The last couple of years have really been life-changing for me, as I've mentioned before. I've been through a gym junkie phase, where I lost a few kilos but was so miserable and so obsessed with everything that went in my mouth that I had to give up to keep my sanity...Although I used the usual excuses of "lack of time and money". I acted like I enjoyed what I was doing, but I was like Rose in Titanic: I felt like I was in a crowded room, screaming, and no one was paying attention.
Then a few months ago I was doing research for work on the fat community. I read a couple of blog posts, like this one from Definatalie and this one from Red Vinyl Shoes, and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Suddenly I realised that there was a world in which it was ok for me to not eat only green vegetables and red meat, where it was ok for me to not slave away at the gym, where it was ok for me to wear stylish, sexy clothes and not be self-conscious...And that I was already living in that world, if I just opened my eyes. All these issues, all this self-consciousness, suddenly drained away. I realised that I don't recall the last time I caught my naked reflection in a mirror and thought I looked bad - that how I felt about my size was based on what I thought I *should* feel, and not what I actually felt. And so my fat acceptance journey began.
I discovered the always inspirational and fabulous Fat Heffalump, who I'm hoping to meet in real life very soon. I started using Google Reader to keep up with all the fabulous blogs about body image I found. I discovered a whole community of fantastic Australian men and women who not only speak out about fat issues but about *all* issues relating to discrimination and human rights. I rediscovered my feminist tendencies and started reading feminist blogs as well. I bought a bunch of new clothes and shoes. Because of my new confidence, people started complimenting me again and I would think "yes, I *do* look fabulous!"
As I've progressed on my journey to fat acceptance, I've realised there are other things I need to accept as well. If I'm going to accept my fat body, then I need to accept my endometriosis too. If I'm going to be more aware of other people spending their time judging and discriminating, then I need to stop doing that too. If I'm going to look to others for examples, then I need to first be a good example myself. If I'm going to be fearless about what I wear, then I should be fearless about what I say and do.
A couple of blog posts I've read this week have really cemented these thoughts in my mind. The first is about fearlessness, from Dances With Fat. When I read this post, I thought "yea, I should be more like that." And then I went to make some cupcakes for a dinner party with some friends, including one who has recently had a baby. And as I was making them, fear was seeping into me. "Will they turn out ok? Will people like them? Will I be able to decorate them nicely?" And my inner fear demon moved on from the cupcakes to everything else: "What should I wear? If I wear that, what if I spill something on myself or the baby throws up on me? What if I say something stupid? Or do something stupid?" I started getting stressed and panicky and feeling sick. Then I remembered that blog post and said "Hang on a second..." The dinner party is with friends. They're not going to hate on me if I screw up. They're not going to criticise what I'm wearing or how I look. They know that I can be a bit strange. They'll all be paying more attention to the baby anyway. Take your cupcakes, wear whatever you want, and have a great time!
Another blog post that really struck a chord with me this week was this one from Body Love Wellness. I realised that, while I'm mostly over my "weight problem" I'm still very focussed on my fertility problem. This one is much harder for me to just "deal with" as a certain manager I know would say. So I've set myself a challenge. I'm going to live as if I don't have a fertility problem this week, and see what happens.
The second-to-last blog post I'm going to link to is another one from Red Vinyl Shoes. Tasha talks about "performing" femininity. As pretty much anyone who knows me knows, I am most certainly *not* a girly girl. I hate pink. I don't wear makeup. The OOTD posts you see here are about as girly as I get. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy being girly sometimes, or appreciate girly things. Definatalie shows us that fance, like beauty and love, is all around. So I do girly things sometimes. Like making cute cupcakes with "princess" icing decorations.