My Prince Will Come…

My Prince Will Come…

As a child, I lived in my head a lot. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old and my sister was 2. When my father married my stepmother, she came along with a son from a previous marriage. At first, my sister and I only visited once per month on the weekends. Later we moved in full time and I went from being the oldest to the middle child. My younger sister was a tomboy, so she and my step brother rode motorcycles and climbed trees together, but I was too scared. My sister excelled at gymnastics and soccer while I was more into reading books and playing the piano. This is when my feeling left out and disconnected began. I Was Disconnected Two family members (not my dad) sexually abused me, and I developed eating disorders, which I now know is very common. So I disconnected more and more from my body. It felt like I was living inside my head, and my body seemed to belong to someone else. Since then I’ve learned that many sexual abuse survivors disconnect and leave their bodies as a way to protect themselves and survive. Fast forward through many years of drug abuse, drinking and unhealthy relationships (all driven by shame), I eventually did some healing work that led me to sobriety and onto the path of recovery. Thank you, Landmark Education and AA. Sometime during my 20s I’d learned to work out at the gym and the gift of being physical. I’d figured out that I needed 2 bras when I jogged. Jogging bras have come a long...
Shame About My Body Transformed My Worldview

Shame About My Body Transformed My Worldview

  While I don’t want to tell you this story because it left me feeling pretty icky, I think that it might help someone. So I will press on with hope that you don’t think less of me - and if you do, please don’t tell me. I grew up terrified of athletics. Gym class was horrible for me - from kickball to trying to learn layups. I felt self conscious about my body because I had boobs starting in the 5th grade. Kids called me a slut because I was new to school and physically developed. I didn’t even know what that meant. Instead of athletics, I played piano and read a ton of books, and I rode horses. I didn’t play sports. In fact, I was the only person in my family who did not play soccer. A College Crush When I was in college, I was enrolled in the musical theatre school. We had dance classes every day, along with singing and scene study. During that time, I developed a crush on one of the few straight guys at the school. He was a bodybuilder, and so several of us started going to the gym after school to work out more. His name was Michael, and he taught me how to lift weights and how to warm up and cool down. This was in Dallas, where your body image was and still is very important. One day, a new trainer at the gym called me into his office. I didn’t realize he was trying to drum up business for himself. And I wasn’t sure what was...
On Body Shame, Self-Love… and a New Year

On Body Shame, Self-Love… and a New Year

We all made it through another holiday season, and now we have to “face the music” - open the bills, look in the mirror. It’s a New Year. It’s a new you. This is the time when most of us make New Year’s resolutions. We make them every year, even though we know they don’t really work. I love this fact about humanity. There is a part in each of us that never gives up hope. We say to ourselves: This is the year… I’m going to finally… And you know what, some people actually do honor their resolutions for more than 5 days. I am not criticizing. I’ve been there myself, many times. I would like to, however, offer a different approach. First you should know where I am coming from, so let me give a bit of background about me, in case you haven’t heard my story or seen me speak before. Background on my body shame I was put on my first diet when I was in the first grade. My stepmother used to scream at me: “Elaine, you’re fat.” I’ve seen at the pictures of myself as a child, and I was never fat. I even had knobby knees. Everyone else in the family could eat whatever while I felt hungry and deprived. I started to obsess about food, not eating, over exercising, and thinking so bad about my body. I developed an eating disorder, and went from starving and purging to laxatives. Then doing crystal meth to lose weight. I have been a size 4 and a size 10. I know ALL about diets....

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