Brutal Honesty and Embracing my Body

I was taking a break from work and hanging out outside my place, getting some ‘fresh air’. They’re filming a movie in my soi (the Thai word for street) and I was curious if any interesting people would pass by my place. You never know!  As I was pacing about and having a chat with one of the neighbors, another neighboring lady comes outside pointing at me, shouting that I have become fat ! Really fat ! As if the first statement wasn’t enough, she repeated herself a few more times, just to be sure she made her point. I was stunned. This was in slight contrast to what I was used to in Europe where telling someone flat out they are fat is considered one of the greatest insults (I don’t know what’s more worrisome, the fact that she’s so honest or that I consider it such an insult). Somewhat perplexed, I just shrugged and said, ‘yea, it is what it is’ and retreated back inside, convinced my appearance would probably scare away anyone and it would be better to limit public appearances.

The only ‘benefit’ of the overactive bowel situation and being on thyroid medication (I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last year), is that I was able to fit into all of my clothes comfortably the past 6 months. No worries about thighs or bottoms that were too explicit for the mini shorts or skirts (that are daily attire when living in a tropical country).

The past months were incredibly frustrating because I was constantly exhausted and in continuous fear of how my bowels would react. When I was complaining to a friend one day about how my body was acting up again, that I felt beside myself and very helpless, she looked at me and said, ‘why don’t you just embrace it?’. I got annoyed with her because why on earth should anyone just accept this?

However, the more I thought about it, it did make some sense. The past years of controlling my body in every way possible hadn’t done me many long-term favors. Determined to keeping my weight in the ‘acceptable range’ and pushing it to extremes by training for a marathon had clearly wreaked havoc on my metabolism. Maybe she was right. Why not give the opposite approach a try and accept the signs my body was giving me and just give in for a change?

It felt like the moment I didn’t care if I had another bout of diarrhea, that it just stopped. I was listening closely to the signs my body was giving and acting upon them. I avoided food that made me feel unwell and I was getting in as much rest and I possibly could. I stopped forcing myself to run but stuck to walking and swimming instead and I allowed myself to be shamelessly lazy. I quickly felt that I was reaping the benefits of this approach.

As my condition improved the past months, I came off thyroid medication. This combined with the decreased bowel activity, welcomed back some weight along with the necessity to squeeze myself into most of my clothes again and to resort to wider dresses that conveniently don’t take the circumference of my thighs into account. (I have shunned the scales from my life so this is based purely on simply not being able to squeeze both legs into a skirt).

Although I don’t feel as ‘comfortable’ in my clothes, correction, I don’t fit into most of them anymore, knowing I’m no longer on prescription (thyroid) medication and am getting through the days on my own naturally processed energy, beats being able to squeeze into any type of mini shorts. I think I might stick to me friend’s advice and embrace my current voluptuousness or what my neighbor calls ‘fat’, not care what other people think and see whether my body will thank me in the long run.

Comments 1

  1. Christiane

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to
    put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a
    significant amount of time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

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