I Just Gotta Be Defying Gravity

I’ve been watching The Glee Project.  (Go ahead and judge me if you want, that show is great).  In one of the episodes they use two of my favorite songs of all times and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to geek out with music lyrics as framework for my HAES (sm) journey.

How can you not love this song?  I think that the lyric that most speaks to me is:

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me

It’s how I think about Health at Every Size(r).  I believe that it’s my best chance for health, but beyond that, a life lived through HAES is life lived – being truly alive.  A life of dieting and trying to manipulate my body into a different size and shape is just surviving.  So even if I’m wrong, and to be clear I don’t think I am, I’d rather be truly alive for fewer years than have a longer life just surviving.

And then there’s Defying Gravity

This is probably my favorite song of all time. I love all of the lyrics but some of my tippy top favorites are:

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game

This is exactly how I felt when I walked away from the diet industry.  The world was the same – still barraging me with messages that I had to be smaller to be healthy, or attractive, or worthy of respect.  But I was different, I had changed and I didn’t believe it anymore. To use another Wizard of Oz reference, it was like I had found out that the wizard wasn’t all knowing, it was just a sad guy behind a curtain.

I’m through accepting limits
’cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!

If I had a nickel for each time I did something that somebody said I had to lose weight to do, I could quit my job and blog full-time.  And about as many people told me that it’s impossible to change the thin-obsession of our society, to create a world where every body is respected. But I won’t know until I try.  I don’t do the right thing because it’s sure to succeed, I do it because I’m sure it’s the right thing.

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

For a long time I tried to make my picture fit other people’s frames. Once upon a time I tried to lose weight because I allowed myself to be sold the idea that nobody would ever love me or think I was beautiful until I was thin.  I’ve since found out that it’s not true, but even if it was, if that’s what it takes to be loved then it’s absolutely not worth it.

I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down

Some days I just feel it all weighing down on me – the diet culture, the thin obsession, constantly being assaulted by people yelling that I can’t be healthy.  But when I was obeying those laws, I was miserable.  So I remind myself that I chose to defy gravity, and that I won’t let it pull me back down.

Published in: on August 22, 2011 at 9:01 am  Comments (9)  

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love it. Love the line you used “a life lived through HAES is life lived”!

  2. Love it! “Defying Gravity” is one of my favorite songs, ever. Same lyrics jump out at me, and relate to various aspects of my life/journey. It’s almost as if the writer did that on purpose. ;-)

    I have to say that your blogs have been so spot-on lately. Beautifully written, and articulating thoughts that seem all jumbled in my frazzled head.

    Thank you for all you do!

  3. It is so hard fighting something when people tell you that you it won’t make any difference or that’s just the way it is. Your blog is not only a tremendous source of inspiration for your HAES approach to health, but also for the fact alone that you refuse to back down and accept such proclamations. Thank you for all that you do!

  4. Yes! I have the soundtrack to Wicked and “Defying Gravity” is my go-to, feel-better, belt-out-at-the-top-of-my-voice song. It’s just a great reminder that I only get one life and I deserve to live it any damn way I want. =D

  5. Hell to the freaking yeah! Music is my life’s blood most days. Also, thank you for being willing to admit that some days the fight is still difficult for you. I think sometimes that we can forget that those we look up to have their days that it’s not as easy as others.

    Speaking of music that inspires me with HAES (and in several other aspects of my life), I would love to share this one with you. I am the unofficial president of the “I love/hate Colin Meloy Fan Club”. Seriously, the man is far too awesome for his own good. lol Anyway, may I present Rise to Me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4LfzxI07q4

  6. “Impossible to change the thin obsession of our society”? One need only review the fashion/beauty trends of the past couple of centuries to know that statement isn’t true. The perception of beauty is not something that is genetically encoded – it is culturally enduced. In different cultures separated by time or distance, the concept of beauty differs. I have an art book from around the very early 1900s, with photos of models for the student to work from. One of the photos shows a woman with such curves as would get her labeled overweight in our day, but the description from her time considers her thin to the point of having a “boyish figure.” In the time between the original publication of that book and today, trends have gone through the “Flapper” era, where very thin, boyish figures were considered ideal (and where the design for Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons originated), to curvier girls in the 40s and 50s. Were Marilyn Monroe to come on the scene today as an unknown, she would be considered not thin enough for the sex symbol status, but in her day, she was regarded as extremely attractive.

    Bottom line (no pun intended) is that WE choose what we will consider to be attractive. It’s not set in stone that this size and shape are the ideal. It’s changed before in history, and it WILL change again. We can either sit back and let the diet industry drive that change unchallenged, or raise our voices in objection to the self-serving standards of the image-mongers.

    It’s what I like about your blog. You’re not just sitting back and letting someone else decide without a counter-point.

  7. Funnily enough, I just watched the “Glee” episode with the “Defying Gravity” sing-off. I wasn’t able to watch it in Germany, so I’m catching up on all the eps now through Netflix.

    Attraction is a state of mind. Truly.

  8. I’m loving the Glee Project, too! And Defying Gravity was totally my mantra song when I quit my job as a Weight Watchers meeting leader. In my long and winding personal journey, I had come to embrace Health at Every Size. I could no longer be a part of the diet industry, but it was such a bold and scary move because Weight Watchers was a huge part of my identity. It felt like an incredible bold “letting go” and that song got me through it.

  9. Always love to read your blog.
    I wanted to share a book with you. “Fat is not a Four Letter Word”.
    Maybe you’ve already read it?


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