A big part of traveling the world is experiencing the culture, and that includes the food. What happens when you consume an absurd amount of pad thai and befriend a bunch of bros who eat about six meals a day? You guessed it. Thighs that are thicker than the minds of those who don’t believe in global warming.
Before traveling the world, I was a fitness instructor, I worked out seven days a week, and was vegan. Not the vegan that still eats vegan ice cream and french fries. The kind of vegan that looks at the package at a grocery store for 10 minutes to make sure they know all of the ingredients. So, as you can imagine, a lot changes both physically and mentally when your daily health and fitness routine goes from Kayla the fitness guru, to Honey Boo-Boo.
Having struggled with a sever eating disorder for years, it’s not hard to guess my initial reaction to my reflection as my body changed was not a positive one.
“It looks like I have a food baby the size of my ex boyfriends ego.” Was the kind of internal dialogue I would have when I had to get dressed in the morning.
Somehow, someway, things started to shift. I couldn’t even tell you why or how. I started to live more freely. I began to look at my curves as sexy. I was beyond grateful that I allowed myself to eat what I wanted, and experience the culture, without the excessive guilt or counting calories endless times a day like I used to.
Between the liberation of eating what I want without internally freaking out, and having people like me for me, it’s easy to see I used to give a fuck about all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. I realize that if I was the twig I had wished I was, I’d want to look more like me now. You want what you can’t have. Even though society says one type of beauty trumps the rest, I beg to differ. Plenty of people prefer having something to hold on to, in which case, I have no shortage here.
My mother tells me “There’s a cover for every pot.” That I believe to be true. For every body type, there are plenty of others who’d admire the beauty of it. However, the most important thing to be able to do is cover your own pot. You can always trade lids when another comes along, but you don’t want to be left feeling cold because of the way you feel about who you are or how you look. I’m hoping that metaphor comes across as good as it did in my head.
Did I grieve today when I couldn’t fit into the pants I tried on in a store in Japan? Yes, but mainly because they were sexy af and I would have worn them so much. Gosh, I’m getting so salty just thinking about it. Let’s be real though, I do not have the physique of a typical Japanese woman, and that I’m okay with. Do I wish my body was different? Also yes. Though I appreciate what I have and how I am, I’d be lying if I said I was thrilled about all my extra fluff. Some is great, but I’d love to distribute the rest to my ass if I’m being honest.
If I was huffing and puffing like a chain smoker with asthma after walking down the block, that’s one thing. However, that’s not the case. Im living my best life, doing just fine. In fact, more than fine. Beautiful curves and all.