And, I don’t mean in the “spark joy,” Marie Kondo kind of way.
Pretty early on in my journey with intuitive eating and making peace with my body, I decided to go through my closet. You know, get rid of what doesn’t “spark joy,” Marie Kondo style.
I felt inspired, and honestly I was feeling pretty great. I had stopped restricting my fear foods, and I was reconnecting with my body’s signals.
But, like I said, it was still pretty early on.
Also, this was at the beginning of the pandemic. We were in quarantine, and I hadn’t worn the majority of my closet in…a while.
Well, it was the perfect storm.
My clothes felt snugger.
My body felt different.
And I felt devastated.
Falling onto my bed, in a pile of my clothes, I began to cry.
What was I doing? I remember thinking that I must have completely lost it.
How could I continue on the path of Intuitive Eating if I was gaining weight? When I started Intuitive Eating, I thought I had made peace with weight gain as I committed to finding my natural set point. But, it turns out I was still fantasizing about a smaller body.
I thought to myself, here I was, moving through the world, thinking I felt good. But, how could I feel good and be in a body that no longer fit into my clothes? How could anything “spark joy” when my body was growing and changing? And, how could I be happy in it now?
For years, diet culture had told me that I could only be happy and worthy in the smallest body possible.
When my tears finally stopped, I looked down at the pants that had prompted my feelings. They were still on, one leg in, one out.
And suddenly, I burst out laughing.
Do you know why?
These jeans, that no longer fit me, were from the 8th grade. I got them when I was in 8th grade; when I was 14.
All those years, I had spent trying to shrink myself to stay the size of a child. I thought that being the same size that I was AS A CHILD made me worthy. Diet culture told me that I should be the size I was at age 14 for the rest of my life. That is preposterous.
But, I still think about it, because it’s so normal. From the time we are children, we are told to grow “big,” but also stay small. In gym class, our measurements and weight are tracked. Everyone warns us of weight gain in college. It feels like the whole world tells us that being healthy means following diet plans and overexercising.
No one says, “let yourself grow happily and healthily.” No one says, “your body changes, and that is why it is so special.” No one says, “Nourish yourself; mind, body, and spirit. That’s what’s important.”
Your body may change. Especially when you stop depriving it and start treating it with respect, compassion, and kindness. Growth is beautiful. A nourished body is worthy. A life lived fully, joyously, and with pleasure is what we should strive for. Not a body size or shape. Each and everyone of us is unique for a reason.
Stop whittling away at yourself until there is nothing left. Stop shrinking yourself to fit in a smaller body.
You are expansive.
You are radiant.
You are worthy, exactly as you are; wherever, whatever, whoever you are.
Bodies are meant to change and grow. Weight is not a behavior, and it certainly doesn’t determine your worth, or your health for that matter. Your body does not define you. You are your personality, your spirit, your soul, your values, and your strengths. Your body is the vessel that carries all the wonders you are.
Let go of the clothes that don’t fit. There is no joy in keeping clothes that don’t work anymore, and hoping that one day they might.
Let go of the places you’ve outgrown, and inhabit yourself as you are right now.
And, if that isn’t available to you yet, give yourself grace. You are here and there is one thing I can guarantee, everyday we are different. Change is inevitable, and it can be beautiful. You are beautiful, even if you don’t see it yet.
If you feel ready to change your relationship with your body or stop dieting for good, shoot me a message here. Or you can sign up for my email list, and connect with me there. I would love to support you.