“See that woman?” My sister or I would say to each other, whispering conspiratorially. “She stole my body.”
The listening sister would nod, understanding perfectly as she looked upon the perfection that walked toward or away from the two “big” girls. Yup. Beautiful body stolen. That was why each of us was fat and miserable. Someone else took from us what was rightfully ours.
What we didn’t realize was that, yes, something had indeed been taken from us, but it wasn’t our bodies. It was our understanding of what it might mean to make healthy choices for the sake of feeling—rather than looking--good.
Now, thanks to Spark and to the encouragement of friends here, I wake up every single morning grateful to be living in the body I’ve been given—the body no one ever really stole from me, except me. I really did steal so much from myself, all those years wallowing in self-pity and cynicism and self-loathing. I also stole from my family the wife and mother they all deserved and needed. Don’t get me wrong. I have forgiven myself for these sins, and, because I am so blessed, my family has forgiven me, too. Interestingly enough, the forgiveness came very early on in my Spark journey. Absolution came with my new-found awareness of what it felt like to be able to breathe more deeply and to move more easily, and these benefits were a direct result of that initial commitment to move for 10 minutes per day. I know that ignorance is no excuse, but I thought for years that so much of my pain and fatigue was the result of age and illness: health and well-being taken from me. In truth, I simply wasn’t “pulling my weight,” wasn’t earning a beautiful body or a beautiful life, was I?
Although I’m gray-haired and have more than my 51-year-old share of wrinkles, I’m wearing size 4 and 6. My body is toned and fit and will take me on long, arduous bike rides, short runs, multi-mile walks. My body willingly lets me work hard in the garden and stand for hours in the kitchen, baking homemade bread. I rise each morning grateful to be living in this body—grateful to be.
And, I have to admit, I wonder: Does anyone I pass say to her dear sister, “She stole my body?” Maybe someone in her 80’s or 90’s? If so, I hope she and that sister find Spark and get their booties moving. Maybe it won’t be too late for them, either.