feminism nature

Listening to my body

July 30, 2018


We haven’t ridden our bikes for a few months so today’s climb up the mountain was tough but ah! I grinned so much on the big swooping downhill berms and got a bit of air on some of the tabletops. I almost didn’t ride because I am on the first day of ‘my moon’ as my friend calls it. Although I love my Mooncup for exactly these moments. I used to be really gung-ho about monthly menstruation, with an ‘it won’t stop me attitude’. I wanted to show that my (female) body wasn’t a hinderance, that I could do anything a man could. Then I went through a phase of not wanting to do anything the first few days; my energy was totally drained. I realise now this was my body realigning herself with my psyche after years of them battling each other. These days, I find some months I don’t want to do anything, but others I have a surge of energy that needs a release or it will fester and I will be grumpySophie. It’s a revelation to be listening to my body instead of the various cultural expectations. And as this continues other truths about my body reveal themselves – it’s only these past few years I feel able to listen and to action change instead of trying to please others or suit an impossible ideal. I am beginning to understand how much the food I eat affects my body and emotional state and as such am working towards decreasing certain foods (alcohol, dairy, wheat, sugar) while increasing others (green veg, fruit, unprocessed foods). The thing is I’m such a people pleaser and have no willpower so when I’m out I will eat most things put in front of me (except meat) even if I know this will make me feel rough. I come from a family of ‘Youll eat what you’re given and be grateful for it’ which has made me open minded about all foods – I’ll try anything – but the downside is I don’t refuse anything either. But still I’ve had some interesting revelations about this unique ol’ body: dairy gives me terrible period pains, they lessen dramatically when I’m not eating; alcohol, as well as giving me a horribly false send of confidence in awkward social situations, makes me exhausted and binge eat crap for days afterwards – it takes about two weeks to get back on track these days after drinking, I cannot be arsed with that anymore; ladies – wheat and probably all gluten not only makes my stomach ache and bloat but give me horrible BV. Why the fuck do I still eat it?; finally my hayfeaver and allergies to cats go away after I’ve been on a solely vegan gf diet for three months. Every. Time. But I realise I don’t want to have this conversation with people who don’t believe that diet might cause my ailments (especially men) every time I eat and so I just eat what I’m given. And writing this has made me think that maybe it’s time for me to just say: I don’t want to eat that, thank you. Ha well, I also need to say that to myself because fuck I love eating all these things. I am a work in progress. So finally, I again feel the need to justify myself and say I am absolutely not interested in losing weight. As a woman I feel frustrated that the moment I try to shift my eating habits the presumption is that I’m on a ‘diet’. I love my body how she is. She swings from a size 14 to a size 10 depending upon how much mountainbiking I can be arsed doing that season. This body bore my beautiful daughter and has seen me through endless trauma. I love her how she is. What I am doing is showing the respect she has always deserved (and not received from me) by listening to what she needs, not what our culture thinks I should be doing. Phew. That was a LONG post today. Thanks for reading! S xx

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