Return to Blogging & Loving My Body

Happy New Year! I fell off of the blogging wagon for quite a few months (thanks to an AWFUL semester of college) but I have officially returned. My plan for January is to clean out my “drafts” folder by finishing each and every post that  I left half-finished, regardless of how vague it was to begin with. Can I finish by February 1st? Stay tuned to see.

We’re going to start today with this post from August 17th, 2009.

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The following comment (made by user kellieherson) on this Jezebel article really got to me when I spotted it a few months ago, because I feel like it sums up almost exactly what I was going for with Self-Esteem Awareness Month:

I can only speak to my own experience, but I think it’s a pretty common one regardless of body type: I’ve always felt like my body belonged more to everyone else than it did to me. They were clearly thinking about it more, and they seemed to think they were the authority on it. Luckily, I realized early in puberty that the best I can do is just say “fuck that” and take care of my body the best I can– feed it, clean it, clothe it, whatever. That’s all. (Having blissfully un-body-conscious parents helped.)

I bookmarked this quote to use over three months ago and promptly forgot about it, yet when I unearthed it again today it still rang true, possibly even more so than when I first discovered it. To put it quite frankly: my self esteem has been fairly low in the last few days. You’d think putting together a play about body image (more on that later) as well as blogging constantly about body acceptance would leave me feeling pretty damn good, but, I suppose you’d be wrong.

I blame my jeans: I’ve had two pair rip in the last month due to age. That’s about 1/2 of my jeans collection (at least the ones that still fit) which meant, you guessed it… a shopping trip was in order. Now, its no secret that I love clothes. I have an embarrassingly large collection of skirts, dresses, and shirts and I spend way too much of my limited down time making up outfits for fun. I guess you could say clothing is my guilty pleasure. That said, I hate shopping for pants. I carry most of my weight in my stomach, meaning that pants are the one thing that always need to be at least one size bigger than my typical dress size, add in the fact that almost every pair of pants I buy is too long and the fact that women’s pants sizes vary based on brand and cut… is it any wonder I hate this?

Long story short: I went up a pants size (or two, depending on what store I was in) since I last bought jeans.

I’ve been beating myself up over this for the last week or so feeling like crap about my body, myself, everything… that is, until I unearthed this post again and read it.

Up until today I had been looking outward: to my boyfriend, my parents, my friends, my grandparents… looking for validation, reassurance that I wasn’t this gross, ever-expanding failure of a person like I felt. From this mindset every time my friend was complimented on her weight loss, or someone made a well-meaning comment about how I ought to exercise a bit more, every time I stepped on a scale, every time a pair of pants didn’t fit I felt like crap.

I stopped owning my body; I started giving that ownership up to other people and thus, I started backsliding down past all of the progress that I had made in the last year all over a stupid pants size.

Well, no more.

My new year’s resolution is to stop giving everyone else control over my self esteem; I am going to  treat my body right (eat as healthfully as I can for both my mental and physical well-being – this includes indulgences in moderation – and make a renewed effort to fit exercise into my schedule. I am going to stop weighing myself again and start loving my body regardless of its size & shape.

What’s yours?

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For reference, this is what I started with:

The following comment (made by user kellieherson) on this Jezebel article really got to me when I spotted it a few weeks ago, because I feel like it sums up almost exactly what I was going for with Self-Esteem Awareness Month.

“I can only speak to my own experience, but I think it’s a pretty common one regardless of body type: I’ve always felt like my body belonged more to everyone else than it did to me. They were clearly thinking about it more, and they seemed to think they were the authority on it. Luckily, I realized early in puberty that the best I can do is just say “fuck that” and take care of my body the best I can– feed it, clean it, clothe it, whatever. That’s all. (Having blissfully un-body-conscious parents helped.)”

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