Earlier this week a well-known brand was criticized for featuring plus-size mannequins in one of its stores. The critic argued the woman that the mannequin represented could not exercise because it was “immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat.” I want to be surprised, but I’m not. Why does society continue to deem fat bodies as being open and okay to discuss or critique?
Five years ago I decided a number on a scale was all that could define my health – and my worth. My rule of thumb for eating was simple: get the total number of calories consumed, double it, then burn that number of calories with hard exercise. I’d run miles and miles with just 500-800 calories worth of food “fueling” me.
The result? I was the thinnest and sickest I’d ever been. I was hospitalized multiple times from reactions my body had to the stress I placed on it. But it didn’t matter: my body was open for discussion and all I heard was praise. I was addicted and I wanted more.
It took years of therapy and ups and downs to get to a point where I didn’t let food control or scare me. My wellness goals have nothing to do with food anymore. I give my body what it needs and what it craves.
I do yoga with my body; bending and stretching and posing with it, constantly amazed at what it allows me to do. I’ve done flows with my body in locations all around the world, connecting with it more and more with every pose. I run with my body, having completed multiple half marathons as a part of my recovery. I lift heavy with my body, and learned to be patient with it thanks to other amazing women like the ladies at @vieathletics.
I don’t know how much I weigh. I don’t care how much I weigh. I know my body ran a dozen miles at the gym this week. I know my body did a back bend from a standing position yesterday in a stretch session, simply because it could.
I know my body, because I love my body. And no matter what size or shape you are, I hope you love your body too.