How I've Learned to Bounce Back From a Bad Body Day
I've eaten too much today. There's a pit in my stomach that sends a signal to my brain, telling me to be regretful, telling me to fall into a fit of self-loathing, telling me to hate myself because I feel puffy, bloated and really any synonym to a word we all know well: fat.
And beyond that, "fat" has its own slew of connotations. I've attributed fat to slowness, to laziness, to inadequacy and stupidity. In our society today, fat has become a stand-in for so many other negative feelings. Often, when something plagues us, biting at us with its unpleasantness, we attribute it first to our body.
What I've come to learn, however, is that I do this because my body is concrete, something I believe is a direct reflection of my discipline and control. While these feelings are all an abstraction, my body is a physical entity that presents me with something that can be manipulated, shaped to either my pleasure or dismay.
I remember being in the throws of bulimia, waking up to a new day only to binge and purge, promising myself that I wouldn't eat anything else until the following morning. For the rest of the day, I would exist in a daze surrounding this fixation, distracted from anything else that tried to grab my attention: friends, family, prior interests and passions. Anything.
But I've learned so much since then, and in returning to today, I realize that I can be more forgiving. I can reflect upon the hours before now and ask why this happened, knowing now that I've been stressed about being between two houses, each on either side of the city, and the fact that my partner and I are downgrading to one car. Today, it was stress that led to mindless snacking, and I know that other days I've used food to cover up sadness, trying to make me feel something in the very numbing throes of depression.
However, it's been in the (very long, possibly life-long) journey of coming to understand my body and love it for what it does (and, admittedly, what it looks like, barre has a way of making me appreciate my arms and my booty instead of picking them apart), I've learned that I no longer have to use food and I no longer have to blame my body. I have other tools that allow me to look inside of myself and confront the challenges that I, as a human, face.
So now, I'll tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. It's not a day to fix myself, or to embark on a 1200-calorie-a-day diet. It's just another day that presents possibility, offering me newness and extending the inspiration of potential. Life is brimming with so much, both good and bad, but my body isn't to blame for any of it.