Three years into my Intuitive Eating journey (click here for the lifechanging book by Evelyn Tribole, MS and Elyse Resch, MS), I’ve hit a new phase, and I’m not sure what to do about it. So I write. For some background, Intuitive Eating is not a diet, it’s an anti-diet. It teaches you first to work through the shame and guilt around food by encouraging you to eat what you want, how much you want, and when you want. And being okay and loving your body through weight loss or gain. Overtime, this will help you reconnect with your body, its cues, and its needs. I was in that phase for years, stymied by being sick, depressed, and broken bones. I became comfortable with gaining weight and trusting my body in a way I never had before. I gained lots of weight and loved and protected my body through it.
For the past couple months, Malcolm and I have eaten mostly fruits and vegetables because that’s what our bodies want. We don’t order out much to save money. I think I’m finally approaching my baseline for my body without society and the diet industry looming large in my mind. Now, I’m losing weight rapidly. Like R A P I D L Y. I went to the doctor’s office a couple weeks ago and had lost a significant amount of weight without even realizing it. Immediately, my 16 year-old cheerleader for all things toxic came out. I began to think about how I can sustain this to get as small as possible (Ew.) My friends began excitedly complimenting my body. Strangers now hold eye contact with me more in public. It’s a noticeable difference from just two months ago. The kicker is, I made a conscious decision not to change my body in any way for the wedding. However, it’s naturally changing as I form the deepest connection with her I’ve ever felt. And I feel my worth is again predicated on my weight and looks. I worked diligently for years to let that go.
**I want to acknowledge my privilege in losing weight. Some people cannot lose weight no matter what food they eat or how much they move. Thin privilege is real. It is also a privilege to access fresh fruits and veggies as they cost so much more.**
I’m trusting that working through these triggers is part of the process. It’s opposite now which feels ironic and annoying, hah! I need to set a boundary with my friends, coworkers, and family regarding complimenting my body now, as opposed to when I was at my heaviest. Love y’all, but please do not comment on my body, even if you believe it’s a “nice” compliment that I’d like to hear (for example, “Wow, you’ve lost so much weight!” or “You look great, are you working out?” or “Your arms look amazing!” because no one said this to me when I weighed more. Compliments like “You look stunning” or “I love your outfit” are fine in this context). It’s generally triggering and uncomfortable for me. It makes me feel three inches tall as it confirms that my body only looks good smaller. It does the opposite of what the complimenter hopes for. If it happens, I will address in the moment kindly but firmly. My body and I have been through a lot in a larger body, medium body, and smaller body, and I want to honor and celebrate her at any size.
Okey? Love you!