Friday, February 27, 2015

Live Long and Prosper

I hate that we only truly appreciate the beauty of someone's soul, their vision and talents only when they are gone. While I have always liked and admired Leonard Nimoy, I had no idea how talented he was outside of his acting. Poetry, music and especially photography were in his list of many other talents.

Leonard Nimoy has been an advocate for body acceptance for years. The Full Body Project (warning, link has nudity) he published in 2007 is a celebration of beautiful plus size women. Celebrating themselves, each other, and their perfectly imperfect bodies. It is beautiful.

I have never seen women who are even remotely close to my size/type in print before. Or at least not in a way that made them look as beautiful as they are. Leonard Nimoy captured it. It brought me to tears reading some of what he has said.

"...and I thought there’s something going on in the culture that’s happening here that I became conscious of, that women... There’s a gigantic industry built around telling women they all look wrong. You’ve got to buy these pills; you’ve got to go on a diet; you have to get this surgery; you have to do all these things to try to look more like the models who are wearing the clothes, and it’s a gigantic... It’s a cruel thing, I think." -Leonard Nimoy

It is. You don't need that diet. You don't need to fit society's definition of beautiful and sexy. You don't need to be skinny. You don't need to wait to start living your life. If you wait, look at how much passes you by!

You are beautiful.

You are sexy.

You are perfect as you are.

I am beautiful.

I am sexy.

I am perfect as I am. Right now. On this day. At this moment. And for everyday from now on.

While he was an amazing actor and Spock will live forever, I will remember Leonard Nimoy for being an advocate for body acceptance and truly seeing all the beauty. RIP Leonard Nimoy.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I threw out my scale!

Yep. You read that right.

I threw out my scale!

Why, you ask? Primarily I am sick of letting my life be dictated by a number. Letting my days, good or bad, be determined by what that little number says about me. If I had it in the house I would be tempted to step on. So it is gone. My husband threw it away this afternoon.

After doing much reading and research, I am done with the weight loss industry. I am tired of trying to reach the right number and then I can finally be happy and live my life. Hell with that. I am tired of waiting to live my life, I want to live it now. So I am.

I just finished a book called "Health At Every Size" by Dr. Linda Bacon. She writes up results from her study and others regarding the long-term effectiveness of diets, weight-loss, plans and the Health At Every Size philosophy. Basically every study that comes out that says being fat is bad is paid for by the weight loss industry. Turns out, that is not necessarily the case. Being heavier has a lot of benefits. You are less sick, there are fewer cases of cancer, and it is not a good predictor of heart disease as everyone thinks. It turns the philosophy we have been taught all our lives on it's head. You don't have to take my word for it. Read her book and look through her sources. It is pretty compelling evidence. There was also a blog published on the Scientific American webpage talking about similar ideas. 

The book I read also talks about enjoying life. Doing the things you love. If you are going to workout, do it because you (and your body) want to do it. Also do things you love to do. If you love swimming but hate running, why do something you hate? Enjoy every bite of food in your mouth. Revel in it. Taste it. Smell it. Feel it. Eat anything. No food is inherently good or bad, but some ARE healthier. When you listen to your body, and I am finding this true after just a couple weeks, you start listening to your hungry and full signals. I am eating less, eating more often (so I don't get grumpy), and enjoying every bite. Dr. Bacon goes into a lot of detail about all of this, and it is hard to explain. But simply when you enjoy your food and take time to truly savor every bite, it does your body good. There have been studies that have come out recently that show that when you are not only grateful for the food you are about to it, but savor your food, you absorb more nutrients. The minute you put a "bad" connotation in front of any food (soda, chips and burgers anyone?) you feel guilt and shame for eating those foods. You also absorb less nutrients. So if you are going to eat soda, burgers and fries, don't feel guilty. If you savor, enjoy and love the food you eat your body will get more out of it. Of course, their are foods that are more nutrient dense than others.

That's not to say coming to this conclusion has been easy. Do I still want to wear smaller clothes and all that? Yes! Brainwashing isn't undone overnight. But I also want to be free to do what I want. I have been keeping up on my yoga and getting into some more advanced poses. And having seen posts in recent weeks of some very curvaceous ladies doing some incredibly hard yoga poses, I am INSPIRED! I can be a curvy yogi. I AM a curvy yogi.

Did a more advanced pigeon pose out of the blue a few weeks back.

I have also started going back to belly dance classes. And I love it! I have fun. I have met some wonderful new women. And once I get back in the swing of it, I will feel graceful again. Being out of practice sucks. I also feel sexy and empowered and powerful when dancing. And my waist size dwarfs the other ladies there by quite a bit! And I don't care. The first night I went we had to dance with veils and I was kindly loaned one. I had never danced with a veil before so I was off to the side playing with it, dancing and getting a feel for the movement and flow. Several of the women looked over shocked, some looked jealous and like they wanted to join me and some just smiled. I didn't care. I let my inner 5-year old out to dance. I have to get over my body image issues just to walk in the dang door of the dance studio. After that, I will dance with a veil and shimmy my hip scarf all I want. It is glorious to dance!

So this is long and rambling post, my apologies. I am sure this will be a journey to learn to let a lot of what I have been taught go. However, the confidence I have gained in myself and my body the last few weeks has been incredible though. So I will keep doing my yoga and learning handstands and cooking delicious food, and love every second of it.