Am I being dramatic here? Maybe. But, it’s fine. One of my wishes for 2020 was to learn more about body positivity and how to apply it to my life, and I started out with the book I’m going to talk about below. Little did I know how much the book would resonate with me or how much it would change my life.
I have spoken numerous times on this blog about how I have struggled with body image and my weight for the majority of my life.
I have gone into the horrid details – the never-ending bloody noses from the diet pills, the passing out in the shower, the excessive working out, the insanely low amount of calories I would allow myself a day just to stay small. Looking back on some of the pictures of myself (there is one in particular that makes me cringe), I wonder what I was doing it all for.
I was never “sick enough” to be hospitalized for it, and I pushed it down deep inside of myself, but never did get to go and talk to someone about it. I literally lived with this version of myself that literally did nothing but think horrible things about myself and try to put myself down. I can’t even count the number of times I have stood in front of a mirror and called myself disgusting, or how many times I’ve cried because I just couldn’t get the weight off.
It was exhausting.
When I started this book, I was three weeks deep into another stint with Weight Watchers. I had just come off the cruise, and of course, had gained a few pounds. I was so upset with myself that I remember thinking, I might have to go back to working out twice a day. Which is insane!! I work a full-time job and have a four year old, not to mention taking care of normal household shit when all of that is done.
So I enrolled again into Weight Watchers, downloaded the app and began to count the points in my food. This go-round, however, they had changed up the app, and I fell into some new category that counted eggs and grilled chicken as points! Eggs. And grilled chicken. Both now cost me precious points! I can’t even begin to tell you how irritated I was, and that’s not even mentioning how annoying I must have been with all the “how many points is in that?” or “I can’t eat that, I only have nine points left today.”
What kind of life is that?
Reading Crabbe’s book made me realize that it was absolutely no kind of life. This book made me realize that going through a day with nothing but thoughts of food and how much you hate yourself is just no way to live. Crabbe delves deep into diet culture: remembering her struggle with eating disorders, debunking every “lifestyle change,” diet, and challenging society’s definition of pretty. I nodded along to a lot of what was in this book – cried to some of it, just because of how much of it rang true in my own experience. It was pretty hard to see in writing things that you thought you, and you only, felt.
I’m not sure what exact words or what paragraph changed my entire mindset, but that next day, I deleted my Weight Watchers app. I ate what I wanted for dinner with no points counting. I ran because I wanted to, and because it makes me feel good – I wasn’t counting the calories to make sure that I burned everything I ate off that day. It was one of the most freeing feelings in the whole world.
I’m not cured – not by a long shot. Those feelings of unworthiness because of my weight and how I look still creep around. I keep this book by my night stand as a reminder for when I wake up that I am more than a number on a scale and more than a love handle or a little bit of cellulite on my thighs.
I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re one of the few people who read this blog and made it all the way to the end – thank you! I know it was a lot to take in…..but I just had to get it out.