Beautiful Words, pt. 14

This is the final week of my quoting from Roxane Gay’s newest book, Hunger. This week the focus is on doctors. Anyone who is fat has a story about a doctor who didn’t see them beyond their fatness. Last year even before I stopped dieting, I stopped seeing the very toxic doctor whom my parents had been seeing for years. She was the type of doctor who passed judgment non-stop (and not just about weight). Every time she saw my parents she told them to lose weight.

When I went to my new doctor, someone who seemed body positive from reviews that I heard, I asked not to be weighed. I told her about my disordered eating and how I was working on my relationship with food. She asked if we could talk about health, and I said not yet. She was kind.

Too often, doctors are not kind. Too often doctors see someone fat and they make a slew of assumptions. Whether those assumptions be that the person is disgusting because of their shape or what they must be eating. Whether those assumptions be that the person is unhealthy. Whether those assumptions be that the person wants to lose weight. Whether those assumptions be that the person was sexually assaulted. All of these assumptions are bad. If you are a doctor, I plead with you, stop making assumptions. When a patient comes in, don’t prescribe weight loss without hearing the symptoms. Really, don’t prescribe weight loss at all.┬áTry, TRY to hear the symptoms without the weight bias coming in. Educate yourself. Read Health at Every Size or Body Respect or other books on the matter.

And for everyone’s sake, please don’t approve children’s dieting.

“I blamed my body for being broken. My doctor did not dissuade me from this, which was its own kind of hell–to have your worst fears about yourself affirmed by a medical professional who is credentialed to make such judgments.”

“I go to the doctor as rarely as possible because when I go, whether for an ingrown toenail or a cold, doctors can only see and diagnose my body.”

“Doctors are supposed to first do no harm, but when it comes to bodies, most doctors seem fundamentally incapable of heeding their oath.”




My Body Story, Ch. 7

It’s been a while, eh?

My body has been on the back burner for a while.

Mostly because it’s almost a non-issue at this point.

It’s surprisingly weird how easy this feels on the back end of things.

I know my journey wasn’t that. It wasn’t easy. I don’t know if my journey was typical or normal or how other people’s journeys went. I’m pretty sure my journey is not over yet.

But I do know that today, not dieting or purging via exercise (no, not all exercise is purging, chill), I felt cute and that was awesome.

I felt attractive.

I felt sexy.

I liked what I was wearing.

My hair was having an especially good day.

I know this isn’t every day for me. I know most days I don’t give too much thought to how I look. I know there are still days that I grab my belly with disdain.

I know there will always be such days.

But before, there weren’t really these other kinds of days.

Before, there weren’t these days that I felt good. Not unless I was towards the end of a diet cycle, checking out my before and after picture. Even then, they were fleeting. Quickly taken over by the question “How much more an I lose?” or “How will I keep this weight off?”

So that’s where I am today.

For the most part, I eat what I want, when I want, without guilt.

I’ve even started working out, depending on how I feel, and what my body seems to want.

And that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To trust my body to know when it’s hungry and what sustenance it needs and what movement it desires.

I’m getting closer now.

My body story is almost complete.

2017 Self-Imposed Challenge

I am super excited to announce my self-imposed challenge for 2017!!!

As some of you may know, I have a penchant for creating seemingly silly but ultimately important challenges for myself.

In 2013 I decided to run a marathon with very little running experience (and basically no off-the-treadmill running experience whatsoever).

In 2015 I decided to read at least a book a week for 13 months.

I call these challenges silly because they are. There is no great big horrible thing that will happen if I don’t do them. But they are important because they inevitably teach me important lessons.

My running challenge taught me that I was physically and mentally capable of anything I put my mind to. Even things that younger me would have never considered remotely within the realm of things I could or wanted to do. Going from nothing to running a whole marathon in 10 months makes it a lot harder to say “I don’t think I can do that” later on in life. Because I promise you that even a couple of months before I challenged myself, I thought there’s no way I could run a marathon. But I did.

My reading challenge taught me that I get to prioritize what I do with my time. This might seem trite to you, but I’d argue a lot of people don’t take this kind of responsibility over their lives. Up until college, I always loved reading. I took a book with me pretty much everywhere. Even in college, when I was on break, I usually read copiously. This changed drastically when I started working. Suddenly reading just fell off my radar. Then during my Thanksgiving break in 2014 I caught myself devouring books in a way I hadn’t done in a long time. It reminded me how much I loved reading and how much I needed to stop saying “I just don’t have time for reading any more.” This challenge allowed me to prioritize reading in a way I hadn’t let myself as an adult. And I’m glad to say it has really stuck. I may not read a book a week any more (though I still might, I haven’t been tracking), but I still read a lot, and I learned that if reading is important to me then I have to make time for it.

So this year I’m doing a cooking challenge.

I’ve always loved cooking.

Even if my deepest of dieting days I loved cooking.

But it’s way way more fun now that I allow myself to use as much butter as I want.

So I’m challenging myself to try a new recipe every week. And I’m going to try very hard to shy away from the quick, 30-minute meal recipes. I’d really like to hone my skills in the kitchen. To spend time learning about new cuisines. And to just generally up the number of things I feel comfortable cooking with no recipe on hand. Odds are I’ll do most of the new recipe cooking on the weekend to really allow myself to embrace the slow cooking methodology. Maybe I’ll even reinstate the weekly family dinner we used to do in┬áMichigan back in the day. That would be fun!

Keep an eye out for updates. And if you have any recipes you absolutely love, send them my way!