One Year: Body Talk

I’m unreasonably obsessed with TimeHop. For those unfamiliar, it’s an app that aggregates your social media posts and photos from years past on that date. It helps me celebrate, and celebrating is one of my greatest skills. I’ve celebrated the anniversaries of concerts, of meeting friends, of other people’s weddings, and today, I’m celebrating the first birthday of Yoga Farts.

Yoga Farts was a project to motivate me to write, reflect, take care of myself, and connect with others – and wow, it has not disappointed. The blog transformed from a Tumblr to an honest-to-goodness website. Since then, I’ve written about exercise, skincare, eating, mental health, and so on, ad infinitum. One of the greatest self-care skills the blog has provided me with is the power of reflection. So much of life is mindless – the snack you have at 3 pm, the scrolling you do before bed, the “lol” texts you send in response to a well-timed gif – but Yoga Farts has given me a space to say, here’s what I’m going to do, and here’s why.

That said, in a series of posts, I want to return to some of my favorite pieces from the past year and explore how I’ve been doing.

First and foremost: food.

In January 2017, I wrote a post called Weighing In. This has been my post popular post on Yoga Farts to date, and I have some theories as to why. First, weight is a huge struggle for so many people, and we’re often curious about other people’s journeys. Second, the subject can be so taboo – this post was insanely difficult to write, as I struggled to love myself as numbers piled up on the scale. I wondered how many had noticed as I put on pounds, but more than that, I wondered how many people had experienced similar struggles. So I wrote.

In a follow-up post about how I felt about my weight gain since 2010, I wrote, in painstaking detail, about what I was doing about it. This was maybe the third hardest thing I’ve ever written. Dieting is so incredibly personal. Since I wrote that post, I have fallen on and off the food tracking wagon. I have suffered from debilitating injuries. I have had too much wine. I’ve eaten cakes. I’ve celebrated with margaritas – hell, I’ve just celebrated margaritas. But I’ve held fast to the principle that food can be my power instead of my downfall. I’ve gained weight since those January posts – I’ve cried about my body, I’ve lamented salads, I’ve sat in support groups. Most recently, while listening to an episode of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast I usually love so much, I felt a simmering rage at a “body positive” take-down of diet culture. Just as I cannot stand, I cannot support, the crippling societal message to women that their value is their thinness, I found myself feeling the same strong emotions about these women telling OPRAH that she has been tricked by diet culture and that she’s perpetuating the oppression of the cult of undereating. I still struggle with throwing off the yoke of thin-centric body image – but have found the body positive movement telling me how I should feel about my body equally demanding and demeaning.

Woo! That one was a doozy. Takeaways: I’m still striving to love my body. It’s a process. I’m learning not to listen to anything Society capital S has to say about who I am. The inimitable Zelda Barrett put it thusly: “Your body is yours and yours alone and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel at home again.”

As the inimitable Emma Marie Martin put it, “Society can call me when it decides if it wants me to be thin or fat. I’m just gonna be over here doing me.”

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