“You ruined it.”

That is what my mind sometimes says when I look in the mirror right now.

You ruined it.

Part of me is horrified that I ruined it.

Part of me is super gleeful that I ruined it.

The deeper part of me is like, ruined what?

What did I “ruin”?

Can my body ever be “ruined”?

I feel amazed at my body, actually.

Two months of eating.

This is how much it can shift after two months of eating.

I thought for so many years I just couldn’t gain weight, I had no problem with weight, it was easy for me.

It was easy for me because I was barely eating 1800 calories a day. Because I “didn’t have time to make food.” Or “didn’t feel like eating.”

I was starving.

I still am starving.

For my entire twenties I have felt proud of my body being tight and muscular and strong. Able to squat almost twice my body weight. Barely any visible fat.

And then I was like: why am I trying to be so strong? What for?

For the ego identity of being strong?

And I dropped it. It was an easy time to drop it, with Covid.

And nothing changed, too much. My butt shrunk a bit, my arms and shoulders shrunk. I got a little tinier, a little less “toned.”

And then I started eating.

Two weeks ago I had put on ~14 lbs. By the way my thighs are starting to rub together a bit uncomfortably – a sensation I’ve never had before – I imagine I definitely weigh more than I did the last time I was home and had a scale to measure.

“You ruined it.”

This part of my mind believes my body can be ruined. That in two months I have destroyed everything we’ve built, everything we’ve worked so hard for, this feeling of having the body that everybody wants to have. That I have ruined my “image.”

It is this feeling of gone forever. I will never “get it back.”

Oh, I know all the things I could do to get it back. I could start powerlifting and eating less. I’m good at that.

And I am a No.

There is this sense of the further I get away from what I had, the more I will not be able to return.

It feels dangerous. Like this deep feeling of dread.

And.

I don’t want to return.

I love the FEEL of my body right now more than I have ever loved it before.

I would not have ever believed this was possible.

I love how full and soft my butt feels. How thick my thighs are. How my belly has substance. How my whole body has expanded to take up more room.

It feels like I have space to exist and to breathe.

I am no longer trying to shrink myself into tiny pockets of existence. To prove how good I am at life for needing less and taking up less space.

In DIRT this week I have been teaching about having more than enough.

More than enough money. More than enough food. More than enough rest. More than enough beautiful clothing and flowers and pretty things. More than enough love and needs met in relationship.

There is this strange pride we have in society around getting by on less.

Not being high-maintenance. Not having boundaries or a need for a spacious calendar or a need for full bottles of shampoo stocked up in the bathroom cabinet.

We spend a lot of time trying to prove that we can survive on very little.

And I am no longer interested in just survival.

I want it all.

All the yummy food and the pretty clothing and the time off and the weight in my body.

It is really hard not to be victimized by my level of hunger right now. At 3000, 4000 calories a day, I am still hungry. I still need MORE.

I trust my body will relax once it trusts me to allow it to have more. And it will release whatever weight is no longer necessary at that point.

I do not want to go back to my initial starting weight. I don’t think my body is the happiest there, and I know it is not the healthiest there.

As much as my mind sometimes looks in the mirror and is like “let’s just go back and pretend this never happened. Turn this whole thing off.”

Yesterday I was sitting outside in the sun and listening to music and I suddenly had the urge to move my body.

It came from deep within in a way I have never quite felt before.

It was like a natural, deep desire to move. To squat, to stretch, to play.

I watched this desire with fascination. I barely moved. I just delighted in the sensation in my body. A true desire to exercise.

I often say that in order to find our Yes we have to learn what No feels like.

And I have been learning my No around exercise for about 7 months now. Other than walks, I have not moved very much. There were a few times that I went for runs, when I was learning what it felt like to run in a way that felt fun, but then I stopped.

And I have been very aware this whole time that this is temporary. That it will be good for my body to move again. And at some point I will be able to move again from a place that is true and is not subconsciously laced with the need to have my body look a certain way or for me to be able to identify in a certain way.

I can feel the desire to strength train lighting up inside my body again. And I have never felt it in this way. It doesn’t feel attached to my appearance or my identity as strong or anything else. It just feels like a bubbling up desire in my system to feel the pleasure of moving.

And I can also feel that while it is waking up it is not quite all the way baked yet. Not all the way ready.

I want to give my body some more time of really nourishing and feeding it before I add anything like that in. And I also don’t want to give it anything extra to do while I am still struggling to get enough calories – I still don’t feel like I have been eating fully enough every day, it sometimes is still tricky, feeling like no matter how much I eat I am still hungry.

If I keep feeling the desire, I might try some body weight stuff – we’ll see. But for now I am really delighting in feeling the pure desire to move.

I am looking at the ocean right now, as I write.

It is really full and flat and the wind is blowing ripples across the surface and it is exactly what my thighs look like.

I did “ruin it,” I suppose.

I ruined the identity piece of having the type of body I was supposed to have in order to be allowed to feel good about myself.

I ruined my attachment to something staying the same that was never going to stay the same anyway, without a lot of stress and effort.

I can’t say I ruined my attractiveness to men, because Jordan can’t keep his hands off my body right now.

And I am left wondering what the point of all of it was.

The things I thought were keeping me healthier weren’t. The body I thought was soooo much more attractive isn’t, at least not to me or my partner.

And instead they were actually keeping me from fully enjoying my life.

 

If you liked this piece, you might also enjoy:

Food & ice cream & weight gain & nourishment (the beginning)

Gaining weight: the first two months, going shopping

Healing my inner teenager & being hungry before bed

The fitness world is built to disconnect you from your body

When you set boundaries other people will call you selfish