talk, they would have said, "After all i've done for you, is this how you thank me - by sucking me dry?" So eventually my hips got together with my stomach, breasts and thighs and staged an intervention by making me have a seizure in the dairy aisle of a local supermarket. I'd been eating (and barely surviving on) brown rice and vegetarian hot dogs for the last week. It's little wonder my body staged a protest! Cut to 2009 and to me sitting at my desk, shaking my head at the stupid lengths I went to when I was really still a child. I have a much better relationship with my body now. I refuse to disrespect it ever again. I wouldn't say i'm totally at peace with my body now, but we're on good terms with each other and go out regularly to laugh, drink and enjoy life. The body may only boil down to a shell, a device that represents us on the physical plane - but you only get one in this life (no, plastic surgery doesn't count as a 'new' body) and it shocks me that we don't appreciate ours enough. Look what we can do with it. Love every furry, wrinkly, saggy, blotchy inch of it. Marvel at how, when you know how and when to listen to it, it tells you exactly what you need. We've all at one stage or another started a sentence with, "It's not perfect, but..." This is a damaging suggestion as there is no such thing as perfection - we can't agree on what is 'perfect', and if we eventually reached a consensus, it'd be an impossible standard to meet. It's bloody hard enough living up to our OWN standards! Instead, appreciate and love it for what it is and how, for all the damage you do to it, it insist on loving you back. You may not realize it, but it fights hard for you. Obesity may be a health issue but the body will always rally around and protect what is vital. As for the body as a fashion issue - kiss my cellulite-laden arse. There is absolutely no excuse for people of all shapes and sizes not having decent garments, being limited in their choices, or being told that their body doesn't deserve to look good! This morning I looked in the mirror as I prepared for a shower and, for the first time that I can recall, I liked what I saw. It's far from the popular idea of 'perfection' - I have a belly, wide hips and a ghetto booty. I have quite large areolas, cellulite on my thighs and tuck-shop arms. But I think (I HOPE) i've finally reached a time in my life where I have stopped obsessing over every nook and cranny, zoning in on every perceivable 'flaw' and denouncing myself as just fat and ugly. It's a good feeling. Look, the bottom line is, your body loves you and you ought to love it back. I don't want to come off as preachy but if there are times when you feel like it is conspiring against you, remind yourself of the times when it has enabled you to do and when it did exactly what you wanted. For want of a better phrase, it's got your back. Treat it like the friend that it is and your relationship with it will change for the better. Just you wait and see.
Created: Dec 23, 2009Document Media