Raise Your White Flag in the Body War

It was recently made very clear to me how far I have come in the body image war I have succumbed to for decades. It became clear when I was exposed to judgements, harsh and directed solely at me judgements, about my body not being the size it was pre-baby number five. For it not being slim enough. For it being not as attractive as it used to be… yes seriously. I was told that I wasn’t trying hard enough to “get it back” and that I needed to eat less (*hint* one meal a day) and exercise more (*hint* up to a couple of hours a day). *Hand slaps forehead* Really?! And all this from a man!

I sat and listened for 45 minutes to a mans attitude about my body. It was painful and it actually really hurt my feelings… Yes I have feelings. To think their opinions towards my body was more important than my own opinions of my body left me flabbergasted. It pissed me off because I had to defend my body like it was an object up for discussion and it gutted me because I have finally, FINALLY, embraced what I have in all of its womanly glory and yet that doubt, that ugliness of body hate still managed to creep its way back in, briefly.

I am not going to lie to you and tell you how fierce I was during this discussion. How strong or how awesome the comeback I had was. No. I am going to tell you the truth. I went to bed and I cried. Not a lot but a little. I cried silently to myself because I felt humiliated and angry that my body could be put under a microscope like that. I cried because it brought up instant dread of being stuck as me, in this body, even though I no longer despised it.

My body was not only scrutinised but it was also measured against my husbands. My body that is nourished with healthy food, rarely has toxic drinks poured down its throat, never faces internal rotting and decay with cool drink and is regularly nurtured through physical exercise was compared against a males. A man whose body, which obviously appears slimmer to the judiciary, is exposed to litres of cool drink, buckets of lollies and rarely sees any exercise – unless it is his annual 56km charity walk. I am not husband bashing here either because my husband is a very physically active man but to compare us, to compare our bodies is absurd.

My body has housed five babies, lived through over 200 weeks of pregnancy, suffered depression, been tortured with diet after diet, its been starved and then stuffed full for emotional protection. It has been through grief and stress and yet it is curvaceous, it is healthy, it is nourished with goodness and it can walk, stand, jump, hug, hold and move without much fuss (or pelvic floor stability – lol). It is pretty fucking amazing.

My body should not be up for discussion, yet I was body shamed pure and simple. I sat and listened to how huge an Australian size 12 was. I watched those words roll off the tongue with facial expression like they’d just swallowed a fly. A fly encrusted with maggots and then rolled and toasted in shit. But being a size 12 I guess I would still eat that coz thats what we ‘big’ people do – we eat anything and everything.

The whole 45 minutes was awful, it was embarrassing and it made me feel very self conscious about every move I made thereon in. BUT and this is a big but – I overcame it. A few years ago that kind of conversation would have destroyed me. I would have starved myself for a few days and then binged for a few more. I would have beaten myself up til I was black and blue with nasty self talk, daily mirror bashing and thrice daily body weighing – followed by uncontrollable crying. My anxiety would have been through the roof leaving me with panic attacks unable to leave the house without hours of trying on clothes that would cover up all my unsightliness. I would have retired all my shorts, figure hugging dresses, skirts and sleeveless shirts in the “I can never wear these again pile” and I would have cried for days upon days.

BUT I only cried a little. Then I put on my mum-of-five-appropriate short shorts and I got on with my life. I ate as I normally would which for those of you judgement focused people out there is actually balanced. My anxiety remained level and there was no beating up on myself at all. I’d like to even go as far as to say that this 45 minutes was actually a blessing because it taught me so much about myself. It taught me that I actually do love my body enough to accept it in times of examination. To accept it regardless of anyone else’s opinion of it and it taught me that I am miles ahead of the body hater I once was and this is good news! No fuck it it is GREAT news!

I’ve surrendered to the image focused world I live in and to the people who feel they have the right to make decisions about me based on my body. But my surrender doesn’t come feebly, it comes from power. A powerful position that I have long awaited to stand in. This is me. This is my body. This is what I am most proud of. It’s done me good. It will continue to do so and I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I die I will NOT ever question, care or have any concern for that kilo or ten I thought I had to lose just because society told me so.

I’ve surrendered because somebody else’s opinion of my body doesn’t matter. I’ve surrendered because I know how I care for my body. I know that I am healthy and I know that for some reason this weight is just where my body whats to hang out at regardless of what I am doing for it right now. I own this. I own this body I am in and there is no shame in my body what-so-ever.

Sadly I know I am not alone. I know there are so many people out there that are body shamed daily who are still where I was a few years ago and so I want to say this to you…

If you don’t stick up for yourself who will? If you don’t support your body and all of its amazing physically capabilities and glory than who will?! Who will have your back (and front and cellulite and butt)? Nobody can have it better than you! Only you can pull those shoulders back . Only you know that your body is nurtured, looked after and loved. There is only one person in your bodys’ world that has any importance – YOU. You and you alone have the power to surrender to the ridiculousness of this image focused world and truly shine as your unique self.

Find the love within. Your body can do amazing things – and it does them without you even having to think about them every single day. How fucking lucky are we!

One Love. Body Love.

DRK xxx

Egos at War

A little while ago I did something. Something that I wanted to do for myself but also to help others. Women in particular. I was so excited to be a part of a something bigger than my little world and to share a valuable message with as many people as I could. Just registering to do, for me, was life changing because it took so much courage to even get it rolling and once I had stepped over through the fear boundary I felt so empowered.

And then it all went to shit.

I was hit with obstacle after obstacle by someone willing to do anything to get their own way. But what hurt most was she came out looking like a goddess and I, a second rate try-hard. In truth I was completely cast to the side and forgotten about. She lied to me and to others, embellished her ‘story’ and bullied me into a corner. She was spiteful and used others against me. I sound resentful don’t I? That’s because I am.

I know if I was the person then that I am today then I would have stood up for myself a lot better. And this makes me feel so incredibly frustrated at myself.

Today all the disappointment and anxiety I felt during that time came flooding back because I found out she received recognition for her efforts. That she received a personal call and a huge pat on the back. Yet me, who never kicked up a fuss, who never stepped on anyones toes, who never wanted to take away from the message I wanted to share so I kept my mouth shut got sweet fuck all.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t do it for the self promotion like she did but to be shafted, bullied and disempowered and then for the shafter, bully and disempowerer to receive all the credit hurts… A lot. I feel resentment that I was the nice girl and I walked away unacknowledged. She even took credit for my hard work and claimed it as her own!

But yesterday after I allowed the crap feelings to build to an extreme level I decided to do something about it because I sure as shit am NOT going to let this “inspiring woman” have any more of my energy and it starts right here… Right now.

It all starts with forgiveness and retiring the ego.

I am going to forgive her. I am going to forgive her underhanded ways. Forgive that her drive was more important than another womans feelings. Forgive her ego for feeling superior and mine for acting inferior.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean we are going to be best friends or that she is off the hook for the trouble she caused. Forgiveness just means that I will no longer carry the feelings of hurt and disempowerment around with me. I know my part. I know what really happened and shouting the truth from the roof tops will only make me look like a cunt.

It is our egos at war here and at the end of the day it is my hurt ego that is driving these feelings. It is my ego that wants people to know the truth but someone once said you can be happy or you can be right.

I choose happy.

One Love

DRK xxx