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Archive for June, 2012

Revelations

This is how I look, right now.

And here is my “what, seriously?” look.

Wow. About six months since my last post here, and suddenly today I find myself compelled to post. Let me tell you what’s been going on with me.

I still work at the same job I had last time, no worries. Other than some minor annoyances now and then, it’s a decent job, and I like having a steady paycheck that almost pays all my bills. 😉 I don’t really want for anything, is the key. And that’s all that needs to be said about that.

As for why I haven’t been blogging, well, it fell off my radar in a big way. First, I ended up losing track of my LiveJournal account, and then my life just got too busy to mess with blogging period. Honestly, the main portion of it was that I am on my computer all day at work, and when I get home I usually just feel like watching Netflix and playing games on my iPad or knitting. Checking a bunch of other stuff online and spending a bunch of time typing online stopped being a priority for me. I still have a website I visit regularly, Ravelry.com, and I have an amazing group of friends there, especially in one particular group, who are supportive, amazing, loving, kind, and basically everything I could want in an online group of friends. Which is not to say I’ve never had online friends like that (holy shit no, my LJ friends were totally all that), it’s just that I sort of traded in one group for another, without planning to. So, um, yeah.

As for why I’m typing this right now? Why I’m returning to a blog that was, for all intents and purposes, dead? That’s because of one of those online friends.

When I first started this blog, way back in June 2010, I was extremely heavy into Size Acceptance, but I wasn’t all there with my relationship with my body. This blog was a way for me to become more in touch with my body, in a way that allowed me to look at it from both the outside, with the pictures, and the inside, with the writing. I could post pictures of myself, to become more accustomed to how I actually look (rather than the internal fantasy of “the thin, pretty Chelsea”), and to learn more about myself. And by the time the year was over, I had done a lot of that. So much so, that I felt I was sort of done with this project. I moved on, not looking back, except for a couple half-hearted attempts to post for the sake of my friends who were still reading. And until today I was okay with that.

Then today, one of my online friends, one of the people I’ve looked on as a sister, a comrade-in-arms, a shoulder to cry on, she posted something that broke my heart.

She posted that she had never looked in the mirror and smiled. That she couldn’t find a single thing about her body she liked. That despite all the work she’s done to get fit, she still feels like a huge pile of fat.

This is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. She doesn’t live far from me, and actually just today I decided that she and I and some other people in Ohio should meet up this summer, because I bet we would have a blast. And they agreed, and we set a date. But what she said just kept eating away at me. And I felt I had to say something.

I’ve seen pictures of this woman, and I think she’s beautiful. Not because of the size of her body, that has nothing to do with it. Because in those pictures I see the face of the vibrant, intelligent, funny person I’ve gotten to know over the past several months. Because in those pictures, she is living her life, not just posing awkwardly in a frozen frame, but enjoying herself, smiling, laughing, singing, and in those pictures I can see that beauty in her.

Because of this blog, I got to a much better place with my body. And I was happy with that, for a while. I dropped out of the Size Acceptance scene, because I was busy, I said, because while I still believe in it, I wasn’t so vehement as I had been at first. I still believe strongly in it, of course. It’s become part of my personality, that I am a proud fat woman who doesn’t apologize for being fat, who takes exception to diet talk from anyone that might imply she’s not okay how she is, who advocates for her own health and well-being. But I let it stop there. And now, today, I’m ashamed of that. I’m ashamed that I allowed myself to stop after feeling better about my body. After accepting and then loving my fat ass, my love handles, my huge thighs and feet and hands. Then I dropped it, and I moved on with my life.

Today I got a wake-up call that there are still women in this world who hate their bodies, and many of them are women I care about. Today I am facing up to the fact that women I know, women I love, women in my family and in my friends and in my workplace, still hate themselves for not being good enough, whatever the fuck “good enough” is. These aren’t some anonymous women I don’t know, women I’ll never meet. Of course I knew there were women out there who still felt that way, but I was living in a happy little fantasy that they were not women I knew. And today that fantasy went away. I faced it down and I dismissed it, with a wake-up call courtesy of my friend’s statement.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about it yet. When I first discovered Size Acceptance, I argued with my friends and family until I was blue in the face to get them to understand what it was to me, what it meant, that I could finally love myself as I am, that I could be a fat woman and still be beautiful, sexy, intelligent, valued, and everything else I know I am. But obviously that wasn’t enough. And now it’s come to this.

No, don’t worry, I’m not going to pin anyone to the ground and force them to hear my Feminist Size Acceptance Manifesto. I won’t say a word to anyone who doesn’t want to hear it. I’m not an evangelist, and I’m not in charge of making anyone accept themselves. What I can do, is add myself to the list of blogs that call out injustices, that talk about the pain of being different, that share stories of triumph and loss, that bring relevant stories to the intelligent women (and men) who want to read them, and ponder on what they mean. My voice may be small, but adding it to the roar can’t hurt.

Maybe I’ll fail. Maybe this will be the last post I ever make here. Maybe I’ll disappear again and you won’t hear any more about this. Or maybe this will re-kindle my blogging fire. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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