More than the work, I have always appreciated the beautiful souls that I've found on this journey. Ana wrote a little thing the other day that really resonated with the kind of world I want to live in, and she was gracious enough to let me share it here.

"Deep belly inhale and exhale, releasing all the muscle tension, all the urge deep inside my core to be smaller, more angular. No no, my shoulders are not round, see how sharp they are when I lift them? My belly is not soft at all, look, you can see my ribs when I suck in! My thighs, my glorious thighs, I promise they don’t spread on the chair surface when I sit down, why would they? I keep my muscles nice and tense to prevent that from happening. Because I can’t let my body take all the space that it takes. It has to take up less space. It has to want less food. It’s hard to believe that I went through almost 2 decades of cycles of different forms of eating disorders. And even though in the recent years it has been mild, I still couldn’t fully let go, fully trust my body’s judgement on when, how much and what it wants to eat.

I would still fall for all kinds of mental tricks: intermittent fasting, cutting off sugar and gluten, celery juices, etc etc. As if I really cared about all those health benefits as much as I cared about the promised weight loss. I would still love myself more when I am 5 kilos lighter or under the condition that I’m working on losing those 5 kilos, I still would feel bad if I overeat, trying to overcompensate with exercise, I still would praise myself for lack of appetite, as if appetite was a bad thing.

How stupid it is to live in this delusion that my healthy perfectly normal appetite for food (and for life!) is something to be suppressed.

It’s fascinating how the mind and the body are connected. And at this point I don’t even know what came first.

But since I let myself fully trust my heart, something clicked in my brain, as if my stomach wanted to be heard too. 😁 I don’t care if I gain or lose weight anymore, who really cares?

If my body decides that it feels comfortable in a certain weight, I would fully embrace that weight and wear it with love and confidence. I will not feel bad for the space I take up. I will not feel ashamed of the appetite that I have for life. I don’t want to be smaller, less soft, less prominent, less significant.

I want to be just as big as I am. And I know that there are plenty of women who can relate to this. When you walk around with your belly sucked in, with you shoulders lifted, so that your arms look slimmer, biting your cheeks inside your mouth, so that those cheek bones look more prominent, think of how all that tension in your physical body creates mental blocks that prevent you from being wonderfully unique and authentic you.

And if only it was only about the looks! That tension holds back your ideas, your creativity, your joy, your free expression, your sexuality, your ambitions, your passion.

Cherish your appetite for food, for pleasure, for life. Relax into it and let that driving force lead you. When you validate your appetite and start satisfying it, all of a sudden the world around you becomes abundant. And obviously it’s not just about food."

~ Anastasia Arteyeva

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