I wasn’t always fat.
There are pictures of me…pictures where I am a normal sized toddler and little kid. Those pictures of me are all brown skin and caramel highlights in my hair from time spent in trees, on the beach, and half (or totally) naked in the Honduran sun.
Back then I had a relationship with my body. My body and I were one and we could run with our big dogs around and around the house, we could trudge up the hill avoiding the stickers from the water line to the makeshift beach house my dad had made, and we could stand naked and proud just about anywhere because there was nothing to hide.
The transformation can be seen in pictures of me. From 5 to 6 to 7 to 8 and on. From the moment I was first taken to the treehouse and shown pornography by a group of boys who were curious about my response. From the first moment to the last when I was violated by that same group of boys. Over the long years when the violence was enacted regularly by the teenager from the room next door. Through the years when my body became a family topic of discussion as though I wasn’t in the room in need of a real conversation about my feelings.
When, in the act of utter self preservation, my spirt and my body separated from one another for survival, our relationship was lost to us. Long term (seemingly permanent) disassociation. My body…now belonged to whomever wanted to violate it, hurt it, talk about it, tease it, or criticize it. My spirit…then and always…belonged only to me.
Then came the weight.
The weight that was made of of layers and layers of protection. The weight that was built with numbing agents. The weight that began to define me in such a way that I could never quite regain the connection of body and spirit. The weight was made of my choices, blind and automatic though they often were, to preserve the Spirit and give the Body nothing it actually needed.
But as I sit here today, I can attest to the fact that my body and I want to build a relationship. We want to be one again. We might even want to climb trees, go for a run, and be naked out in the sunshine…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Today…just for today…my spirit and my body will listen to each other. My body will respond to the needs of my spirit in ways that are helpful rather than harmful. My spirit will promise the same. And neither will make promises it can’t keep. Nothing beyond today because today is as far as the trust goes.