Tag Archives: love your body day

Marrying Me: A Day Full of Love

WeddingDance

I hope you’ll forgive me for being a bit tardy.  You see, yesterday, October 14 was National Love Your Body day.  It was also the 19th anniversary of my marriage to the absolute best guy on the planet.  So it was a day with a whole lot of love in it.  And as I contemplated my lucky, love-filled life, I had some thoughts about marriage and loving and loving your body.

I think my husband would be one of the first to say, that learning to love my body proved to be a very important turning point in our marriage.   While I hated my body, I was unable to believe that anybody else could love me or my body.  Before I learned to love my body, I felt lucky that anybody would even profess to love me.  And when my husband told me he loved me and thought I was beautiful, I thought he was lying–either to me or to himself.  But as I learned to love my body, I came to accept that my husband was telling the truth–both to himself and to me.  And I still count myself lucky.  But now I feel that I’m lucky to love and be loved by somebody wonderful and kind and special.  I no longer feel like he is with me out of pity or sympathy.  I no longer believe he is with me despite my body.  I now accept that he loves ALL of me.  So of course, I feel very, very blessed.

And as I thought over our years together before we were married as well as the nearly two decades we’ve been married, I thought about the things that make a marriage work.  And I thought about how we are in many ways married to our bodies as well.  We can’t really leave our bodies (more than temporarily) while we are alive on this earth.  And while many of us live in a state of being disconnected from or even divorced from our bodies, we really only get one.  So it’s a good idea to learn how to reconnect with and even love the skin we’re in.

So with that in mind, I thought I would have a little marriage ceremony for me and my body.  Since I’ve already learned to love my body (most of the time) it’s more of a restatement of my vows, but here goes.

I Jeanette DePatie do take my body

From this day forward.

To have and to hold,

To love and to cherish,

For better or for worse,

For richer for poorer,

In sickness and in health,

Until death us do part,

Amen.

So please accept my somewhat belated wish that you had a happy Love Your Body Day.  And let me humbly suggest that you do a little restatement of vows of commitment to loving your own body–to love and cherish all the days of your life.  And let me also suggest that one of the best ways to love and cherish your body is to commit acts of radical self acceptance and love like the over 100 acts of love outlined in the new RASCAL program created by Ragen Chastain and I.  It’s a great way to spend the rest of the year loving and being kind to yourself.  We’re only accepting sign ups through THIS SUNDAY so, REGISTER HERE RIGHT NOW!

Love,

Jeanette DePatie AKA The Fat Chick

P.S.  Want me to speak to your group on Love Your Body Day or Any Day?  Click HERE to book me!

P.S.S. Want to get free stuff?  Join my mailing list RIGHT HERE!

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Loving Your Body by Listening to Your Body

listening

I’ve been married for nearly 20 years, and that’s quite a while.  If I’ve learned anything over this past 20 years about relationships, it’s this–if you love somebody you have to take time to listen to them.  Sure, it’s important to buy each other presents, and show affection.  And yeah, sex is pretty important too.  But few things are as important as taking time to really hear what your partner has to say.

Today is Love Your Body Day, and I think that’s wonderful.  It’s a day which encourages us to celebrate the bodies we have as they are.  It’s a day which encourages us to put diets aside and to spend at least 24 hours not comparing ourselves to unrealistic media ideals of bodies and not beating ourselves up for failing to “measure up”.

But I think we can take this relationship with our bodies a little further than failing to beat ourselves up.  And I think one of the most important things we can do to show our bodies love is to learn to listen to them.

Our bodies are mysterious and magical and wondrous.  So much of it works without our having to think consciously about it at all.  Our hearts beat, and breathing happens.  Our stomachs digest food and our bodies break it into nutrients that fuel movements both conscious and unconscious.  But for things that we need to do consciously like find food and move our limbs, and lay down to sleep our bodies have a very sophisticated built-in wiring system intricately connected with our brains.  And if we become attuned to that wiring system, we can learn so much about what our bodies need.

So many of us have learned to be frustrated by the fact that our bodies get hungry.  But I for one, am deeply grateful for it.  I am a busy person who is easily distracted.  Were it not for hunger, I think I might find myself stranded on the side of the road somewhere completely out of fuel and without roadside assistance.  Luckily, I get hungry often and in no uncertain terms.  So even if I find it really annoying, I find that I have to take the time to find food on the regular.  What’s more, I find that if I take the time to listen, my body is pretty specific about what food it wants.  The more carefully I listen to my body, the more attuned I am to what nutrients I am lacking and what foods might best top off my nutritional tank.  Sometimes my body craves carrots and sometimes (well most of the time) it craves chocolate.  And it seems the more carefully that I follow my body’s menu choices (rather than my brain’s dictates about what I should eat) the better I feel.  And when I really listen to what my body wants to eat, and give in by eating precisely as much of those things as my body wants, I am rewarded.  My body feels warm, wonderful and satisfied.

Another area where I’m learning to finally listen to my loud-talking body is in movement.  Our bodies are capable of amazing abilities to move through space.  Not only can we walk across a room or catch a ball without thinking about it, but we can also hike and swim in the ocean and dance.  And this is another place where the highly sophisticated wiring in our bodies has a lot to tell us.  If I sit too long, my body protests.  My back and knees stiffen.  I feel pain in my head and neck.  On the other hand, if I move too much or too long or in a way that is too intense for my current fitness level, my body sends me messages of pain and fatigue.  Now just like hunger, pain and fatigue can be deeply annoying.  My schedule may convince my conscious mind that it does not want to get up and move or it may not want to stop moving or it may find it extremely inconvenient to sleep.  Thankfully, my body sends signals that are difficult to ignore and I try to find ways to meet my body’s demands by moving or resting or sleeping.  And when I get this right, my body rewards me.  I feel a lightness in my limbs and a glowing sense of energy when I am well-exercised and well rested.

Our bodies strive for something that is so difficult for us to achieve in modern life–balance.  Our bodies tell us when we are eating more food than we need or not enough.  Our bodies tell us when we need more broccoli, and when we need buns.  Our bodies tell us when to leap and when to laugh and when to rest and when to run.  And when I listen, truly listen, to my body, it sings.  The energy flows through me and I feel a hum that runs from my toes to the top of my head.  That’s what it feels like to be in a loving relationship with my body.  It feels wonderful. It’s enough to make me strive to make every day love my body day.

Love,

Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

Fat Activism’s Day in the Sun?

Well looking back, I’d have to say that this September and October have been pretty amazing months for fat activists.  Both Jennifer Livingston and Stella Boonshoft rose from obscurity and went all the way to the Today Show.  Jennifer Livingston even appeared on Ellen talking about her anti-bullying rant.  Veteran fat activist Ragen Chastain appeared prominently on both Time and Newsweek web feeds yesterday after acquiring over 100,000 signatures on her petition asking Disney not to create special, 5’11”, size 0 versions of their characters just to fit in a Lanvin dress for Barney’s.  Even yours truly appeared on Hallmark’s new Home & Family Show with Paige Davis last week.  I attended the first plus-sized fashion show held during LA Fashion Week a few weeks ago.  And I’m sure there’s lots of other amazing things that happened this month in the media and the public eye featuring us fluffier folk.  What’s happening out there?  Is size acceptance finally having a day in the sun?  Maybe.  And if so, it’s about darn time.

It’s hard to know what is fueling this blip.  I know in Ragen’s case, it’s a combination of brilliant strategy and very hard work.  And to be honest, I’ve worked my butt off as well.  But the Home & Family gig happened as a result of one of my business partners running into a talent producer at the local coffee shop.  And although both Jennifer and Stella’s journey began with a single, somewhat public step, I’d venture to say neither of them expected to end up on the Today Show.  Is there something in the air?  Is it because October is Anti Bullying Month?  Is it because we’re on the heels of Weight Stigma Awareness Week and Love Your Body Day?  Is the world finally catching on to what we’ve been trying to say for the past 50 years?

I hesitate to say that this is IT, and the world has changed for fat people FOREVAH.  I’ve seen these moments come and go.  This may just be a blip on the radar.  But I think we should take heart that this blip has happened.  I think we should Carpe freakin’ Diem and seize this darn day.  Because in the size acceptance and size diversity movement things are often very hard.  Sometimes it seems like everybody is against you or nobody is even listening.  So all you rad fatties out there, let’s take a moment to store this time in our memories and savor it.  Let’s keep it safe so we can pull it out on a rainy day.  Because none of us activists in the public eye have done this all by ourselves.  It is a movement.  And every brave thing you do, every radical act of self respect and joy that you perpetrate in the world adds fuel to the fire.  You are changing the world my friends.  Keep up the good work!

Love,

The Fat Chick

P.S. One really cool activism project is the Fit Fatties Forum created by Ragen Chastain and myself.  Why not hop on over there and take a look?  Better yet, how about joining and posting a photo of you working out and enjoying your day in the sun?