As a woman of size—a middle-aged woman of size, no less—I often struggle with being marginalized, being seen (or, more accurately, unseen) as invisible, viewed with discrimination, even. And sometimes it hurts. But here's what I know right now: I'm the size I am, right here, right now, because of many physical and emotional factors over the years. My weight tells a story, if to nobody else but me. So instead of judging and berating myself for those factors, I'm listening to and nurturing myself. I'm learning the difference between desperately wanting and trying to lose weight for the sake of my health and wellbeing and understanding how my physical self is a reflection of my inner, emotional self.
There are many personal reasons (too many to describe here) why my current physical self manifests as it does but thankfully I have connected with mentors and a supportive network who show me daily how to sink into my strength for emotional and physical healing. What that means for my weight and shape remains to be seen. All that to say I'm making the shift from trying to mold my body into a conventionally and commercially approved "beauty" model and am instead evolving into a stronger state.
I want to run. I want to dance. I want to hike all over Vancouver Island and do the West Coast Trail. I want to cycle long distances. I want to wear whatever I wish without shame or hindrance. As I work towards these things through intuitive, mindful eating and joyful movement, will that eventually result in me becoming "thinner"? Probably, because I'm undoubtedly carrying weight that needs releasing—and it will be released when hormones and emotions and activity and eating patterns come into more balance. But no more are my goals fixed on becoming some impossible, elusive, patriarchal ideal that I've chased my entire life—since pre-puberty, even! I'm too old now and have too many stretch marks to ever be society's version of "perfect.” It just ain’t gonna happen. And let’s be real: Does it ever happen for anyone? Really? No. So I'm just going to go with becoming as strong and badass as possible. How freeing is that?