Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 75

I say I love my body.

Like many relationships, this is a complicated one. I didn’t always love her, I think for a long time I hated her. There are so many things that I blamed her for that I shouldn’t have.

I do feel I can say that I love her now though, but that’s not to say that I wish there were things about her that were different, or things about our relationship that were different. There are things about the past that I wish I could change, but I can’t and that’s ok.

I don’t expect things to be perfect and I’m not upset that they aren’t. I think that’s what mindfulness is about, finding happiness by letting go of desire.

Imagine a man running naked down Ipswich Road with his shoes in his hands and his clothes folded under his arm. Funny, yeah?

Imagine a woman doing it. Try imagining an attractive woman doing it. Try an unattractive woman. An overweight woman. Are these funny? Are they funny in the same way?

The naked female body has become so thoroughly sexualised. It concerns me that a naked man can be funny but a naked woman tends rather to be desirable or undesirable.

So I try to love my body and to view my negative feelings about it through the lens of feminism. I feel like this helps me to identify that negative self talk arises largely as a result of cultural and social conditions. If I can completely and entirely deconstruct the negative feelings I have about my body maybe I can achieve a level of insight sufficient and necessary to resolve these feelings. Maybe I'm a wanky ex law school piece of shit. These thoughts make me smile.

To feel good about my body I try to see myself through the eyes of men that have cared about me. This of course is absurdly counterintuitive. But fuck it, whatever. I think I can get away with this shit by calling myself a cultural feminist.


Who actually manages to accept their swinging belly?

I, for one, have a pair of underpants that pretty much go from hip to underarm.

Every now and then the glossies will publish a ‘Body Love’ edition. Love your body. Fuck the diet. They’ll show you an array of naked ‘real’ women. They’ll tell you age, dress size, occupation. The women will give you a short spiel about what they love about their body. You’ll see some saddlebags, some thighs that touch, some average looking boobies. You’ll even see some soft pudgy bellies. But fuck me, heaven forbid you see any apron. There’ll be one girl who you’re told is size 16. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a size 18.

The average woman in Australia is size 16. Remember, this theoretical woman may not exist.

Let’s go back to first year stats. If you put together a sample, with equal numbers of women being size 14 and size 18 and no other, then your average size with be 16. Size 12 and size 20, the same again.

And the thing that absolutely shits me to tears is the lack of acknowledgement that I could exist beyond size 16. Sure, the average woman is size 16, so we’d best include her in the body love special, but the other half of the sample that is over size 16 is conspicuously missing.

You know what? I’m fucking hot naked.

I’ve been told this and I choose to believe it.

I truly feel like clothes are holding me back. If I didn’t have to think about the clothes I want to wear and how they interact with my body the large bulk of my neuroses re body would be moot.

I can stand in front of the mirror, at over one hundred kilos, and find angles that please me. I can see myself through someone else’s eyes and see what is beautiful there.

Even the apron.

Boys always grab at it. I’ve discussed this with C before. She theorises that what is beautiful to a man (sorry ladeez who love ladeez) is the differential between masculine and feminine. Breasts, hips, round bums. Soft, pudgy, hanging bellies. A boy will grab onto a belly and it is different from his. The differentials end up all wrapped up in the shared nudity and tactile experience of the sex act, maybe this is why. Consequentially the aesthetics of real desire might be far removed from the aesthetics that are presented to you in the media. We’re not accounting for personal tastes here though and if our sample is ‘Boys Who Have Been In My Pants’ we’re not necessarily talking about an unbiased sample of men. But I certainly know that the aesthetics of my own desire are poorly represented in mainstream media.

But media saturation makes it hard not to buy into airbrushed ideals especially when it comes to your own body (please refer to Photoshop Disasters).

I’m finding it hard to properly acknowledge my progress when it comes as a reduction in centimetres rather than a reduction in kilos. I am now only 2 kilos more than I was before I left but I am 4cm smaller on my waist and hips. I have to tell myself this over and over. And it’s ok, it’s still so early. It’s ok.

I bought a pair of pyjama pants on sale before I left. They were on sale so I didn’t bother trying them on. XXL, $14.95, paisley. I tried them on when I got home. Have you ever insinuated yourself into a pair of pants so small that your legs were like bbq sausages and a good two thirds of your arse crack hung out the back? I tried them on again last night and they were tight but there was no indication at all that I should pursue a career in plumbing.

I am getting smaller.

This is slowly working.

I can calm the fuck down.

I’ve walked the dog with K a few times since I’ve been back. The psychologist says my aim is to be active in some way or another, that is all. I should find activities that I enjoy, things that require the least motivation. This is baffling to me on a level as I have only ever really engaged in activity with a view to losing weight. How fucking sad for me. So, for the first time in my life I am trying to figure out what I like doing.

I'm realising I have no hobbies. How. Fucking. Sad. For me.

Maybe there’s a table tennis club nearby. I’m not that good but how awesome in ping pong? S’s Japanese friend taught me a couple of things and I became so much better! And it’s not something where I feel like my weight makes me conspicuous. Which has certainly been a huge deal for me in the past.

N has Zumba on dvd. I might borrow it. I love dancing... I always told myself that when I was thinner I would do a class. I’ve become tired of telling myself that I’ll do things when I’m thinner.

Let’s go dancing.

I wrote this for Carol.

I refuse to weigh myself today because I have my period.

Start weight: 112.5
Last recorded weight: 107.5
Weight lost: 5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99


  1. Dude, when you're 5 ft nothing ALL your underpants go from hip to underarm and tights/stockings pretty much act as a turtle-neck sweater :-)

    PS. Another fucking awesome post.

  2. 'Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all... nothing at all... nothing at all...'

    'Stupid sexy Flanders'

  3. On Monday Carol told me to tell you that she loves you and she wants me to give you a big hug for her too. Also, yours, mine and Mel's periods are in sync :)

  4. This kinda makes me want to dance naked around a campfire and give thanks to the goddess of menses. But not really.


  6. I think my one big motivator for getting fit is that it makes me efficient at the things I enjoy doing. I have to try and stay fast and nimble :/

  7. Awesome blog, Bry. Half essay, half counter-cosmo column (not that I've ever read cosmo **Blush**).

    Is writing now a hobby?


  8. I read, many moons ago, that men often have a much better relationship with exercise than women do, mostly for the reason that men tend to do their 'friendship work' via shared activities rather than talking about relationships and feelings which is what women tend to do.

    So women end up engaging in exercise, often on their own with a view to maintaining or losing weight. Which on it's own, as a goal, isn't that inspiring, really.

    Men on the other hand find things to do that are physical that don't require that much motivation to continue engaging in because they actually enjoy themselves...

    You're secretly my fitness idol, J. Because the things that you love to do are the things that keep you healthy. I would like to be in that place sometime soon.

    The photo is from that time we went to the Alex, lol.

    Writing used to be a hobby. Now it is a hobby again :)

  9. worst nightmare...but I have promised Warren I will attend at least 1 class. He wants me to do 3 walks per week, 2 swims and 2 zumba classes. I'd love to know when I'm going to be doing things like, I dunno, LIVING in between all that exercise? He doesn't want much from me does he? Keep up the good work hun, try swimming. I find I really enjoy that and it's kind of exercise at the same time. I find it strengthens my legs, which helps when doing weight-baring exercise like walking. *cringes* and zumba *rolls eyes*