Tuesday, November 1, 2011


i've always had long, muscular legs.

apparently i got them from my grandfather.

they're a little awkward sometimes because i'm only 5'4 and my legs take up so much of my height that there is hardly any room left for my torso. so i've got the shortest stomach in the world, probably.

but i kind of like the way i am because it's a little unusual for a girl who's 5'4 to have legs that are long. even at my sickest i was sometimes kind of okay with them. the real problem i've had has been with my arms.

the long story shortened is that all i wanted in life was to have stick-like arms. during a conversation that God ultimately used to lead me to the decision to get treatment, a friend asked me what i felt made me worth getting up and living every day. i told her it was because my arms were * inches around, the smallest they'd ever been.

so naturally, after hell upon hell's worth of months of weight gain and recovering, the thing i hated most about my body was my arms.

when i got back to school for the fall of my senior year i purchase some dumbbells because i decided that toned arms were not as beautiful as emaciated arms but they were more beautiful than fat arms and so i went to work, trying to get my arms all ripped up. 

my goal was to get my arms so toned that i was special again, the way i was when i was skinny. i thought that that would be the best of both worlds, because i could have what i really wanted in life without giving myself up to starvation. i thought it was a fool proof plan.

but apparently i am among the 7% of women who bulk up when they strength train, because that is what happened. 

so i stopped with the weights and started with these crazy pushups and arm circles and what not. all i did was think about my arms and try to make them burn so bad i could barely stand it. and once they burned that bad i would endure it for as long as possible, telling myself that this was what i had to do if i wanted to have a good life. 

nothing satisfied me. no matter what, i looked in the mirror and i hated my arms.

i think that this speaks to the idea that whenever we seek things with the desperation with which we ought to seek God, we will never feel that we've gotten them.

fast forward to denver.

i stopped being obsessed with working out and i started to love food and i started to like and sometimes love my body.

my arms aren't bulky anymore, they aren't toned, they aren't emaciated. they are just my arms and they are what they're supposed to be. 

i don't think i have the most gorgeous arms in the world, but to be honest, i don't think they're half bad. they allow me to hug the people i love and to carry groceries home from the store and they'll make me able to hold ski poles as soon as i dig up enough dollars for a lift ticket and they'll hold my flowers when i get married and they'll hold onto my clients' paperwork when i'm a counselor and one day they'll pick up my baby. 

all of those things are beautiful and all of those things are more than enough to make me love my arms and to make me feel thankful.

i guess what i really want to say is that i don't want to think of them as arms. i just want to think of them as me. because what i am is a heart and a soul and a mind and those things are the important things but they really aren't anything without a body to be their house and to manifest them here in the world. 

so i guess that's all. 



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