Advocating for our healthcare needs in a medical system that is rooted in patriarchy, capitalism and white supremacy is challenging and harmful for many of us, and it’s especially challenging for folks living in the margins.
By Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD & Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC
I am a person reclaiming trust in my body. My hunger, my appetites, my longings, my skin, my bones, my size are mine for the taking. I take back my worthiness, my belonging in the world of beautiful and diverse beings. I live without apology for the straight lines and curves, living tissue, vulnerable heart that hold my living, breathing manifested story.
I will not trade my right to express my freedom, my needs, my wants or my beauty.
I feel where my body begins and I protect where it ends. The marketing, the expectations, the gaze of the “other” belong outside of me and are not for my internalization. I will no longer ingest the external and make it my goal or my standard. I will not trade my right to express my freedom, my needs, my wants or my beauty.
I listen for my appetites, all of them. I say yes. And I say no. My body is wise. It knows me. It is me. I am it. It is not an expression of glutton or neglect, nor is it ugly. It is an expression of life, and of being alive. It is my companion for this life that has been a journey, replete with unexpected bumps and grooves, loves and losses — and as so, my body expresses my story with its textures, shapes, peaks and valleys.
I will not betray you, body, for an endless diet or self-improvement project. I will not confuse thinness for health. I am a person reclaiming my movement, my rhythm, my flow. I seek satisfaction and explore pleasure. I value my inner peace, my self-worth, more than the approval of the outside, stigma and hate inflicted eye.
I will count myself among the millions of other people who have come before who have struggled to live compassionately in the bodies they have, and I will also count myself among the millions of people to come who will reclaim body trust. I am not alone on the path. In fact, I am helping to transition the world with my courage, my fierceness, my bold and beautiful body.