In Sickness and in Health
Last year around this time I wasn’t doing very well.
The ground under my feet kept dropping out and my anxiety was at an all time high. I was in the thick of grief over the prospect of losing my dad and, along with him, all of the experiences that might have been. I was hardly eating - maybe a meal or two a day - and was working out constantly as a way to force my body into feeling something.
I was disappearing.
I lost two pant sizes in the course of about six months.
Here we are, a year later, and I’m eating again.
I loved my tiny, grief body. Strangers complimented me like it was a goal I had worked hard for, rather than the singular pleasant side effect of personal tragedy. I’ve gained a few pounds back and my body is squishy again in places where it probably shouldn’t be. I’m not working out as regularly because my anxiety is under control and I’d rather spend my nights laughing with friends over a bottle of wine and various carbs topped with cheese.
In this new space in my life, rather than running hard enough to both celebrate and punish my healthy body, I’m learning to move it in ways that show my gratitude for its service to me. I am stretching intentionally. I am feeling the way my skin moves as I bend and twist into familiar yoga poses. I'm dancing through my kitchen while pasta bubbles away on my cooktop. I'm feeling the sun on my skin and tracing the freckles that appear as I soak in that vitamin D. I am relishing drunken afternoons spent languishing in the pool and late night calls that end in early morning make-out sessions.
I am not worried about the extra flesh padding my stomach, nor am I losing sleep over the pants that are growing slightly tighter as the months wear on. These rolls are a hard-earned reminder that joy can come after sorrow. And as I walk through this space, I’m grabbing the parts of me that I instinctually critique and confessing my love to them.