There is something about being fatter that just feels so good.
Jiggles of belly fat rolling about below my rib cage. Big, bouncy boobs falling from side to side as I toss and turn in bed at night.
The only thing that doesn’t feel good about being bigger and fatter is the shame.
This sense that adding 10 pounds, or 50 pounds, is some sort of failure. This not good enough feeling that is somehow attached to an increase in body size.
The more I contemplate this shame, the less sense it makes to me, because there is power in size.
There is knowledge, experience, wisdom and intuition larger than we can even imagine coursing through our systems each and every day (actually, each and every moment), and perhaps we need some weight, some solidness, some groundedness to contain this power.
Why are we so obsessed with “smaller and thinner is better?”
What are we trying to hide from? What are we afraid of that is in the fat?
Some of us are naturally thin. Some of us wake up in the morning, and the fear of 10 pounds jumping onto our hips just from looking at a plate of brownies simply doesn’t exist.
And this is perfect.
Being thin is perfect, too.
But just as some of us are darker skinned and get to worry about being a victim of racism just by going through airport security or passing by a cop, some of us wake up each and every day and think about how our bodies are supposed to look different (i.e. thinner).
Many of these same people have probably made New Year’s resolutions to become smaller this year—maybe even by X amount of pounds.
For myself, I am taking my body image in a different direction this year.
I am going for more of me rather than less of me.
I am counteracting this misogynistic, skinny cultural obsession by opening to more pleasure and desire in the new year in whatever size and form my body chooses to be.
For me this looks like:
More delicious food that brings full-bodied pleasure to my entire system.
More afternoon skis through the woods that might burn calories; or perhaps I am going so slow, enjoying the silence and nibbling chocolate with my mittened hands that I am actually gaining calories in the happiest way possible.
More afternoon naps.
More yin yoga where I relax deeply to my core and let it all hang out exactly as it is.
I have no interest in having less; I want to open to more.
My intention for 2016 is to let everything get bigger, which looks like bigger generosity through a bigger and fatter encompassing heart.
The root of this intention comes from this intuition I just can’t shake that tells me I need my largeness. I need it to hold me in place.
It tells me that to be of service to humanity and the planet as a whole, in the way I deeply desire, I need to open to large, powerful messages, and that to do this I need my weight, fat and solidness to ground this information and powerful healing in human form.
The last time I got close to my pre-baby weight I fell apart. The world suddenly felt like too much to handle—all the time. I had starved myself down to the size I thought I was supposed to be, and of course people told me I looked good, but I felt horrible.
I didn’t know who I was.
I wanted to run away.
I was lost and felt like I was going to get blown over at every turn.
Now I feel bigger and slower moving than ever. The universe is a huge place, and to even encompass a small portion of its wisdom, I need to be held down with the weight and size of my soul, which manifests as a big body.
I feel like I need my round, feminine wisdom—of the ancient variety—to bring a type of nurturing, mothering quality that people crave in their lives.
Committing to losing weight can seem like showing up for ourselves, but often it is just self-hate disguised as self-care.
Really showing up for ourselves looks like coming into our wholeness, which looks like complete, unconditional love.
We won’t be any more lovable when we are skinnier. We will just be skinnier—that’s all. The only time we can be unconditionally lovable is now, and the only time we can offer ourselves unconditional love is now.
Why do we need our bodies so tight and toned? What are we trying to hold in?
When my stomach relaxes, and my pants barely stay on over the bulge of my belly, it is all hanging out; there is nothing to hide—from myself, from the world.
And when I love the sags, the rolls and the bulges that are part of my body, I am loving all the bumps and bruises on your body, too, and on the entire planet.
Self-love is the true gift the planet is asking us to give.
So why not join me this year in getting bigger and fatter and letting our hearts widen to encompass first ourselves and everything that we are are, then the immediate people around us, mistakes and all, and finally the entire planet and all the crazy messiness it awakens in us every day.
As we start to see that we aren’t flawed in any way, we start to understand that we have just been confused. We have believed that beauty looks a certain way, but in fact we have never seen beauty at all.
Beauty is a felt experience. A felt experience available to all of us in the here and now when we drop into the wholeness of this moment just as it is.
This is what my Father Would Say Every Time I Criticized my Body.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Toby Israel
Images: Flickr // ms.akr/Flickr
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