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I have a love-hate relationship with my body.  I hate to love it and love to hate it in equal measure.  I am not skinny.  I will never be skinny…and really, I don’t *want* to be skinny.  What I really want is to not feel like I SHOULD feel guilty to be the way I am. 

I think part of it stems from the Navy. When you PT every day and eat right, and still have to starve yourself for two months twice a year to stay in standards, there is a problem. Add to that hypothyroidism (the meds only help so much), a family history of obesity, and two high risk pregnancies… I’m sick of fighting to follow what someone else says my body should be.

Biking RichmondCould I afford to lose 15 pounds? Sure…but those 15 pounds don’t stop me from hiking or canoeing or mountain biking or swimming or yoga or whatever else I want to do. 

I mean really, at the end of the day,  I would rather play with my kids, have dinner with my family and go for a walk on the beach than struggle with what someone else has labled my “weight problem”…especially when  I don’t see it as such.

And really, I doubt I am alone.

“It’s ironic, really, because I hate to exercise, as I imagine many of you do. From childhood, exercise is forced on us whether we want it or not, often in the most humiliating settings possible. Who could forget those god-awful gym uniforms, the indignity of group showers, or being forced to run in endless circles around the football field while a succession of sadistic coaches blew their whistles?

We forget the thrill of playing freeze tag or Red Rover, or simply of wandering through the woods for hours on end. Moving our bodies becomes a punishment, something we do because we’re not “fit” enough. I have seen more people spend twenty solid minutes bitching and moaning on a Stairmaster three times a week about how much they hate the Stairmaster. My question is, why on earth do they do it?

Well, they say, because it’s good for you.

Right. Being miserable is good for you. I don’t buy that for a second. I believe that the gods put us on this earth and into our lives to find joy, and it’s up to us to seek our places where joy might live. Life already has enough opportunities to suck without us pushing ourselves into even more, so it seems to me that spending hours and hours a week engaged in yet another activity we don’t enjoy is counter to our life purpose. We already lose so much time in the rat race, running circles after the Almighty Dollar to finance the real part of our lives.”

–Diane Sylvan, The Body Sacred

I wonder how many people out there feel happy and are healthy and are content with their bodies…but are told every day by the media, and the medical establishment that they should feel guilty.  And I wonder how many more people aren’t healthy, and how much of that stems from not being happy with themselves because of the media and the medical establishment.

Because, at the end of the day…I’m beautiful, and I bet you are too.