It’s been a long while since I’ve been actively unhealthy about my body. It’s been years since I’ve even dieted. I thought for a long time that taking care of my body was the same thing as accepting myself. The same as liking the way I look. If I’m not unhappy enough to do anything to change it, than I must be happy with it, right? Every day since I was a very young child I have had the thought that I am to fat, need to lose weight, not thin enough. Never thin enough. This applied even when I weighed 106LBS, with my hair coming out in handfuls passing out a couple of times a week because I hadn’t eaten properly in weeks, months. Those mornings I’d wake up and I’d be dizzy. I’d see my ribs and hips sticking out and I’d think, if this is how I look today, what could I look like if I just lost 5, 8, 10 more pounds? The obsessive thinness didn’t last more than a couple of ears. When I turned 18 and became the responsible party for a baby girl for a big majority of the time I decided I had to care a bit. I had to eat enough not to pass out because I had this little girl to care for. I gained weight. I stopped falling and my hair grew in thicker. The stress though, the thoughts of negativity never went anywhere. If I ate food I wanted I was fat. I was nasty. I thought for a long time that that was normal. Those girls who aren’t miserable about their weight are either size 0 or fucking liars! There’s no way some normal, healthy, average sized girl wakes up in the morning and doesn’t hate her body, at least a little bit. There’s certainly no way I could EVER be one of those girls who wakes up and gets dressed and feels okay about the size of her jeans. There’s no way I could be one of those girls who eats a candy and doesn’t feel like a pig for it. I thought that the simple fact that I could fake it, that I could eat and get dressed and not actively say how much I hated my body was the very best I’d ever be able to get. This week I finally realized that is no longer the truth for me. Last year I was incredibly blessed to meet the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with. He has listened to hours of my whining about my body. From before we actually met in person he has told me that I am beautiful. I have sat in tears and argued with him that, no, no I’m not. I’m fat. You don’t understand. He has no patience for this line of argument from me. I don’t know what it is that has changed in my head this last few weeks but something has. A couple of weeks ago I got dressed and the thought in my head was not that I hate my body, not that I’m fat, nasty, I thought to myself standing in my closet, Okay. I’m okay with this. I’m okay with the way I look. At the time I didn’t know what I weighed. A few days later I checked my weight thinking if I felt okay about my ]body I must have lost weight. I hadn’t. I weigh today the very most I have ever weighed in my life. I had a decision to make. This may sound strange to people who have never experienced it, but it became an actual decision. I had the boyfriend sit down with me and tried the best I could to explain to him that I want to let this shit go, I want to not worry about it anymore, but I’m afraid if I do that, as a blind girl I wouldn’t realize if I’d gained to much weight. Like where do I draw the line of what’s acceptable to me if I don’t need to be a stick thin girl anymore? The boyfriend is very good at speaking a language I can understand, even when I’m in whiny girl mood. After hours of talking about this I realized that I’d made the decision to not focus so much on my weight a long time ago. The decision I was struggling with that night was if I wanted to really let the negativity in my head go. I could choose to hold on to it. To bring those thoughts back to life and grow them. Or I could choose to not. I could choose to let them go and actually, for the first time, know what it means to be happy with myself. To accept myself. I know this sounds very fake. I know that because if I’d read something like this a couple of months ago I would have thought it was some girls attempt to convince herself she was happy with a body she’d given up on changing. That isn’t what this is though. This is a girl who has finally given up being unhappy. This is a girl who has decided there is no room in her head for ugliness. This is a girl who is going to look at the people around her with a confidence you can’t get by losing jean sizes or numbers on a scale. Be healthy, be yourself, and be happy with whatever number that ends up being!
I have always known children are infinitely cooler than adults for many reasons. Their reaction to my blindness is one of my favorite things in this world. After an annoying couple of months of rejections, I’ve found a new nanny job here in Indiana. I started working with Alex and Hailey Friday. Alex is an adventurous and funny 4 year old and Hailey is a sweet and loving 7 year old. The extent of my explanation of my blindness to children is as follows. Me. “I have fake eyes, like your toys so you have to let me touch things to see them.” Then just to be very clear I’l tap my nails against my eyes to show that they are indeed fake eyes. Both kids asked if they too could touch my eyes, if it hurt, what happened to my real eyes, could they have fake eyes, and could i get some new real eyes soon? I answered each question as it was asked with honest and simple answers and then all 3 of us moved on. We spent an incredibly fun weekend playing and laughing together. My blindness only came in to question when Hailey had to move my piece in Candyland and when she asked if I could bring some of my kind of books for her to read next time I came. If that had been the end of our first weekend together I would have been pleased and excited to see what came next with them. I didn’t know to these 2 my blindness was a point of pride, instead of a disadvantage as it is with most adults until this evening. The 3 of us were playing bikes and other outside games tonight when some of their neighborhood friends came over. The first new kid to join my group, Bella was not as well behaved as Alex and Hailey.Alex told her with great excitement, “Her’s our new babysitter. Her has fake eyes. Her can’t even see us but her knows stuff!” I tap tapped my eyes for Bella and thought that would be the end of it. I was very wrong. Bella decided to test just exactly how much I knew by breaking all the rules I had in place and trying to convince Alex and Hailey to follow her example. She climbed up on the outside freezer, touched the motorcycle, and rode Hailey’s bike which I had told her not to do. Each time I caught her doing something wrong and called her on it she stood in shock and said, “But how do you know! You can’t seeeeeeeeee me!” Alex and Hailey laughed at her and both said, “She knows stuff all the time. She always knows where we are and what we’re doing even when we don’t tell her.” I loved that answer and I loved that neither of them were following her bad example. Hailey’s response to Bella’s suggestion that she break my rule about not leaving the front yard was met with, “No, she’s the boss and she said not to. I like her so I’m going to listen to that.” After a few minutes Bella’s older sister Grace and brother Brice came over. Bella explained to them that I couldn’t see. I did the tap tap eyes once more to show them she wasn’t lying. Then I told all the kids they could play over at our house as long as they wanted to but Alex and Hailey had to listen to my rules about not leaving the yard, and the other kids had to listen when I said no or they’d have to go home. I watched the 5 children play for about 2 hours without interfering more than to invent a zombie chase game for all of us to play. I listened to Alex and Hailey whisper about how cool I am with my fake eyes and my games and smoothies with a secret joy in my soul. Before the neighborhood kids went home, Brice, who was the oldest at 9 came over to me. Him. “You really are awesome!? Me. “why?” Him. “Because you’re out here playing with us and running around, and you always know where we all are, and you can’t see! Hey, do those eyes come out? Will you show me?” To his disappointment I wouldn’t take them out because I don’t show kids without parents consent but his comments along with Alex and hailey’s genuine excitement about having me to play with them made all the stupid feelings and negativity i’ve experienced up to this point feel very far away. Children are what we should all aspire to be in our daily lives.