Feeling Thin, Feeling Fat…about Feeling That

Last night I felt super sexy in my body and took some photos of myself as I stretched around in my undies. I’d never done that before. But last night I liked the curve of my hips, my muscular thighs, and my bulging belly. How good it feels to be me today, I thought. How connected I feel. How lucky I am to be me and in my body today. I breathed deeply into my stomach, feeling light and free and me.

This morning I woke up and did not like my body, which seems 10 lbs heavier than it did last night, and the chubby flab of belly that seemed so womanly now just seems ick because it’s not flat. (And as we all know, a good stomach is a flat stomach.) Any wonderful feelings I had yesterday, so beautiful and bright like fresh snow, are now sulking in a tossed, muddied pile in the corner.

Geez, what is happening, body? So I trudged out to yoga, trying to reconnect with my body. Grumble, grumble, it’s not working. I came home and still didn’t want to dance confidently around my room tonight, but I had shown up for myself and that was the main thing.

Anyone who has ever had an eating disorder can attest to the phenomenon of gaining and losing 15 lbs in the course of a morning — depending on what clothes you try on and who you see and what you eat and what the postman brings and if you get that text or if you don’t or if you send that text or if you don’t — you feel “thin” or you feel “fat.” Which really is to say, your mind is a capricious, finicky little bitch who tries to convince you that your bodily experience revolves around external factors.

The body, on the other hand, doesn’t lie. And it’s still there for you, plodding along beneath all the frantic chatter of the brain. You might not always love it, but it’s there. It hasn’t changed, and it’s still there for you. I know this more now than I did five years ago; my feelings of “fat” and “thin” are less of a roller coaster than they used to be. But the mind still loves to keep me out of my body and into my thoughts.

I don’t feel particularly sexy tonight, but I said hello to my tummy and patted it with care just the same. Maybe in 30 minutes I’ll feel fabulous. Or maybe I’ll feel like I’ve gained another 10 lbs. It doesn’t really matter though what my mind babbles about. I know I am who I am, regardless, and that is me, and how lovely it is to be absolutely me.

Less brain, more being. Keep breathing, friends.

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