I have "struggled" with my weight for my entire life. Always being the bigger girl in all the everywhere is fucking exhausting. Recently I went to my doctor for my annual checkup. The first thing I had to do was get on the scale. Then they take all of my vitals. Then the doctor comes in the room. She does the reflex tests, she looks in my ears, down my throat, take my pulse, listens to my heart as I breathe deeply. She asks if I wear my seatbelt, or if I text while I am driving. Everything is going well. Then "you need to lose weight." She proceeds to explain to me that I need to eat less calories than I burn on a daily basis. The best way for me to do that is to eat 5 meals a day. (I am not making this up.)
Meanwhile, I am the healthiest I have ever been, the strongest (I lift weights 2x a week), I eat healthy, unprocessed food, I have a resting heart rate of 50 (thank you yoga and meditation practice), I am in a happy, supportive relationship and I have recently starting working for myself. I left that office angry and deflated. How fucking dare she?
I have been working on loving myself this past year. I mean really really accepting my body and loving my whole self as I am now. I have taken all the clothes that don't fit me and given them to good will. Everything in my closet fits my body right now. This journey is hard. I mean really really hard. It is a process, a daily recognition that I am worth my love and the love of others. That my existence is not for others to comment on. That I am a person with thoughts and feelings that have no correlation to my physical appearance. So who the hell does my doctor think she is? I have no indications for any disease that is caused or exacerbated by obesity. I take no prescriptions medications, all of my blood work is normal. So why not recognize my health and celebrate my strength than focus on the one thing that can destroy my self-esteem? I don't know. But I am done with it. I am not going back to that doctor. When I do find a new doctor, I will tell them that I do not want to get on the scale. My weight is not up for discussion.
This has been part of my journey. But I am sure that pieces of this story relate to many people. People whose gender does not define them. People who eat everything in front of them and can never gain weight. People who feel they are judged by their appearance rather than their brain or their heart. So say no. Say I am me and I am not going to subjected to others realities of what I need to be.
My health coaching practice is focused on feeling at home in ones own body. The body you have right now. It is the body that you survive your life in and that is a beautiful thing. Sure we can all grow and make ourselves stronger and healthier but part of that is loving ourselves. Part of that is telling people that we are not on display. We will not conform to their norms. We will love ourselves for who we are and what our body is capable of.
I believe that to love ourselves, to learn how to take care of ourselves, to heal ourselves is radical work. I believe that the self-reliance it takes to make our own food, and stand in the mirror and smile at our reflections is the sort of strength that dismantles capitalist patriarchy. Maybe dismantling capitalist patriarchy isn't your thing. Thats cool. The self-reliance that it takes to smile at your reflection, that is also the strength it takes to love your family, to write a book, to publish your photography project. It is the strength we have in ourselves to get ask to get paid what we are worth. It is the power that we hold in our souls. Imagine what we are capable of if we begin to tap into that power source. That is what working with me is about.
Health coaching with me is about the mundane stuff, the physical nutrients of our body, that sometimes feels like the beginning and the end of our lives. But once we get to that place of ease and comfort with food and exercise, then we start to dig deeper, to find that there are much bigger pieces to the puzzle of health. That our health is not a number on a scale, it is not the prescriptions we are taking, our health is our deepest needs and our ability to listen to them.