The Bittersweet Route

Oh, hi! It’s been awhile, I know. Did you miss me? I have a good excuse: I was busy buying and moving into my new house. (Stop by for a cup of coffee and some good conversation on the back porch. Or the front porch. I have two porches!)

Here’s where I live! Well, not right here. But close.

So, a couple of things. First, I haven’t given up on BFD. And I hope you haven’t, either! I’ve been keeping an eye on goings-on in the worlds of health, fitness, body positivity, fat acceptance, and all the stuff in between. Some days, it seems like we’re making progress (more clothing choices!). Other days, not so much (but still mostly online). Hollywood, the media, and advertising are still light-years behind the times when it comes to diversity—especially size diversity. And for every encouraging report about fitness and health at every size, there’s a panic-inducing headline about how fat is going to kill us. Still, I feel like we’re making progress. Turtle progress, but at least we’re moving forward, right?

This was the view on my morning commute the other day.

One thing that I struggle with a lot is how to deal with people who still believe that dieting and weight loss are the keys to health and happiness. I’m not talking about the companies and spokespeople making money off our insecurities, but about the people I actually know and interact with. Loved ones who lament the changes in their body that come, naturally, with age. Friends who believe the thin chiropractors that tell us our metabolisms are “wrong” and that their weight-loss solution is “permanent.” And the people—friends and strangers alike—who think that my body size is an invitation to talk about dieting, weight loss, and self-loathing. I want to help all of these people to realize that they, too, can live a full and wonderful life at just the size they’re at, right now. But it’s exhausting. And, sometimes, very frustrating. I get it, I do. After all, when you’ve spent a lifetime being told that fat is bad, that that you’d better dedicate everything you have to not being, becoming, or staying fat, it’s hard to believe it’s not true.

I can’t stop trying to get through to those people, though. And I won’t. Why? First, because I’m bull-headed! But also: My life got immeasurably better when I learned to accept my body the way it is. Instead of expending most of my time and energy obsessing over and trying to change my body, now I do things like write (that novel is forthcoming, I swear), and sing (still obsessed with Hamilton, yep), and travel (Denmark, I’m coming for ya). Now, of course I could do all those things when I was constantly trying to change my body, but I enjoy them way more now. I unabashedly live my life as I am, right now. I want everyone to feel that same freedom.

Being back home means times like this.

The other day, I was talking with a friend about one of my favorite writers, Tom Robbins. And I stumbled across this quote, from his novel Jitterbug Perfume:

Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life’s bittersweet route.

I’m here, riding it in. Life is both bitter and sweet. So is my work here at BFD. Thanks for coming along with me as we navigate to the next peculiar station. I’m glad you’re here.

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