Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Eat The Damn Brownie

The other day, I was at a work lunch. I was sitting at the same table as one of the other women engineers who is a competitive (amateur) ballroom dancer and we were talking about our upcoming competitions.

I had grabbed a brownie and cookie from the dessert table and offered her a cookie. Her automatic response was "Oh, no, I can't."

My reaction was instant. "I really shouldn't, either. I'm competing in a month and with my ankle injury*..." And then, I stopped myself.

Back in December, one of my friends--an incredibly talented, beautiful, and intelligent athlete--ended up checking into a clinic for her eating disorder. I hadn't seen her in months because she was away at college, so I didn't know how much weight she'd lost. When she finally became an outpatient and I got to see her again, she was a sliver of the girl I'd known.

Remember this post, where I vlogged about my disordered eating? About the 800 calorie-a-day goal and my exercise bulimia? Her calorie intake didn't go over 200 calories a day. She got to a point where being fed normal amounts of calories during treatment actually hurt. My heart broke hearing that, hearing about the body image she is still struggling with. And the night before that work lunch, I was in tears after a text convo with her because, damnit, I hated seeing another girl dealing with that stupid, awful illness. (If you follow me on twitter, you might remember my "Effing anorexia" anger tweets from that night.)

So, mid-saying I shouldn't eat a stupid little brownie because I wanted the tiniest butt possible to fit in my skating dress, I stopped. I looked at my slim coworker and shook my head. "No, you know what, I can eat this brownie. I'm eating the damn brownie because I'm perfect the way I am and so are you."

Yes, a year and a half of continuous downtime thanks to my injuries means I'm trying to slog off twenty extra pounds to fit back in most of my pants. But I'm athletic and healthy. Even with these extra pounds, I'm still beautiful and no doctor would say I need to lose weight. But society has programmed us into these automatic responses and reactions and even knowing that, I'm not immune.

If I say it on this blog a million times, it won't be enough. You are perfect. Be healthy, but don't let airbrushed images and a media that thrives on unrealistic bodies drive who you should be. Exercise because it makes you strong. Eat because it fuels your amazing body and because it's one of the wonderful pleasures of life.

And every now and then, eat the damn brownie.

(filmed on December 15th. Not my fastest spin, but this body lets me do things like this!)
Sorry about the black lines- it was the first time we video-ed with my phone!

*yup, injured again. A month before Adult Eastern Sectionals. Because my ankle and the universe hate me.


  1. Rock on Issy! Love this post. I'm not sure if I told you this before, but whenever I get down about my weight, I remember complaining about my fat ass to my sister. What my sister, who was dying of cancer at the time, said back to me was "I wish I had junk in my trunk now. It hurts so bad to sit on nothing but bone." And that, put it all into perspective for me.

    Hope all of your injuries heal up so you can be at your best to compete!

    1. JAYBIRD!!!!! *hugs* I remember you mentioning your sister before. Wow, what a reality check. I wish more girls understood this. *more tackle hugs*