In grade 12 my friend Lesley and I tried to go without food for two weeks. We wanted to shed a few pounds. A few years later in first year university, I limited myself to two small bowls of clear broth a day and plenty of exercise. We were all trying to look like Kate Moss back then.
And I didn’t even have an eating disorder.
This was typical stuff most of us young women were doing. Waifishness, protruding hip bones and concave tummies were all the rage. We sighed enviously at anyone who could go long periods without nourishment. Most of us hated our bodies and were quick to point out our problem areas without provocation.
I’ve smartened up, made friends with myself. I’ve realized finally that I am not this body, cannot be defined by my soft convex stomach. My tired and disobedient breasts don’t have the power to change the world.
I am not this body but this body is all I have.
These days, I speak soothingly to my flabby arms; thank them for holding my babies even when they are exhausted. I send admiring thoughts to my uterus for the miracle work it performed. I am in awe of this imperfect, disproportionate frame that holds me, like a sweet loyal dog, never failing me even when I sullied it with my thoughts, relegated it to the back of the line, poked fun of it in public.
I am ashamed of how I’ve repaid it for its devotion; cringing every time I passed a mirror, heartsick if it gained even one pound, denying it when all it wanted was one measly hot fudge sundae.
I am not this body but I was put in charge of it. And I am on a mission to take that responsibility seriously.
I'm pictured here wearing the necklace Deaglan toiled over for several days at daycare. For a few days I wore it to and from the daycare and without fail every single time he asked me if I LOVED my new necklace.