A Girl With a Body

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Me, age 1

 

I’ve believed I was fat for as long as I can remember. I think I was 6 the first time I set a goal to “be able to wear a bikini” like the girls I saw in the catalogs. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t look at a picture of myself and think, “God, I look so gross.” I grew up full of self-hatred and guilt and shame about my body.

 

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Me, age 10

 

Now I feel confused when I look back at photos of myself growing up, or even photos from 5 years ago. I wasn’t fat. I was just a girl with a body. And now I’m just a woman with a body. Yes, I have fat. Maybe more than others. But that is not who I am nor is it what defines my body.

 

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My cousin and I, about age 16. I’m on the right.

 

My feelings about this are so complicated. It’s quite hard to write about. I feel so angry at the culture that was designed to make me hate my body and sad for the tiny human that grew up full of shame for the body that simply made me human. And if I’m honest, I still feel a lot of shame about my body.

 

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Me, Age 25 (2013) I remember looking at this picture and feeling completely disgusted by it. Now I look at it and wonder why on earth I would have felt that way. Why did I not feel proud that I had just CLIMBED A FUCKING MOUNTAIN?

 

It is so important that we heal our relationships with our bodies as adults so that our children do not inherit body shame the way we have inherited it.

 

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Me , on my wedding day (2018, Age 28).
When I first looked at the pictures of my wedding day, I had to work SO HARD to focus on the joy that had been captured and not what I felt was shameful about my body.

 

What if we all felt joy about our bodies, rather than shame? How would that change the world? We have so much work to do to begin healing.

 

Image result for jes baker body positive quotes love yourself

Voice

I remember wanting to be an author from a very young age. My first book was called “Snow, snow everywhere.” It was winter in Utah and presumably I looked out the window, saw snow on the ground and just went for it. Inspired by the repetitive texts of Hooked on Phonics, I wrote something like this:

“Snow on the grass. Snow on the swings. Snow on the house. Snow, snow, everywhere!”

Apparently, it was lost on me that my last name was Snow and I could have done some clever word play with a book exclusively about snow. No wonder it was never published.

Next came the journals. I started and never finished several in elementary school, though most of those only have a few pages in the front with writing. I was never a consistent journal keeper until 8th grade when I started writing about all the shit that hits the fan during the years I refer to as the universally smelly armpit of childhood. Since then, I’ve probably fill up about a dozen journals.

I’ve also tried to blog before. One was called “The Epitome of Possibility” which was supposed to chronicle my “adventures” as a young adult. Since I generally feel like a boring human, I never had many adventures to document. It didn’t take long for the possibility to peter out. I also attempted to keep a “weight loss” blog in the name of personal accountability. Ha! That also lasted for about a month, only slightly shorter in duration than my diet.

So, when recently I started getting an itch to write and thought about a blog, my instinct was to doubt. I’ve been there, I’ve tried and failed at that. But I kept thinking about it.

What if I had a diabetes blog? A school psychology blog? A body positive blog? A personal blog? A baking blog? A blog about my dog?

I greeted each of these idea with a “No, nope, definitely not.” Mostly, I told myself I could not write about these things because I was not good enough at any of them. Blogs are for people who know what they’re talking about, I thought. Not you.

And then this idea came.

What if I had a blog about adulting?

Okay, this is not a novel idea. There is literally an entire BOOK titled Adulting. Yes, I’ve read it and I own it… wait, so maybe it is a “NOVEL” idea…? Get it?

Anyway, surely there are hundreds of internet blogs with this theme. But why not one more? Because adulting is all of those other ideas wrapped into one ambiguous catch phrase. Which gives me the freedom to write about anything I want.

Adulting is…

  • Dealing with chronic illness and confronting your mortality.
  • Having a job that you might love, but maybe also hate
  • Taking care of a lot of boring shit even when you don’t want to
  • Having a dog that you treat as your child.
  • Maybe someday also having a child…?
  • Trying to have hobbies, even though you feel too busy
  • Working on making peace with your body
  • Confronting mental illness head on.
  • Making room in your life for the people you love
  • Trying to be well.
  • Failing. Often.

The truth is, I don’t think there are enough words on the internet about how FUCKING HARD it is just to be a functioning person, but more than that, how often we fail at that goal.

And that’s the voice I want to bring to the world. That adulting is hard. And often I fail. And that’s okay.

Truthfully, on day 1 as I begin writing this blog, I don’t really care if anyone reads these words. I am here because I have something to say. I am here to find my voice. I am here to fulfill my childhood dream of being a writer. I don’t need others to read my words to accomplish any of that.