Me and my body, we have a weird relationship right now.
We’ve never really been on good terms. I think of myself as generally a healthy person, but every time I give someone my medical history, it makes me sound like a complete invalid. Chronic otitis media, 5 ear surgeries before kindergarten, adenoids removed due to gangrene, permanent hole in left eardrum, significant hearing loss. Arteriovenous malformation in the left frontal lobe of the brain, vertigo, loss of consciousness, seizures, gamma knife brain surgery. Congenital hypermobility syndrome and all the messed-up joints that go with it. Circadian rhythm disorder NOS, central sleep apnea, alpha-delta disorder and the alpha-REM variant. Premature atrial and ventricular contractions, prolonged QT-c interval. MTHFR polymorphism.
It’s quite a list to try to fit on a medical history form.
I’ve also spent more than half my life destroying my body with self-harm and eating disorders. I didn’t want to have a body because bodies have needs, and I was not allowed to have needs. I punished myself–my body–for existing.
We’re on better terms now, I think. I’ve gotten my eating to a somewhat healthier intake level. I’ve also been buying clothes that actually fit. It started with black martial arts pants. The ones from when I was doing Yoshukai were (a) the wrong color for kung fu, and (b) a lot too tight. So I bought new pants. The problem is they don’t make them in a size that quite fits me–the ones that fit in the waist are about 3 inches too long in the leg. I rolled up the cuffs, but they kept unrolling when I was moving around. Team Leader has a sewing machine, and I’m going to ask her to bring it over next week so I can hem them.
Then I just now spent $154 for 3 sports bras. They’re good encapsulation/compression bras with moisture-wicking materials, but still. $154! But my old ones just don’t fit me anymore. It’s been 5 years since I was last able to work out, and my body has changed a lot since then. Bra shopping was another frustrating endeavor. Apparently my boobs are weird–I wear a 40-B, and apparently those are next to impossible to find. Go figure. I just really don’t want my boobs to be flopping around like a Basset hound’s ear with his head out the car window.
It’s really frustrating to me the degree of body homogenization sports clothes companies stick to. Not everyone who works out is thin; in fact, most of the people in my kung fu class (including the head instructor) don’t have bodies like that. There are so many people whose bodies aren’t like the magazine models’, and it seems like companies would do better if they made clothes to fit other body types. I don’t want to feel like a physical freak when I’m trying on clothes and ordering online. Make clothes that fit a range of body shapes and sizes! FAT GIRLS WORK OUT TOO.