I have decided to spend one month not saying anything negative about my body. No comments on my weight, no discussion of ankles or thighs or things that are too dimply or not dimply enough. (Which would be what? My cheeks? They’re plenty dimply. But you see what I mean.) No more discussing parts of me as if they were chicken parts, or projects that weren’t going the way I wanted.
In addition, I’m not going to discuss body stuff with other people, with a few exceptions: I will take teary phone calls about failed diets, from anyone, because I sympathize and because I have a troll living inside me who lives entirely on stories of failed diets. But positively and more to the point, I will talk to anyone at any time about a sport they’ve started, or an active hobby that they’ve grown to love. I will continue to run very slowly and will even go on a very fast walk with one of my fitter friends. Should they be interested, of course, and provided that they agree, at no point, to couch their success at this activity in terms of losing X amount of pounds. Tell me you got stronger, ran farther, feel better, we’re golden. Mention Spanx or fat or shame, and I will be forced to buy you a Tasti D-lite. Then you will feel better, and we can all go back to our plan for world domination.
I decided to do this because I realized that I’ve done a lot of talking about the old corpus since I gained weight two years ago with my thyroid problem. It was worst when I was still too groggy to exercise, but even now, when I’m doing the couch to 5k and eating much better, it’s hard for me not to look sadly at my changed face shape while I’m doing my makeup, or to suspect that the guy who give me his seat on the subway thought I was pregnant. This is very helpful, as you might imagine, and it is just amazing that all this positivity hasn’t returned me entirely to my former svelte figure.
So: From now until June 19, I’m on a bad body image fast. I’m thinking of it like meditation. I know the negative thoughts will appear, but I will push them away gently and return to my mantra. Which, I’ve decided, will not be “om,” but rather “yum.” This experiment will take me through my birthday, which is lucky no. 35. I’d like to go into the second half of my biblical lifespan with a more positive inner point of view.
If you’re my friend in the real world, you can help by not talking about your own diet (or at least not getting mad if I gently change the subject.) Think about it! A month of living in the body, instead of dragging it around like an embarrassing relative that won’t stop asking you embarrassing questions about your direction in life. I think it could catch on.