Let’s start from the beginning.
I have weighed many, many weights in my life. The common denominator for every single one of these weights is this: no matter where the number fell, no matter how small I got, I felt certain of one thing: my thighs were just too big.
I did not (do not, will not) have the kind of thighs that do not brush up against one another.
I did not (do not, will not) have the kind of thighs that easily fit into stiff denim. That remain demure and unobtrusive. That can be ignored.
I have spent years pissed off at my thighs, disgusted at what they were (huge) and what they would never be (invisible).
I have spent much of my life imagining what it would be like to whittle my thighs away. To cut slabs of flesh from the tops of my legs, peel the fat off, and discard them.
I have spent hours of time, hours that probably amount to days and months of time, on an elliptical machine hating my thighs, viscerally and specifically. I wished my thighs dead, ran in circles step after step trying to burn them away.
Deciding that someone else’s thick thighs were kind of amazing was my first step.
I saw these thighs in a squat rack. They were attached to a body holding a barbell with hundreds of pounds of chunky metal plates. They sunk down, supporting the brunt of the bar, and they popped back up, almost effortlessly.
These thighs were undeniably big. They were strong and I was very intrigued by the way my eyes were drawn to the thickness of them. I didn’t want to notice the thighs, but I also could not look away.
Could I actually admire these thick thighs and hate my own? Was that a parallel that I could manage to pull off?
This question haunted me, both as I fell to sleep at night and when I woke up to get back on the elliptical. Was it possible to live in a world where thick thighs were just okay? Where they were accepted as fact, embraced as a pillar of strength, or even just generally not thought about at all?
I saw the first pair of thick thighs that I admired years before I accepted my own.
Sure, the seed was planted. But it took focus to change my own mind about something. It took effort to make new thoughts stick.
“My thighs are fine” I said, until, eventually, I felt like “fine” wasn’t really good enough anymore.
“My thighs are powerful” I thought, until I realized that powerful was indeed what they were, but that that certainly wasn’t the breadth of how I wanted to feel about them.
“My thighs saved my life” I thought, almost kind of surprised.
Huh I thought.
Kind of a weird thing to think. But it was true, wasn’t it?
That my thighs walked me away from my alcoholic abusive parent as a teenager?
That they supported me when I no longer wanted to get out of bed?
That they took me, step by step, to every group therapy meeting I went to, every doctor’s appointment in the early days of recovery, even when I felt too tired to move? To the homes of every caring friend, to the gym and through every deadlift, sprint and push press?
Respecting my thighs became a conduit.
It brought me connection and intimacy because I stopped being afraid of eating, moving, and living amongst other people.
It brought me closer to my mom and my sister. Women of the same thighs, women that I wanted a relationship with more than I could even articulate or understand.
It brought me to women aside from my sister and my mom too, and to queer folks. Holy shit- I guess I am not the only person that has struggled with hating a certain aspect of my body. I guess I am not the only one who could have used a little support.
Embracing my thighs brought me to a personal nutrition practice rooted in loving the ever living shit out of every inch of my being.
It separated me from using exercise as a torture mechanism.
It took me away from the battle against myself- and it brought me right back into my life.
PS Lately, when I’m not waxing poetic about body positivity, I am spending much of my time formulating recipes for the newest Reset and Restore program, starting on November 2nd. If you’ve been looking to get a little more awesome with your mindfulness around food and body, this is totally your place.
PSS Isn’t that patch AWESOME? You can buy it here. (This is totally not an affiliate link, I just really like it and want many people to have it!)
So, holy shit, a lot of wonderful things have crossed my web browser lately, and I want to share them all with you.
I feel ambitious today! I’m going to give you a huge wallop of links. I am going to give them with limited commentary, because there are just SO MANY, and the fact is, I bet the titles will pique your interest more than my opinions will. BUT first things first, and that first thing is Feminist Lisa Frank :
Jesus Christ. My emotional pre-teen girl boner has POPPED for these images, and will continue to do so, from now until forever, every single time I look at them. Thank you feminist Lisa Frank, Thank you.
And now the rest of the links:
Do you remember the Nickelodeon toy run? I hoped, I prayed, I DREAMED of winning the opportunity to go buck fucking wild, running up and down the empty halls of Toys R’ Us and filling my life with the pure unbridled joy that is TOYS. I kind of always thought maybe no kid actually won, maybe it was all a hoax. It was super fun to read that I was wrong!
Hey. So. Lots of times, our parents hate their bodies. Our grandparents hate their bodies. Shit, I bet our grandparent’s grandparent’s might have hated their bodies. This article reminded me that today, right now I have the opportunity to stop that train. I love my body so that all the kids I come in contact with can love theirs too. PARADIGM SHIFT, THATS WASSUP.
Dropping out of high school saved my fucking life, and I have never once for one day regretted it. If the train of high school feels fast and brutal, you can get off. It’s okay. I love you.
This is so, completely, 100% TRUE. Tricia Martin-Owen has been a peaceful and compassionate voice for as long as I’ve known her (almost eight years ago this happened- an event that was thrown especially for me at such a horrible time in my life, this post still brings tears to my eyes). It is wonderful to see how Tricia’s compassion continues to spiral outward, but now seems to be going inward as well. YOU GO GURL.
The more I delve deeper into body politics, the more I know there is still so much to learn, so may ways I can stretch my understandings of how ALL people deserve to love the body in which they are housed in. I am feeling deep gratitude to this article for helping me to push my boundaries and understand issues of representation with a bit more complexity.
There is nothing-and I a mean NOTHING- I love more than getting shit DONE. This guide is a great help for just that.
Last thing! Rise and Resist has a third episode out now, in which Holly and I discuss body image, self-esteem, changing your workout routine, involving your partner in your fitness, accepting your body at any size, and delicious delicious SNACKS. You can find that episode Here.