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
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.