March 15, 2010

Day 3 On Time- Let's Talk

Fridays picture caused a stir.

Thank you, to all of you who commented, sent emails or simply thought about me. I know you are all concerned. I know the look on my face in the “before” shot one is happy and the other is not so much so. Know that these are captured moments with back story. In the first I am regarding my Rosy, my little creation, my walking, talking art exhibit born of my own body. She has a light that colours this world in a way no other could, and I am her mother...of course I look happy! In the other I am scrutinizing my iPhone, trying to make it work with the light AND coming to terms with my new body which is an active effort. I was happy in my life when the “before: shot was taken, I was sad sometimes too. I am happy now, and sometimes I am still sad. I am happy more often now than than I was when the “before” was taken, it may not look that way in these two moments, but they are not representative of my entire experience.

Here is a pic taken today. I have the same body (give or take 3 days) as the “after” shot. This picture was taken by Rosy. I asked her to be my photographer while I typed this entry. We are hanging out together this afternoon because she is on spring break. I am working to keep my daily commitment. We are working and playing together at Oso Negro. I was trying to see her behind the camera while she was taking shots, we were laughing, having fun. The picture was taken right before I accidentally put my hair in my mushroom soup. Look at my I look happy?


Lets talk about my body.

I want to be really clear with everyone. I did not have an intention to lose this amount of weight. It is something that started happening 7 or 8 months ago. At first I was happy. I have struggled with body image issues my whole life, this should not be surprising given it is a cultural obsession. I was happy to loose a little weight, liked the way I was looking in my bathing suit, I am sure most of you womyn can relate to this. Then as the weight loss continued I began to get alarmed. I sought medical advice, fear of the unknown was driving a deep need for answers, I never found any, no definitive medical ones anyway.

This weight loss is a combination of many factors, one of these factors is stress. This blog has changed my life, it requires a crazy amount of dedication, this causes stress. My relationship with Michael, one I have no model for because it is completely out of the box, has been stressful. The blog and Michael have also changed my life in ways I never could have imagined, AMAZING positive way. I have a level of self love I did not have a year ago. This coupled with the reality of being this thin has forced a new relationship with my body, one that means being more mindful. My body pulls me into presence, “Feed me NOW!” it says and I listen, I have made it my priority. I ignored my body before, actually to be perfectly honest I HATED my body before. Through this experience I realized this hatred had NOTHING whatsoever to do with my body. It was merely a way of keeping alive stories that no longer served me, a way to run from self love. Loving myself, accepting the transformation both inside and out has brought such relief and ease.

I don’t have all the answers, I still have to live with the ambiguity of exactly why and what is causing this transformation. Trusting ambiguity is a huge lesson in faith, one I am thankful for.

I can not be the “before” shot so many of you seem to feel comfortable with. I am not that person any more. I am brand new, a scaled down version. I am new and this presents me with a choice of how I am going to think of myself.

This is my body RIGHT NOW, I can choose to judge it, continue the cycle of self violence by saying I need to be something other than what I am....or I can love it. I choose to love it. I accept that my body has changed and will change again, and again, and again, this is a certainty. I will take the lessons I have learned, apply this self love no matter what shape my body takes on. This is the gift.

Again, thank you all for your concern, for loving me. Oh and as I type this I am sharing a sandwich and soup with Rose. I am eating bread, cream and butter all at once, along with carrots, mushrooms, fish and peppers. I promise you I am taking care of myself, I am asking you to trust me.

“What lessons have you learned from your body?” is the question in 12 days journal #337


  1. To answer the question: I have learned that my body, and bodies in general, are strong and forgiving. My body got abused at times, not as much as many peoples though, and it still works and repairs itself, slower than it used to, but still does it.

  2. Bernice,
    Wow, thank you for being so real and honest. I appreciate these words and have been there myself... now I am on the other end, again. There was a time when I was "too skinny" and loathed my body as much as I loath it when it is not that fucken perfect image I carry around in this psyche. It almost shames me to know that as a 'grown' woman, I still carry this picture around and still self abuse! Time to stop...
    you are beautiful.

  3. My dear curly-haired sister, you...your courage, your heart, your honesty, your art, your dance, the way you have chosen to be a mother, a wife, a lover, a friend, a writer...all of these things contribute to this incredible, beautiful being we call "you." The body is simply the vehicle our spirit has chosen to experience life on earth. It morphs and changes in response to what life is presenting at the time. My body has fluctuated like this throughout my adult life. And if I really look back, I can see how it coincided with significant events I was experiencing. It is amazingly resilient and adaptable -- this human body. Over the years and throughout its many changes, it has taught me that it is indeed the temple where my soul dwells. And as long as I am conscious of its significance and honor it as such (with good, healthy food, exercise, meditation, dance, love, laughter, and acceptance of the full range of my emotions), it will continue to allow me to be fully here, completely the experience of now. I love you with all my heart and trust you are honoring your beautiful temple.

    Big love,

  4. The fact is, you look hot, your essense shines through and you are so much more than flesh suggests. BTW, if you're looking for your missing weight, I have an idea where some of it migrated to. But this isn't about my ass...


  5. Bernice,

    I L-O-V-E your honesty and courage! We've talked... you know where I stand. I would have said more here... but it looks as though your peeps have stepped up to the plate and offered some words of wisdom... which of course, we know... we all, already know - we're just remembering again. ;-) Slowly...slowly!

    It is ironic how I love myself now more than ever... and yet... my body is "smaller" than it ever was. Yes, smaller... that's a nice way to put it. My mom is freaking... my teen daughter says I look like a science experiment and then there is the mirror which reflect my self judgments loudly.

    Having recently been hit with some sort of flu... I realize, I have no reserve... and while I don't want to live in fear and save up for an imagined, next bout... I agree with you completely... this state IS a constant reminder "to be present" to loving oneself. I think this is just a pause on the journey of healing and transformation. Culture aside... our health is a reflection of self. I feel like my body is a reflection of the spirit I allow to shine. My spirit is infinite and my body expresses one level of my awareness. I see muscles, strength and self love I didn't have before.. whereas others just see bones... it's like art and life... a matter of perspective. I know mine is becoming more expansive... day by day... sounds like yours is too! Sometimes just before the sun breaks through the clouds it is dark... the darkness a misnomer unless attached to the perception of the light. Thank you for making us reflect and connect!!! - N

  6. Thank you all. I love you all so much. Today I actually felt sad that this project is almost over...really, swer to was the first time! The reason for the sadness is because I am going to miss this, this part where I come back to my computer and find all these love notes....sigh. Thank you.

    Oh and Kath, stop being mean to your ass!!! I love you.