Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pubescent Teenagers

I have been going to the Chilson Recreation Center in Colorado since I was 12ish. I didn't really grasp "working out" or "exercise" at that age, but it was a fun place to hang out, go swimming, play basketball, and mess around on the treadmills until we got kicked off.

Today I ran my little heart out on the treadmill and was feeling like a rock star. Just as I hung out at the gym in 6th grade and throughout high school, there is a new generation there now. These girls have perfectly placed, platinum blonde hair, waists the size of one of my thighs, and the tightest wardrobe money can buy. They scurried about in clumps of 3 or 4 and giggled obnoxiously.

Watching them I realized, I need to officially mourn the death of my body in high school. I need to mourn and move on with what I have now. Women are not meant to be 103 pounds and easily broken over someone's knee like a brittle stick. I will never again be a size 4. Nope, not gonna happen.

I have cellulite and no, a quarter will never fit between my thighs, well at least not placed the wide way, like model's do to check before hitting the run ways.So today, as I watched the mid-pubescent youngsters meandering about in their awkward bodies and even more awkward interactions, I was truly thankful to be done with that stage in my life.

I've said it before and I might say it again, but I've never felt more beautiful than I did my senior year of high school when I was starving myself thin. For the first time in my entire life I felt good about how I looked. Keeping up appearances came with it's consequences, many I'm still living with, but at least I was pretty, right? I got more compliments and more attention from males, but inside I was dying, I was hollow, I had very little spirit left in me.

I don't go into much detail about what living with an eating disorder actually looks like, because I know that I learned how to be anorexic from reading women's magazines and hearing other girl's stories. How sick is that? I don't want to contribute to the problem.

I'm happier these days, for many reasons. I've lived through and continue learning from an eating disorder that challenges me to live better, instead of the alternative. I ran away for a year to Cambodia and as painful as it was, I was stretched and challenged, that mindset continues with me today. I've stopped putting Spirit on my time line and under my terms. I'm learning to let things go. I'm dating a guy who truly believes I am enough as I am right now, priceless. I'm living in a country that is familiar to me, with amazingly supportive people whom I love dearly, dearly.

I've lived a good, long life. Yes, I'm only 21-years-old, but it's been an eventful 21 that's for sure and most days I feel more like 27, but that's a whole 'nother blog.

So, as I watched the flippant, cursing teenagers at the gym today, their eyes darted nervously around, attempting to look confident and all put together. As they tried to hide how uncomfortable and lost they really feel, I felt ok. My legs are strong. I could take most of those kids in a fight. I grew some hips last year in Cambodia and I think I like 'em. I see some definition forming in my arms. I feel strong in plenty of ways you may not see in muscle definition. Where looking beautiful used to be a pretty sad life goal, it's been replaced now with living an authentic, balanced, healthful life, one I feel very hopeful and grateful to have the opportunity of living.