Farewell (For Now?) and Thank You

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed you have been hearing from me less often in this space.

The truth is that I don’t feel the need to write as much.

I feel satisfied with much of what I have done here. I feel like I made a good contribution to the internet, helping to demystify and de-stigmatise sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. I feel satisfied to have shared what I learned about developing sustainable, healthy habits without a dieting mindset, and adapting them to fit current demands in my life without moral judgment.  I feel satisfied with having shared my experience as a child who experienced weight stigma at home and school, and the impact that had on my adulthood. I feel glad to have done my part in terms of showing the world that it’s okay to enjoy athletic pursuits as a fat person, and that even if you are not interested in losing weight, there are others like you out there. I feel a bit sad about the fact that this last thing is necessary in the first place, yet I feel encouraged by the fact that this is changing.

I feel satisfied with how I have grown in the last couple years. How I have gone from a place of self-judgment and shame into a more open minded and curious and patient person. How I am using what I learn through parenting in order to care for myself and my marriage and my friendships. How I have learned to care for myself in a healthy, sustainable way, after spending almost a lifetime in some degree of disordered eating and exercise thoughts.

One of the reasons I know I have progressed is that I no longer feel the need to share about it very often. Much of it feels redundant. Fewer lightbulb moments; more days of just living my life. The way I feel about my body is less of a focal area than it used to be. Of course, like any woman living in our culture, I still have days when I don’t love the way my body looks. But that matters less now. And it almost never affects my self care.

I have met many great people through this project. I’ve watched some of them create businesses based on their passion of helping people learn habit-based self-care, intuitive eating, or how to do body image work.

I considered whether I should do the same. Yet even though many people have expressed to me that they value my writing and find it helpful, something always held me back. At first I thought it was because learning to create a business online intimidated me.

And to some degree, that was true. I was afraid. So I started learning a little at a time, just like I would with any other new habit or skill. There is still a lot I can learn, but I feel less afraid now.

But now that I feel less afraid, I realize that fear was never really the heart of the issue.

Deep down, I think I knew that I would not be focused on my own healing forever. At least I hoped I would not. I knew this work was necessary for me to live a happier life, but it wasn’t my purpose in life. The purpose and outcome of learning to care for myself was not to make myself perfect, but to know that I am worthy of care regardless of the fact that I am not perfect. Regardless of the fact that I don’t fit the cultural beauty standard. I can live my life anyway. I don’t need to focus on changing this. Good enough is good enough.

Lately, I am finding myself less and less interested in doing this work. As I get older (I think I’ve officially reached middle age?) I find value in simplifying my life. Simplifying where I direct my energy. I want to do fewer things, and do them well. Parenting consumes a lot of energy. My day job consumes a lot of creativity these days, which leaves less available for writing. It’s spring so I’m working on my garden. I value my sleep. Etc.

I still don’t know if I have a genuine “purpose in life”…..but I do know that Julia Child didn’t start cooking until she was in her late thirties, so I trust that I still have time to figure it out. Recovery from dieting and disordered self-care habits is making the journey much more enjoyable.

There is still much work to be done in terms of creating a more welcoming world for people of every size, especially fat folks. I’ll be keeping my facebook page active, and continuing to share the work of others as I am able. And since we can always change course, I may decide to come back here, too. I’m leaving that open ;).

Thank you for your support, encouragement, and loyalty.

With appreciation,

Bethany

 

 

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