Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sweaty

Getting sweaty with a dozen or so half-naked individuals was exactly what I needed today. I earned it.

After one month of avoiding the scale, even when it found its way into my bathroom (thanks Nana), I earned it. Even when I was weighed at the doctor's office twice, I faced backwards and asked not to be told. Those obnoxious, defeating, destructive magazine racks called my name, everywhere, at the grocery store, the gas station, waiting rooms, the gym, but alas I earned it. After voicing a loud and firm "No" in the direction of these threatening and useless habits, I earned it. When Gisele Buchenden dared teach me the 4 easy steps to abdominals just like hers, I passed it up for peace of mind.

I stretched, breathed, centered, reached, and relaxed my way to harmonious bliss this afternoon when I rewarded myself with a 90 minute Bikram yoga class. Yoga proved to be the most healing and restorative way to honor my month of healthy decisions. I will admit watching Ms. Pixie in the front row with her toned arms and bendy legs made me slightly jealous, but only long enough to remind myself, I am exactly who I need to be.

My body is strong, durable, capable, and healthy, not easily broken over someone's leg. Take that Ms. Pixie. See, I'm not even thinking about her at all...

5:45 this morning began a day of important events for me. Waking up earlier than any college student should in the summer, I drove my shivering behind to Perkins where I met with a small, men's Bible study group. My friend Kevin had asked if I would come share my story. What? Talk about Cambodia and what I learned? Okay. Why even ask?

The 50-something aged men gathered over steaming cups of coffee at their table in the back. After 8 years running, they still meet every Wednesday morning and I gladly joined them. I told them my story, or as much as I could fit into an hour. They were kind and asked questions. I was pleasantly surprised when instead of getting confused looks and "You are so shallow" comments, one man said, "Eating disorders are about control, right? Seeking control when life seems to lack it?" I could have hugged him. Dang, I should have. Oh well. They welcomed my story with generosity and respect.

Ear check-up appointment. No tumors (benign clausteotoma's) growing inside my head. Always a good thing. Going four years strong. Wahoo!

Called good 40-something friend Janelle.

She said, "Hey thanks for including me in your day even though you're busy and headed off for the summer."

She has no idea. I tried to explain it to her, but this woman has no idea how incredible she is. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than sipping a chai with her on this warm Colorado morning. We talk honestly about struggles as women, spirituality, crazy Adventists, and life. Man, she's good.

We discuss whether eating disorders are a life-long battle or if healing really is possible. I'm not sure that I will ever be completely content with myself, but that is not classified as an eating disorder. If dissatisfaction over appearance means you have an eating disorder, than I've never met a woman without one.

In a nutshell, beating an eating disorder means no longer engaging in potentially life-threatening behaviors. I tell her that while I am on my way to that kind of recovery, I am not okay with hating who I am for the rest of my life either.

I want to grow into an old, beautiful woman, like how I picture Maya Angelou. Wise, content, peace-giving. Yup, that's my goal. I want people to feel at rest and whole around me. I want to give that gift to others.

Later I said, "Talking to you helps confirm the lessons I've learned and the lessons I'm learning." There's just something about saying it outloud. Healing.

Dental appointment. Mom cleaned my teeth. Thanks mom.

Ran some errands.

Ah, Bikram.

This is not the end. Oh no. I have many, many more months of learning self-love ahead of me. Since the alternative is a life of self-hate, what mildly sane girl would choose the latter, again? My magazine/scale fast is reaching to the end of the summer.

Good things.

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