So I did it.

At first it was just one, fresh piece of organic artisan bread: warm, crunchy, good. I smothered it with fig jam and munched down until all that was left were crumbs.

Then we finished the cup of soup and stared at the jam, with the same thought looming between us, more bread.

We kindly asked the waiter when she brought the check if we could add on a side of bread, she brought it to us for free and much to our surprise, sat three pieces of bread in front of us. Splitting the one wheat piece, we broke them all and began to indulge.

Total comes out to three pieces of bread.

Now to some this may seem remedial to be so excited about this success, to others they may be repulsed at the consumption of so many calories and carbs.

to me, I found freedom.

For years I starved.

I counted calories, limited my food intake to only vegetables, fruit, and beans; punish myself for being ‘fat’.

I have stayed up late planning what I would eat the next day to maintain a “healthy” diet, creating a routine that became a religion.

I am here to pronounce that I wasn’t healthy and haven’t been until today.

Yesterday, I marched alongside 750,000 women (and men) in the Women’s March in Los Angeles to stand up for the rights of women, no matter what race, creed, sexual orientation, ability, lifestyle, body shape, etc. I have never felt more alive.

I stood, amongst the crowds of powerful women all fighting for the same cause, bringing our battles, our tears, and marching to the beat of a new hope.

I left utterly beaming with excitement.

How had I treated myself so badly for so long, hid from my discomfort, wallowed in the pain inflicted on myself?

So today, I ate bread for the first time in three years.

And I left that meal satisfied, whole, and alive.

Here’s to the girls starving themself to feel beautiful.

I know it’s hard, I know the world is dark and scary, and the media portrays only the figures they crop and groom to be “perfect” bodies even they couldn’t achieve naturally.

Here’s to the women that find themselves chained to a diet of green and lean; only consuming what produces negative calories, or ends up “cleansing” out the hurt and pain that comes from not feeling good enough.

You are strong, resilient, and whole, just as you are. You don’t need to work out for hours every day to be accepted. You don’t need to say no every time someone offers you dessert, you don’t need to keep track of the calories you take in meticulously in order to figure out how fast you can lose the weight that blocks your ability to feel free.

Your worth is not your weight.

You may be apart of the few that have been able to create a health plan and workout routine that pours out of the positive image you have of yourself, and for that I am so proud of you. But I know for me, it’s been a long hard journey, and it will continue if I don’t train my mind to enjoy food, balance health, and love life.

I want to treasure my body, not torture it.

Here’s to the image in the mirror, may you rest in the understanding that you were created with a specific body, a beautiful mind, and restless soul that so seeks for the justice, peace, and love for all, including yourself.

 

Eat and be merry.

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