Slaying the Princess to Feed the Dragon

Weight is a huge issue in America. It consumes us, eats us up and devours us whole. Weight consciousness maintains a mind bending strangle hold on every aspect of our lives.  We count calories, workout harder and diet more than any culture in the history of mankind and yet year after year we just get bigger. Our fixation on the waist line has led us to embrace personal betrayal. We have broken away from our own authenticity and turned our backs on self-respect, all in the hopes that we can blend into society’s idea of perfection.

At the age of seven I wanted to be a princess. I had the face, round with large eyes and rosy cheeks, but I lacked that slender physique which said, dainty, graceful, slim and resplendent. Due to my lack of, “dainty,” I lost sight of the pretty, couldn’t see the rosy cheeks or the large round eyes. At the age of seven I embarked on a 30 year career of yo-yo dieting, self-hatred and illness. With eating disorders in tow, I stocked my fridge with “health food,” took hot yoga, took spin classes, weight trained, aerobicized, ran, skied, biked and dieted my way into a ruined metabolism, adrenal fatigue and depression. In my depression I finally realized that I will never be a size two princess. I will never be “dainty.”

I’m farm stock. It’s that plain and simple. My people have been hauling hundred pound sheep and thousand pound cattle through sleet and blizzard, over hill and dale, for time out of mind. I am in no way related to the blue blooded, pampered princess types capable of feeling a pea through a dozen layers of eiderdown mattress. My people were not made “dainty.” We never have had…not once…a “dainty” sixteen inch waist or long “dainty” fingers. We are farm people, built to work, built to survive, built to procreate in large numbers and eat whatever was dumb enough to wander into our way.

Still, I let the princess take my life from me. For thirty years she lived in my head and told me if I just cut more calories, if I just worked out harder and smarter, I could earn the right to live. She told me that I was worthless, big and stupid. I felt defenseless to fight her. I felt alone and unlovable, degraded and disowned. With help I gained the courage to slay the princess, feed my dragon like hunger and rescue my farm girl self from the nether regions of hell.

Now I eat when I’m hungry and remind myself often that nothing’s worth doing if it’s not enjoyable. After a life of hellish self-abusive workouts and diet regiments, it’s nice to find out what feels fun. Over the past year I’ve learned that I still love to work out, I still love to hike, swim and lift weights. I take care of myself and I look and feel better then ever. I’ve turned my back on “dainty.” I’ve chosen instead to feel powerful, athletic, happy, whole and healthy at every size. I’ve pledged to love myself no matter my weight and you know what? That’s OK!

So with a new respect for myself and women as a whole I have begun my fourth novel, a book about a big beautiful farm girl who’s relationship with God, clarity in being and love of authenticity, is unparalleled. I’m writing Marie-Celest for all my fellow Farm girls. God built some of us bigger and stronger so let’s stop starving away our God given strength.

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18 thoughts on “Slaying the Princess to Feed the Dragon

  1. Kiersi says:

    I think there is a balance to be struck, like in everything. Moderation is key. Everyone needs exercise–the lack of physical activity is, in my opinion, the largest threat facing our nation today–but brutalizing yourself isn’t healthy. Eating the right foods, eating the right amounts of those foods, that’s what’s important.

    By the same token, though, I am worried for the rising cost of obesity in this country. Health needs to be the key, the goal–not looks. If your doctor takes one look at you and says, “Dang, you’re healthy as a horse!” You’re probably in the clear. But I am also against the normalizing of extreme weight, which I find happening a lot in the blogosphere. It costs money and it ruins the health of the person who has it.

    I love your admission and realization that you come from hardy stock. I’m the squat, stocky type too. I’ve just had to accept it, and it turns out there are many people in the world who prefer that type for mates 😉 Congratulations on feeling better about yourself.

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    • I totally agree. Moderation, exercise and choosing healthy foods that feed your body instead of starving it are really key. Junk food has become a social norm and diet food is really just junk food in fancy packages. A lot of people buy low carb and low fat processed items thinking that they are making a healthy choice. The other truly scary thing is that so many processed foods are engineered to create food addiction. Food addiction is a rampant problem which when combined with a high stress low exercise society creates an obesity epidemic which only benefits the food and drug industry.

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  2. El.
    One of your best posts to date….5 stars across the board. You’ve so captured the spirit behind much of our depression, overeating (who knew obesity was sleeping with skinny) and all around self-abuse. God made us beautiful, in his image and its hard to beat that. Mankind didn’t always think skinny was beautiful, fact is they were frowned upon. Almost all the great sculptures of the Greek and Roman era used Rubenesque women as their models of what they believed portrayed real beauty. I don’t know if they hunted and carried sheep, but they ruled households, were the muse of some of the greatest artist in history and were capable of kicking some serious hinder parts whenever needed. They were the faces and bodies that sailed a thousand ships. Thanks for having the courage to put it out there.

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    • Big was beautiful back in the day and it will be again once women conquer the need to starve themselves into social submission. We’ve escaped the “man trap” society created for us in every way except body image. We’re strong, educated leaders but we still think we need to fit the proverbial glass slipper of perfection to be acceptable. We have a voice, we have a choice, we were created in God’s image and we are sublime no matter our shape.
      Why are we are all trying to look like Angelina Jolie who is literally starving before our eyes? Hollywood anorexics do not represent a people whose average dress size is 14. I’m a 14 (average) and yet whenever I walk into a clinic with my massive body builder arms and power lifting legs I’m called obese because of the scale read out of 180. I am strong enough to throw the Dr. through a wall and that’s a fact yet I stand there and have to defend myself like a lady. None of us need to put up with the way we’re being treated.
      This is a topic near and dear to my heart on so many levels. Last Winter Dan’s cousin died leaving two young boys without a mother. She was 37 and a woman of size. She had been sick for months but wouldn’t go to the doctor anymore because she was called obese every time she walked through the door. The coroner sighted the cause of death to be an enlarged heart and it went undiagnosed because the first thing the doctors saw when she walked into the clinic was her size not her heart troubles. Now she’s dead.

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  3. Laura McCann says:

    Great post! Weight is a sensitive issue. I get upset sometimes with how weight is generalized into a massive health issue. I am an overweight person yet in better shape than several of my co-workers (male) who are very much in line with their weight. From a healthcare cost standpoint, they are costing health plans more than I am, at a rate of least $15 to $1. But the perception is that I, as an overweight woman, carry greater healthcare costs.

    Your post was fab!!

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    • Laura it’s a fact that heavier people live longer and live healthier than scrawny people when we get regular exercise and take care of ourselves. I had my blood work done last month and it came back perfect and yet as a size 14 and I’m considered obese. You may be interested in looking into the Healthy at Every Size movement which I linked in the blog. It’s time to put the weight issue to bed and embrace health because we are healthy, strong and vital when we stay active and eat nourishing foods. If you’re blood work is good and you get regular exercise you don’t have a problem. It is society that has a problem when they celebrate illness’ like anorexia in fashion and entertainment. The average size in America is 14. We’re the normal ones.

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  4. This is a seriously important blog. We have all lost track of healthy versus thin. I would rather be healthy. Men and women have different body image problems, but we all have our own dragons to fight. Good luck, and keep having fun.

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    • Thanks Scott for the great feedback. I’m glad you agree. I wrote this blog last week and then was horrified to see just how many women athletes were facing fat riducal while competing in the olympics. We are so set on the slender rule that we overlook all other body types. Anyone who could call a gold medalist swimmer fat is just sick. .

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  5. Thank you E, you have spoken to all of us non princess, lost beauties. I never knew I was pretty until after pretty had been kicked to the curb. Only now do I see the beauty in soft corners and strong arms. You have spoken beautifully and I would love to share this with thousands.

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    • I would also love to share this with thousands. Perhaps with time the word will get out. I’m still reeling from the fact that anyone dared call the Olympic women athletes fat. It’s not we the average people who are sick it’s the socially confining media that spreads the illness. Body image is being managed by sycophants parading impossible images to little boys and girls. Almost no one is a six foot 100 pound Barbie so why do we want to be? Because the media says we aren’t good enough the way we are. If we are not good enough then they have a product that will make us better. That is how each year they rake in billions in profits off our non-existent imperfections.

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  6. This comment came in via email from DK Gemini:

    I was anorexic at 9 and bulimorexic until 17. The 70’s and 80’s (and even today) did a great job of teaching developing young girls self hatred through the misogynist, sadistic media (Madison Ave., TV, Film) brainwashing us to think that we all have to look like hangers. My own cousin died from anorexia 10 years ago, and I’ve seen too many males with eating disorders. Obesity is just another form of self hatred. Thankfully there are some media out there now that realizes the beauty in full figures and that not everyone has stick figure genes. The bottom line is that we have to love ourselves (which is HARD work) so that no external influence can sway us. Like I said, self love is HARD work, but worth it.

    And I couldn’t agree more. Thanks DK for sharing your story. Unfortunately it is an all too familiar story. Eating disorders are rampant. They start in elementary school and stick with many of us well into adult hood. Loving yourself is tough when there is constantly an image of a socially perceived perfection shining in front of us through our media. Yet how many of us are supper model material? How many of us could walk a cat walk or even want to. We are all unique and we deserve to live happy lives free of comparison. Love your shape and don’t let anyone tell you you’d be oh so much better looking if you would just diet off your curves.

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  7. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote
    and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog
    writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points
    for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Like

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. As a writer, hearing back from my readers is always an amazing experience. Feel free to chat with me anytime. As for being a novice blogger all I can say is write what you know. Write from your heart. I’ve had an interesting life filled with wonderful complex people and that’s what I write about. Sometimes I just do scenes or feelings but it’s usually all about some aspect of my experience. Just write, edit and post and you’re readers will find you.
      Blessings and best wishes,
      EE Orme

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  8. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Like

    • I am so glad you find my work worth it. That is my whole goal in writing, to engage my readers and give them some fun or heart felt information from my own life experience. Feel free to chat with me anytime and I will have new content posted as soon as summer draws to a close.
      Blessings and best wishes,
      EE Orme

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