Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
is hosting our gathering for August.
She invited us to write about the word respect.
I must admit that I was a bit baffled about how to approach the word, respect, chosen by Linda Mitchell for our August posts. I thought about respect for God which links closely to the love I feel for Him.
But then I decided to go in a completely different direction and to write about the newfound respect that I'm gaining for my body. A little over a year ago I decided to walk away from diet culture and the expectation that at some point in the future I would achieve weight loss success. More than five decades ago, I was sucked into diet culture when I joined T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) with my brother, Karl. I managed to lose a bit of weight (11 pounds) and won the Princess Award in my age group category. And then I joined Weight Watchers when I was in high school. I reached my goal weight when I was a freshman in college. I jokingly say that I was there for about ten minutes, but I was always glad to have reached it (since it meant that I was a Lifetime member who never had to pay a joining fee and did not have to pay for missed meetings either).
And then I spent the next 40+ years in pursuit of my goal weight. That's a lot of time to spend in search of body satisfaction. I explored Intuitive Eating (by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch) last spring when I was prompted by a podcast I followed. Mid-pandemic, I left diet culture to learn to listen to my body, to respect my body, and to have dignity, health, and happiness regardless of my body size or shape.
It's an ongoing journey, but it's been interesting as I've challenged my long-held notions that my good (or bad) feelings about myself, indeed my personal worth relies on a number on the scale. I'm trying to unlearn habits of judging others based on their size and seeking to acknowledge the worth of every individual I encounter along my path.
So it's been over a year of slow and steady unlearning and new learning. I've learned that I don't need to weigh myself every day (or even once a week), that I can trust myself, and that I can choose what I want to eat without relying on a specific plan. I want to respect myself and others without the lens of body shape as a determining factor. It's new territory, but it's an exciting and liberating journey.
I love this post! I love this application of the word respect to your learning and growth in this way. Ramona, this is beautiful. And, I have some learning to do myself in this area. Thank you for taking a word even I thought was weird for this month and making it valuable thought and reading.ReplyDelete
This is very interesting, Ramona, and it certainly sounds healthy and affirming. Kudos to you for trying a new way, and for always listening to your body and learning. A good example of respect!ReplyDelete
Ramona, what a great take on the respect prompt. I love how you are finding peace and freedom in learning a new way to listen to your body. Good for you! Great post. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
What a unique and healthy perspective on weight and weight loss, Ramona. It's a tangled web, those feelings of personal worth and value... who gets to dictate the standard? Society, media... this line is utterly powerful: "I want to respect myself and others without the lens of body shape as a determining factor." SO well-said. I feel the freedom in it. I think this is a message many people need to hear, and that will reassure and refresh many spirits. Including my own. <3ReplyDelete
Ramona, you honestly unveiled your lifelong challenge with the conclusion that respect for self is so important. My husband has been challenged with his weight, tried a lapband and was so troubled by a year of vomiting that it was sad to watch. At the end of the year the lapband moved and dislodged. This is rare and he had to have it removed. Hence, the weight came back. I have been upset about this and concerned that his weight is causing other issues. I guess I have placed too much emphasis on this and it has not been good so your post was timely for me. I need to step back and look at the word respect again. Perhaps, in my haste to help my husband find healthy solutions,I might have been too pushy. So it is time for respect to become a focus. Thanks for your thoughts on the issue of respecting one's body.ReplyDelete
So good. I have been surprised to learn recently how much I care about that number on the scale. I had been sick for a long time, and lost a lot of weight, and when I got healthy again, and started gaining weight, even though it was for a good reason, it bothered me! You're right that that number has nothing to do with personal worth!ReplyDelete