The other day I was at a party and someone I hadn’t seen for a month and a half came up to me and said “wow you’re so skinny! You lost so much weight!” and although I smiled and said thanks and felt a little glow of satisfaction, I couldn’t help but feel a little dirty after that comment. I felt like my body didn’t belong to me, that it was only acceptable now and I was betraying the way my body was before. I’ve heard stories about when people lose a lot of weight or their bodies start to really transform, with that can come some confusing questions about identity. For example, people who lose a significant amount of weight and look very differently, they’re shocked by how differently people treat them based on appearance. I didn’t go through a drastic change, but I still find myself sometimes quietly mourning the softness I used to have on my body.
In some ways it feels like a part of me I left behind, but still deserves to be honored. Another thing I’ve been noticing is how much our bodies fluctuate, especially for women. There are days when i feel especially thin and beautiful and fabulous and other days when I’m bloated and slow and tired. Especially today I’m having one of those moments. I’ve been sick for the past couple days and just lying in bed unable to exercise, and as a result I feel heavier than I would like. But in some ways it feels like I’m visiting an old friend, my old body. Visiting for a bit a neglected home. Among the many reasons we choose to be healthy and exercise is for our bodies. But there’s no use in fighting them, instead we have to be patient and keep working for them, like they do for us.