Being Embodied

What does embodiment mean? And what is it like to be embodied? These are questions I hadn’t spent much time thinking about until a recent discussion with others on this topic. And in that discussion, one interesting point came up related to Christmas. Namely, even if you don’t believe in the story of Jesus’s birth, it’s intriguing to consider the idea of a god choosing to become embodied in human form. And if you think about that, does it change how you think about and relate to your own body? I’d never quite considered it that way, but it did make me take stock of how I think about my body. After all, if a human body is worthy of being inhabited by a divine presence, isn’t it something I sh

Eleanor & Park

After recently reading the wonderful Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, I can’t help wondering, would things have been different for me if I’d read this, or something like it, when I was an adolescent? What would it have been like to be exposed to a love story where the heroine was an overweight sixteen-year-old? I can’t know if it would have made any real change, but I’m sure it would have felt like a revelation, because that’s how it feels even now. And not only because of Eleanor’s age. I’m hard-pressed to think of any stories where heavy women are the love interest, regardless of age. Most of the ones I can think of that claim the woman is heavy end up having actresses who just looks like

Should I Feel Bad for Losing Weight?

A couple of things recently have made me wonder – should I feel bad about losing weight? It’s not something I’ve really thought about before, because it seemed like an odd concept. Why would I feel bad about it? But then I listened to This American Life, and in the episode “Tell Me I’m Fat,” one of the women talked about some of the horrible things she experienced as a result of weight loss, how she felt like she’d lost herself and even burned all the pictures of herself when heavy. And then I read this article questioning whether people should feel ashamed about wanting to lose weight, because that doesn’t promote body acceptance or the Health at Every Size idea, and because taking the focu

Ditching the What Ifs

Do you ever – or often – think about what your life would be like if only a particular thing changed? If only you weighed less, were in better shape, were married, were single, had taken that other job, etc. When I was younger, I lived in the “what if” fantasy of being thin, or at least thinner. I had it all worked out in my head. If I were thin, I would be pretty, well-liked, proud of my body, have a boyfriend, have a high self-esteem, etc. In short, everything would be perfect. But here’s the thing – what ifs can kill you, in at least two ways. The first is because living in “what if” keeps you from focusing on the here and now. The second is, sometimes when you achieve your goal, you disc

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