I don’t know, I just wanted to write something.
It’s only really in the last couple of years that I even admitted that I had an eating disorder. It’s a big deal to use such strong words and I was always afraid of being denied that, being told I was too fat to know what I was talking about, to have my experiences minimised and dismissed like has happened so many times. I got to a point where it was more important to advocate for myself than it was to spare the feelings of others.
I also think the process of helping encourage beloved people in my life to embrace their bodies and realise the problem is never with them but with society and the wider world has helped me to process my own baggage. It’s always easier to advocate for others than yourself. But sometimes in doing so you help yourself anyway, and I think that’s what happened here too.
I started writing lots of memories, moments I recall that really point to the disordered relationship with food and eating being there all along, but it started to sound like I was justifying my struggle. And I don’t want to do that. I know my experiences and I know how hard it has been.
But I also know where I am now.
I am more comfortable in my body than I have really ever been. This is my home, and I live in it. I am not afraid of existing. I am sometimes still afraid of judgements and other people, but I am not afraid of myself. I bought art recently and it says “my power remains even when they fail to see it.”
Doing aerial hoop has been fantastic for this, really. I started because I wanted an opportunity to push myself to do things I would fail at, because failure is not a great skill of mine. I carried on because I enjoyed the challenge and I made friends, in a space that traditionally would not be welcoming to fat bodies like mine. I’m about to try and make some fancy pants for an upcoming pole dance workshop, and I will wear them in public if I do, and that’s huge. I think back to the hot hot day last year when the studio was baking and I just took off my shirt, in a public studio, in front of other people, and it was fine.
My body is just a body. I have put it through a hell of a lot in its almost-32 years on the planet and it deserves to be loved and appreciated for keeping me alive if absolutely nothing else – but there is also so much more.
Eating disorders affect such an enormous group of society and it’s important to know that recovery is also possible. Everything is possible.
We deserve to live full lives no matter our size. And that’s what I intend to do.