I don’t know this woman at all. All I know is that a Facebook friend of mine commented on her body positive post earlier today.
I want every one of you to LOOK at this woman’s photos. And I want you to REALLY think about your preconceptions about the physical abilities of “fat people.”
ANY gymnast of ANY size can tell you exactly how much strength something like this takes. How much flexibility it requires.
I used to be able to do things like this (never the splits all the way to the ground, but I could do other things). And that’s even someone who was seriously injured in her lower back/upper hip area at age 13 (specifically for those who know what parts I’m talking about the affected area was L4/L5 and L5/S1).
If I had a penny for EVERY time that my ex said “but fat chicks aren’t supposed to be able to do that!” I would be richer than most of the US billionaires.
Even now, with arthritis in my back and feet, I can still do more things than a lot of thinner women my age. While I can’t do many of the standing yoga poses because my balance is for shit, I can do a whole shit-load of a lot of others. And I’m working on regaining a metric fuck-ton of my younger flexibility.
Why? Because of 2 reasons:
- Being flexible is healthier for me, both physically AND mentally.
- It simply underscores the mental “fuck you” I have in my head to every single medical professional who has ever said I would be dead by 35, crippled by 30, or have a stroke by age 25.
Yes, I have been told repeatedly since I was 13 that I would physically degenerate rapidly if I did not lose the “extra weight.” And I struggled for decades to try to lose it.
But that’s not ALL I did. I worked to KEEP my flexibility, my ability to be completely mobile – even with repeated medical professional advice that said to just “accept the reality.” Even when the pain started becoming unbearable, I kept going. I did water therapy, which is exactly what made me realize HOW hard I really had worked to stay mobile.
I met people of every size and kind of injury at Sister Kenny’s Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis, MN, from stroke patients to others with spinal trouble to people who were injured in car accidents. Actually, it was those who had been in car accidents who taught me the most. Why? Because they had only been in 1 or 2 accidents, and were slowly regaining even a portion of their mobility (and some of them were a more “normal” size). When they heard I had been in FIVE car accidents (2 I caused, 3 caused by others), plus injured other ways TWICE, and was STILL able to retain complete mobility, they THANKED me for giving them hope that they could get back to full mobility.
I may occasionally require a cane if I’m forced to walk beyond my normal endurance. But that, and pain control is ALL I need. I continue to do physical therapy exercises, and now that my body is slowly regaining the energy to MOVE (don’t let anyone tell you that stress and depression do not sap your energy!), I am extending those exercises to regain more movement, endurance and flexibility. I go up and down two sets of stairs multiple times a day, which also encourages that movement and endurance, and helps with pain control. But, again, I need to do more to regain as much of my former mobility, endurance and flexibility.
Losing weight is not even in the top ten list of what I am aiming for. If it happens, hey….great. But it’s NOT what I am focusing on. I have had a healthy body, and by all the gods, I’m going to have one again.
I may never be able to be pain free again, but I can certainly do everything I can to minimize the pain, and how badly it affects me!