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The road to hell is paved with good intentions…

I signed off on my last post saying that I would be back in less than a week to participate in the Weight Stigma Awareness blogging carnival. That was at the end of September. It is now November 5th.

So what have I been up to while neglecting this body image blog?

Nothing all that exciting really. Just day to day life getting in the way. I logged in here the first weekend in October to post (albeit late) on the blogging carnvial topic. Wrote an entry that I really liked, that felt just right, only to have it swallowed up by the interwebs when I clicked on the “update” button. Since then I’ve let other demands on my time get in the way of my updating. Yet this blog has been there at the back of my mind, begging me not to forget it.

Then this week on my personal blog I started the November Journaling Month (nojomo) challenge. One entry, every day, for 30 days. I’ve done this every year since 2007, but wasn’t sure if I had it in me this year. I’m now one week in and feeling the creative juices flowing again; remembering why I love blogging and what motivated me to start this blog in the first place. It moved me to log back in here and recommit to sharing my thoughts, feelings and opinions about body image in America today on a regular basis. To work on building a community here at wordpress and creating a space for people to talk about these issues.

I leave you today with a post I wrote on my personal blog a little over a year ago as part of a letter writing prompt exercise. Comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.

Letter 6   Monday, July 19, 2010

Write a Letter to a Stranger

Dear Stranger,

      What do I look like to you? It may seem like a strange question to ask. I see my own reflection in the mirror daily. But I ask with all honesty and sincerety, because it’s been years since I’ve been able to look at myself really and know for sure what I’m seeing. When I lost the weight I couldn’t really see it. Sure, my clothes were a smaller size, but I still felt big. I look at old pictures of myself and am stunned to find out thats how I really looked. Now I really AM big. But now when I look in the mirror I don’t always see it. At least not to the right degree. I’ll put on an outfit and feel lilthe and sexy and pretty…and then I’ll see pictures of myself and gasp in surprise “am I really that big???”

    So, I ask again, what do I look like to you? Do I look curvy, chubby, full-figured, heavy-set, husky, fat? Do I look morbidly obsese, as my BMI tells me I am? (Although I don’t feel that way). Would you guess by looking at me that I ran a 5k in April of this year? That I love to swim and bikeride? Do you think less of me because of my weight? Or Is it possible that in our diet-obsessed, ever expanding waist-line culture my current size has become average and I don’t even look overweight to you anymore, even though I’m bigger now than I’ve ever been? Or could it be that my weight means nothing to you? That all that talk about outward appearance is a bunch of hype and who I am on the inside is what the world really sees? I would love to see myself through your eyes just one time stranger. To see if my size matters to you as much as it’s mattered to me for so ridiculosly long. I have a feeling it doesn’t, but I’d like to know for sure.

Stephanie

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I’ve always loved that quote by Agnes De Mille. I’m not much of a dancer myself — I generally feel more awkward than graceful — but I love the freedom of self and movement implied in the quote. The idea that who you are and how you move through the world is enough.

So often in our society today we are told that the body we have is, for one reason or another, wrong. Over and over I’ve seen women so convinced of the “wrong-ness” of their bodies that they are unable to appreciate their own beauty. Instead of dancing through life in the body they have, they shuffle forward head down, shoulders down, embarassed.

Too often I have been one of those women. This blog is my attempt to end that defeated dance and to inspire others to do the same.

I look forward to sharing the dance with you. 

 

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