I'm learning to practice gratitude for a healthy body, even if it's rounder than I'd like it to be. I’m learning to take up all the space I need, literally and figuratively, even though we live in a world that wants women to be tiny and quiet. To feed one’s body, to admit one’s hunger, to look one's appetite straight in the eye without fear or shame—this is controversial work in our culture. Part of being a Christian means practicing grace in all sorts of big and small and daily ways, and my body gives me the opportunity to demonstrate grace, to make peace with imperfection every time I see myself in the mirror. On my best days, I practice grace and patience with myself, knowing that I can't extend grace and patience if I haven't tasted it.
We’re not broken. We’re not in the wrong bodies. We’re not inadequate. We’re not lesser. We’re not unwanted. We’re not fraudulent. We’re not undesirable. That’s all just a set of lies we tell to soothe the experience of the prisons we put ourselves in.
THIS IS WHAT A MAN LOOKS LIKE. HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AESTHETICALLY PLEASING; HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MUSCULAR; HE DESERVES NOT TO BE PHOTOSHOPPED. HE IS HUMAN, AND HE HAS BLEMISHES. HERE HE STANDS, VISIBLE. HE SEES YOU ALL, COUNTLESS INVISIBLE OTHERS LIKE HIM. THIS BODY IS ACCEPTABLE — PUBESCENT, AWKWARD, MARRED. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE INVISIBLE. WE ARE ALL GOOD ENOUGH. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH OUR BODIES.
My body is a political battlefield.It is a place of war, of death and suffering, of triumph and victory, of damage and repair, of blood and tears and sweat.It is a place where memories go to find purpose for their existence.It is a place where humans cast all inhibitions aside to discover what exists at their very core.It is a place of growth wearing a mask of destruction.It is a challenge, not for the faint of heart, beckoning us to face it with eyes wide open.The only war is within. When you are ready to fight it, the field awaits.
Culture alone cannot explain the phenomena of such high rates of eating disorders. Eating disorders are complex, but what they all seem to have in common is the ability to distract women from the memories, sensations, and experience of the sexual abuse through starving, bingeing, purging, or exercising. They keep the focus on food, body image, weight, fat, calories, diets, miles, and other factors that women focus on during the course of an eating disorder. These disorders also have the ability to numb a woman from the overwhelming emotions resulting from the sexual abuse — especially loss of control, terror, and shame about her body. Women often have a combination of eating disorders in in their history. Some women are anorexic during one period of their life, bulimic during another, and compulsive eaters at yet another stage.