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TW: Eating Disorders. I’ve had a binge eating disorder since I was about 10 or 11. Binge eating is more openly discussed now but 10-15 years ago it was very taboo and most discussion of ED surrounded anorexia or bulimia, and many (still) equate EDs with visible thinness. I was never diagnosed because I binged in secret and did it without realizing what I was doing for many years. EDs are not a choice. They don’t exist due to lack of control or will. They are a result of biological, environmental, and psychological impacts. There are defined eating disorders; there is also a wide spectrum of what we’ll call disordered eating for the sake of this convo. That spectrum intersects with exercise habits, body image, and more. It’s insidious and often problematic patterns and internal dialogue go unnoticed. For many, myself included, it takes many years to find a place of body freedom, guilt-free eating, and exercising/moving to feel good and not to counteract eating. Taking care of ourselves for “health” can quickly spiral to obsession and restriction, and it can feel very normal. For those of us with eating disorders or who recognize tendencies of disordered eating, freedom is the goal. Not necessarily “health” in the traditional sense. What I mean is, the healthy choice for someone may be to eat what someone else might deem unhealthy because health is dynamic, can’t be seen, and can’t be assumed in any facet. My perspective is that intuitive eating is wise. Tuning into feeling is essential. Different ways of eating work for different people. Working towards a relationship with your body where eating and movement aren’t directly tied to it’s image is key to breaking the cycle that diet culture perpetuates. With that freedom we can foster autonomy. Making the choices that make us feel good in all ways. Organically shifting perspectives and patterns to find ourselves seeking holistic health that works for the individual. While it’s true we eat for nourishment and fuel, it’s not the only reason we eat. Food is also a sensory experience, can be pleasurable, can evoke feeling, can be communal, cultural, and our relationship with it is as dynamic as we are. Share below?
(When you) KNOW YOUR POWER.
In the beginning yoga was teaching me to be strong, to know my worth, to speak up when shit needs to spoken about, to live in a way that feels authentic to me and serves and considers others as well. Before any of that came into my life the only thing I wanted to share was asana. I didn’t have the awareness or vulnerability to share much else, but it was coming. I know it’s the gateway to many things. I know there are many out there who need to see this representation - big bodies can be strong and DO belong and I am here for that. I also want people to know that you are the masterpiece. Not just your body or your abilities or where you are accepted or not. Your voice, your truth. I encourage us to move past the blanket of love and light, the spiritual bypass, the quieting of important conversation, the fixation on physical ability. Consider the micro-aggressions slung towards minorities in supposedly safe spiritual spaces. Consider the blatant lack of diversity or better phrasing, blatant omission (or tokenization) of people who don’t fit the norm. Consider the commodification of yoga and wellness and self-care and how much of it is diet culture and privilege in action. Consider how racism and classism and ableism are impacting so many people in these spaces. Consider who you support with your resources (you have many). I am always learning. Yoga not only changed my perspectives and opened my mind, but it shifted me into asking the right questions. Yoga is action, social justice, personal equanimity, and it’s just as political as everything else is. That being said, I haven’t played with this shape in well over a year, and today it was there for me to access. It feels joyful because this evolution has been the most emotionally intense shift I have experienced. When I tap into my strength I remember what it felt like to feel worthless. Like my voice didn’t matter, like I didn’t matter. Like I could never be strong. Now I laugh to myself because I know better, and that chuckle is like a compassionate hug to my former self for not knowing. Now I know better, so I do better. I speak. I share. I stand in my power. I am a force. You are as well. Thoughts?