I find that inspiration can sometimes come at the strangest times...or moments that may seem very mundane become moments of utter clarity. I recently was smacked on the head with inspiration and a clear Christmas light lined path showed up before me. Metaphorically but I am writing this by the glow of our Christmas tree that my kids somehow convinced me to break my "no decorating until December rule" so it is up as I write this just shy of midnight on November 29th.
After 5 very long weeks of being on strike- I am an instructor at a college in the province of Ontario Canada- I returned to work excited and ready to jump right back into it. Which was hard- courses needed revamping, email had piled up, and it felt like the first week of September not the middle of November. Fast forward a week and I have now totally lost my voice and am exhausted from trying to give students what they need, my family what it needs and holy crap the holidays are here and all that entails. Enter here where I would remind a client about the need for self care and get curious as to why they were filling the needs of everyone else but not themselves- we never perfect the art of living.
As I was in a class listening to a group run through their first draft of a presentation targeting grade 8 girls (about 13 yr olds) on the effects of social media on body image (yeah!!) while simultaneously trying to listen to peer feedback being given to another group I made the comment " I feel like I am listening to 2 different presentations- find your point and stick to it" Which I was listening to 2 different presentations but it was true for the one I was focused on. Then it struck me. I needed to find my point. And stick to it. I said this out loud but nobody heard me...all they heard was "squeeeeeak!. I needed to bring it back to the thing that fills up my cup. The thing that made me start writing this blog. The thing that drives what I teach in classes, how I talk to my kids, my friends, my family. The thing that makes me sit here in the dark with the glow of Christmas tree lights and my laptop and write. And that is body image work. I want people to realize how amazing their bodies are. What they can do. How they can fill up space. I want people to find peace with their bodies. I want to take diet culture out of the equation for the next generation and the one after that and forever more. I want my great grandchild to laugh at the "weird diet things" people did in the late 1990's and 2000's because it seems too inconceivable that someone would try to manipulate their body. So this is where I stand and this is where I move forward.
I have done a lot of work in this area in the past. I have run groups for teenage girls. I have gone to conferences, workshops. I have read countless books and blogs. I have talked to classes, and individuals. I have spoken at my local high school. But now I feel that this is where it goes. I still believe in Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size, as it will inform everything I do. I will continue to talk about mindfulness and having a mindful practice. Yet for now I am going to try to focus on body image work.
I am going to talk more about the training that I am doing and workshops I am taking. (OMG I am going to Chicago in April to the Marci Evans and Fiona Sutherland Body Image Workshop and I literally happy danced around my desk with joy when I paid my fee- it's like meeting my superheros) I am going to put on my tiara- Princess Diana of Themyscira's tiara (Wonder Woman's tiara if you not into the DC comic world) and I am going to fight the evil that is diet culture. I want to take on the medical community a bit more. When I worked at a diabetes centre, I worked with kids, teens and young adults with Type 1 diabetes. I have always thought that we need to be more mindful of how we talk about bodies in this environment- so be prepared for a post on that. Be prepared for more random observations about living in my body, raising 2 other bodies and the stuff I hear from my students. I hope that you will continue on this adventure with me. I think this is my place. And I am now ready for it... I hope you are too.
You might also see some stuff on workshops or groups that I think I want to plan.
And today, in front of a group of high school students who are interested in a career in nutrition I said when asked what do you wish you knew in high school that you know now, I replied " that your path may not be the one you originally set out on. But if you keep learning and growing and changing and following the road in front of you instead of the road you think you should you will end up in a place that makes you happy and fulfilled". I am on that road and loving every second of it.
Until next time be Unapologetically you while I be Unapologetically me.