No F&^% Are Given, Anymore…

There was a time I pretended not to give a fuck.  But deep down I gave a lot of fucks, really.  Everything I did, subconsciously, was to fit in, be liked, be good enough.  I grew up in a small town, in an even smaller neighbourhood, where everyone had something to say about everything and everyone.  I started my first diet when I was 8.

Now would be a good time to think What In The F&^? But really, you probably did too.  So, yeah, we have that in common.  And probably the needing to fit in and caring about what everyone thought.  Even when we think we don’t, we do.  We act like we don’t, we rebel, we do things our own way, we march to the beat of our own drum.  At least I did.  And so I had convinced myself at a young age that I didn’t care.

That simply wasn’t the truth.  I just buried it.  I pretended I didn’t care because I thought I’d never fit in.  My body became the place where I took out all of that frustration, anxiety, self hate, doubt, fear.  This body has been used and abused, mostly by me.  It’s been criticized, it’s been hated, it been shamed, it’s been called fat, called skinny, too muscular, too thin, too broad, too stocky, too short, too sexy, too old for my age.  It’s been disrespected and it’s been passionately loved.

But mostly, it’s been hated.  By me.  I’ve used it as a way to get what I want.  I’ve used it as a means to an end for my career.  I’ve used it to be good enough, to fit in.  I’ve used it to prove my worth.  And I’ve lost all of my worth, using it.  It’s been cut, by doctors and even by me.  It’s been sick and almost died.  And it’s been the epitome of health, fitness, strength.  And yet, mostly, it’s been hated.

It’s never been enough… because I so desperately wanted it to be something else.  I wanted it to be taller, leaner, skinnier.  I’ve spent most of my life searching for ways to make it something it wasn’t.  The happiest time I was with my body was when I intentionally, day by day, honoured it and respected it.  I exercised it and I fed it well.  I took care of it with love.  And I was happy.  Not always the fittest.  Not always did I have abs, but I look at those photo’s and I see happiness.  I don’t see my waist size, I don’t see my pant size.  I don’t see myself trying to hide.  I see happiness.  And yes, I was small, because that’s just what happens when you take care of yourself!

But I enjoyed the process.  There wasn’t an end date.  My happiness didn’t depend on if I was a certain size.  My vacations didn’t depend on if I was “bikini ready”.  I was too busy living life.  Romantic blissful nights, rocking a new outfit, loving how I felt in my own body and my own skin.  It was the most amazing feeling in the world.  The outside and the inside matched.

But then, I let people tell me, once again, what I “should” look like.  “Oh, you don’t have abs?” – so I got them.  “Oh, you’re bigger than I expected” – so I lost 1olbs.  I allowed the perception of others of what I should look like change how I viewed myself.  It was a long road the first time to recovery.  I never thought it was possible it “go back” but I did.  I went back to that place of giving a shit what everyone else thought.

But now, again, after a long path of self reflection -where I can only look to the heavens and say “have I learned all the lessons I need to about my weight, my body and being good enough? God, I hope so.”- I own my body, again, finally.  It’s mine.  And what anyone thinks of it, isn’t relevant.  What I think of it, how I treat it and myself is the only relevant thing.

Instead of hating it, I realize, it’s so strong for being so little and for the abuse it’s survived – the drinking, the smoking, the diet pills, the starvation, the bulimia, the anorexia, no exercise, too much exercise, binge eating – it’s survived a lot.  Very little would be able to survive the kind of abuse my body has endured, yet here it is… still strong as F&^%… last night I ran 5K instead of reading a book.  I wanted the book, but I knew my body needed the run.  It’s not about weight loss, it’s about health and giving my body what it needs to stay strong, healthy and sexy as ***sugar*** (my new word for Fuck, in my attempt to be less defensive – I learned that I use the word F&^% as a way to create separation between me and others and therefore has less effect, I will continue to use F&^%, but only when it’s really needed).

I’ve decided to love my body as fiercely as I once hated it.  Everything blooms with love.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish with love, rather than hate.  And you know, my body might never be “good enough” for some people.  Some will always think I’m too fat, too short, too muscular, too something – and I will no longer give a fuck.

Because it was good enough here:

When I was clearly THE cutest baby ever

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And here when I was chubbier than I was comfortable with and was trying to hide my gut (it didn’t work):

October 2004

And here laughing my guts out in amsterdam (there was no “brownie” at this point, but there might have been a brownie at some point, just saying, this laughter was NOT brownie induced)

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And here, fighting crime with my sidekicks.  I was good enough there too but really didn’t want to go because I thought I was too fat.

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And here, I was good enough here too even though I thought I might burst out of my coat with one wrong twist.

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And here, because all of my fav things, hiking, my dogs, sunny day in NL even though I was sucking my gut in here too

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And here, because I was truly taking care of myself… fitness, nutrition, and mindset on.  And hiking, and sunny in NL.  And I had a wicked blueberry crumble later.

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I am grateful for all that it is, all that is has been through and it’s still there, strong as ever, waiting to be cherished and cared for.  It’s enough for me and that’s all that matters.  My happiness is no longer dictated by my weight.  Life is meant to be lived.  Food is meant to be enjoyed.  The world is meant to be explored.  My body allows me to experience all of these things and so much more.  How could I hate it because it’s not airbrushed mag worthy?

XOXO

Tonya

PS… leave me a comment.  Tell me in 2016 that you will vow to love your body more than you hate it.  Let’s start a revolution – I know you’ll be amazed when you see what it looks like from a place of love vs. hate 🙂

 

Comments

  1. Francine

    Awesome Tonya I love reading your story’s it inspires me to be stronger and not give up on my goals and to love myself for who i am ! I struggle everyday the past two years with my weight but im not giving up this year! 2016 is going to be more about becoming healthier and loving myself keep doing what your doing girl you look amazing!

    1. Thank you Francine! It’s all about the journey… we have ups and downs in life. None of us are perfect and I no longer want to be… the only person’s opinion of ourselves is our own… others people’s comments and opinions are a reflection of where they are, not where we are! Here’s to 2016!

  2. Geraldine

    Totally enjoyed reading this article as with all you write and share with everyone. Ever since I was at least 15 years old my weight and body image has definitely been a struggle . Mentally always telling or letting myself believe that if I am this weight everything in my life will be better, happier everyone will like me better . I still struggle with this not everyday BUT it certainly plays a part in my self worth. But as you said eating healthy, exercising , taking care of myself but most of all loving myself. I couldn’t see this until I met you and started looking at my happiness without thinking about numbers on a scale it’s a daily struggle sometimes I find I am talking to myself not to think that way and guess what the only days I don’t think that way is when I am doing the work… Eating healthy,exercising and learning to love me for what I am or what my my body image is. I also realize I can’t change everything overnight it’s takes time and perseverance. And you my friend are Amazing!!!! Keep up the great work that you are doing and I will still be there learning . Thanks!

    1. It really is in doing the work that we get the transformation. We spend so much time hating ourselves and wishing we were different… when we get on with it, realizing our self worth is only what we make it, then we can find freedom! You will get there, there doesn’t have to be an end date… just work on it every day 🙂

  3. Sue

    Well now, never thought of my own self using my own body as a door mat. That says an awful lot now doesn’t it.

    I have had a few ‘light bulb” moments these past few weeks. This morning I was thinking way to many thoughts for 6 am, but the one I came up with was “How dare I let the people at work, some of my family members and the rest of the world affect me enough so that I would binge eat, say I am not worth it, I don’t fit it, my opinion doesn’t matter, let them treat me as a door mat, and then in order to get accepted, feel better, I tell myself that eating the donut, coke and chips, fries and gravy is okay. It will make you feel better”. How dare I let them affect me and my thoughts and my body. How dare I let myself or them use this body as a ‘doormat’. I have put a lot of time into changing this past year and a half, but I have been slipping these past few months, because of how I feel about me, how I am unimportant, why do I really in truly matter.

    I was thinking of my friend Renee this morning. I have known Renee for 35 years…I love her to pieces. For most of that time I have heard her say that my family doesn’t know me, doesn’t respect me, they don’t know what they are missing. “How dare they treat you that way”. I think after all this time, I am actually hearing what she is saying.

    Thank you Tonya for this article, it is coming together in my head a little at a time. My mindset is changing….for the better.

    1. I am SO proud of you Sue! I have been honoured to watch this transformation with you and walk this journey with you. It’s truly inspiring. We all get to that place… where we’ve had enough, where we see our worth and don’t need anyone else to tell us… and we stand for ourselves, no matter what anyone thinks. Changing a lifetime of patterns is tough. But keep working on and every day do something for yourself and before you know it, you’ll stand more for yourself than you ever believed possible and from a place of love and not from a place of anger or rage or bitterness… but because you truly see your worth. I see it and it’s beautiful x0x0. You are already there, remember that. There isn’t anywhere really to get… it’s just about realizing you’re already there 😉 Mad love and respect!

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