articulating truths in recovery without sounding like a contradiction

I hate having the desire to vacate my body. I strive to be in something that resembles a deep communion with my body and physical self. At times this feels impossible, but recently I’ve had glimpses of that freedom.

Weight stigma. For years I’ve been terrified of becoming fat. The word “fat” is a little word yet it carried enormous meaning. Messages I received growing up and to this day, told me that “fat” made you less of a person. “Fat” implied you were out of control. To belong in my life, I took drastic measures to ensure I didn’t become what I feared the most.

Throughout recovery I’ve learned that the idea of body positivity, or even just loving oneself isn’t effortless, nor does it necessarily come naturally. Hear me out: In a sense I think it’s a good thing that body positivity has gone mainstream. But I also believe that much of the messaging from the body positive movement, especially that which comes across our Instagram feeds, is diluted by reductive mantras like “just love yourself”. We can become trapped in prescriptive and mixed messaging like “just love yourself” but “follow my exact way of doing it”.

These messages, in conjunction with the already judgmental and self-deprecating thoughts in our head, make true body acceptance very challenging. Here’s the thing: the voices in our heads don’t tell us the truth.

They are determined to be heard, revered, and awed.

They want to be heard at all times.

Thoughts about our bodies are not modest.

They tell the lies that they know we have a hard time dismissing.

I believe though, that our minds are beautiful even when they are convoluted. Our minds are beautiful even when there is an internal battle between what our minds say and what our heart desires.

My heart so badly wants to accept my body. I don’t value weight bias or stigma and in fact, don’t ascribe the harsh morality around body size to other people. But I’m stuck with a, perhaps, philosophical conundrum:

Can I say that a true value of  mine is to dismantle weight stigma when I can’t apply this value yet to myself?

The key word, I hope, is… “yet”[??]. I don’t know the “right” answer, but I’d like to think the answer is, “Yes.” I’d like to think that I can be working towards the goal of body acceptance and breaking away from weight bias, and not necessarily in the coveted place of the final destination?

I wish I could freakin’ strong-arm myself into body love. [Wouldn’t that be awesome?!] I want so badly to be able to best articulate my truth without sounding like a contradiction. For now, as I’m on a path towards this, I’m grateful that recovery, and life in general, allows for nuances, and can be a forgiving place.

In strength and healing,

OJ

articulating truths in recovery without sounding like a contradiction

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