I Have A Body, And It Is Damn Good.
Tonight I stopped over at my sister’s house. After I took off my coat, she lovingly gushed over me, saying, “Look at your Yoga body!”
Wait… what? I have a Yoga body?
I have a Yoga body.
I smiled and hugged her. I mean what are you supposed to do when another woman gushes over your body like that? With no secret jealousy, meanness, sadness. With no feigned kindness, but pure adoring love. I mean, who does that nowadays?
I’m trained to deal with the dirty looks, the staring, I know how to put my body down, but to receive heartfelt soul-lifting compliments… that is a horse of another color.
I mean, me? Yoga body?
The girl who drove from fast food place to fast food place at age 18, trying to numb the aching inside with burgers and fries.
The girl who used to stand in front of the mirror when she was supposed to be homeschooling, squeezing her fat, counting for how many seconds it jiggled on her body after being slapped.
The girl who at age 16 let her body be used by the youth pastor of her church, praying it was love, like he promised. Then when the ruse was up, she desperately tried to hide away the thing that drew him to her, her youthful gorgeousness, by eating tons of junk.
Even in the middle of the night.
I leaned on food as a crutch.
If I was sad, angry, mad, happy, lonely, bored. If I was too happy, then I would have to start worrying about what I ate and what I looked like just to make sure I wasn’t that happy.
If I was sad, it was a perfect opportunity to go on a new diet or measure or weigh myself.
It’s crazy now that I’ve thrown away all of that kneeling at that fleeting god of thinness, my true gorgeous form is emerging.
I’m getting back the ass I had at eight years old. The one my family would lovingly call a bubble butt, unconsciously making me painfully self-aware of it. The one that my ballet teacher scolded me for, telling me to tuck it in. I pleaded back, “I am tucking it in!”
The one that the guy working at 7-Eleven stared at, as I walked in after dance class wearing my pink tights and leotard.
I remember those eyes on my body, and it felt like rape, though he didn’t come close to me. I was eight years old and was already feeling the sexual energy from men, but not the pure kind.
The energy from his body towards my childish beauty was dark, and I quickly learned to cover up and not be so cute from then on. Otherwise I had to deal with that feeling of all consuming dirtiness.
The one that was dirty was me, I claimed it. That way, other people could get off scot-free.
That way, I could stay liked, and at least somewhat polite and decent, in the eyes of the world.
I learned to hate my ass. I learned to hate my beauty.
I learned that food was the quickest and easiest way to not have to deal with it all.
So I ate to forget.
Lately this old story of body-shame and food obsession has been dropped. The idea that I have to hide my sexiness, so I do not get unwanted attention, has revealed itself as absurd.
I’m shedding all of the lies that what’s wrong is my skin, when really the issue is in how it is being perceived and treated by others.
I’m standing up for myself, telling people to not touch me, walking away, ignoring what I don’t like, and I’m learning to lean into and breathe life into the attention I love.
Simply put: I’m getting my sexy on.
I’m wearing clothes that I feel truly gorgeous in. I put feathers in my hair. Sometimes I barely wear much at all and I dance by the candlelight. I started burlesque dancing classes.
I’m connecting to the Divine within me who whispers in the dark that not one inch of my skin is dirty, shameful, should be covered or concealed.
That my beauty has never been a distraction, it has and will always be pure starlight, and when I nurture it, this starlight shoots out of my toes and the tips of my hair.
So yes, I have a Yoga body.
I have a zumba body.
I have a Greek Goddess body, grateful to the voluptuous Greek women that came before me.
I have a body that can ache for touch, and yet in other moments, wants miles and miles of space.
I have a body once covered with red X’s on my breasts, thighs, now completely bare, shining, whole.
I have a body.
And it is mine.
Maria Palumbo continues to expand every day, learning to love the wild, terrifyingly beautiful life outside of the box. Shifting from psychotherapy to the world of sensuality and self-care, Maria is creating a new way of healing for all women. She is excited to teach the art of self-seduction that she has learned through the years from falling in and out of love with her own body. Now she is in love for good and there is nothing quite as satisfying. Follow this delicious romance and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or her website.