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It never fails; I post a photo with more than a bit of skin, and I hear, “You are so Brave.”
Brave because I’m a fat witch, and I’m not afraid to show it.
Brave because a woman my size should be taking up as little space as possible since she already takes up so much.
Brave because confidence and sex appeal shouldn’t look so f*cking good on me…yet it does!?
But I don’t consider that brave. I consider it a reclamation of who I am, what I stand for, and how everybody should feel in their skin.
What I consider brave is this:
Brave was shaking, walking into my doctors’ office, and telling her I needed help.
At 26, I decided I no longer wanted my weight to determine my worth, and I knew I was eating myself sick.
Brave was showing up to every follow-up appointment and session to diagnose my eating disorder (ED).
Brave was going through outpatient treatment for my binge ED…twice.
Brave was sharing my shame stories with the circles, therapists, and doctors to make sure I was maintaining my recovery.
Brave was having to explain to my many friends and family that, yes, binge eating is a disorder, and no, I can’t just stop eating to make it stop.
Brave was telling my mom that nine was too young to be put on a diet so that my hips didn’t get too big.
Brave was recognizing that my brain and body were healing, and I no longer had to identify with my disordered eating. I can let that part go.
February 21st through February 27th is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. This week, remember that every body is beautiful—including yours—and it deserves to take up all the f*cking space.
It’s not brave; it’s your birthright.