Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Belly, I hereby declare you a Goddess

I love this photo of me, I was probably about three. What I love about it is I see my spirit, and intention in this photo. I do not feel any need to shame my body. That would come years later when I understood what weight charts were and that some kids wore chubbies.

My body grew up, right along with me, and in time I learned to like my body, and I took care of it. And I told myself I'd never let it get out of shape. That all seemed to be working just fine...But hormonal shifts wreaked havoc and despite my efforts a 20 pound weight gain occurred since I married Martyn some 15 years ago, and I lost my hormones of course. I still ate like a bird, pretty much.

But what I'm working on more than losing weight, is to lose an inch. I threw out my scale last month. If I moved the scale one inch on the floor I could weight 10 pounds heavier, or lighter. Who knows what I weighed. I always weighed about 10 pounds more than the weight charts, even when I was 'thin' and young in my young adult years.

I came to hate being strapped in-mentally-to this magic number on a stupid scale, a scale that was unable to really weigh anything anyway. So I killed the scale, literally.

I walk, I do my chores, I probably do more 'steps' than the average person just in my barn chores. I get what I need to do to 'lose' weight. But post menopause, I don't care what anyone says, it is very difficult, and I've come to this point in my 60 years of life where I say to myself,

What do I want to do with my time today? What do I want to do with my strength, my mind, my hands today?

So I've gained weight.

There is not one animal in the barnyard that cares. My husband is completely supportive and has seen me try, and agonize, even cry when I could not take off pounds any more. I used to lose weight if I needed to by 'intending' it, not anymore. I am a believer in Nature and Nature knows exactly how to store fat on me at this stage of my life so if I ever did trip in The Wood and be stuck there until someone found me, I would probably outlive my thinner self of my 40's.

SO, back to this photo. That little child, I wish I could have her sitting here with me right now. I guarantee she would not be worried about her weight, or her sweet belly sticking ever so slightly out of her pants. I could show her my belly. I'm sure she would look at it as some kind of solidarity of sisterhood.

The other day I was lying in bed, about to get up, and I noticed the skin on my arm looked older and was more wrinkly and loose due to age. Something in me, well, I put my lips on my arm and gave it a gentle kiss.

My legs are still strong and carry me to the barn, my arms are still strong and help me carry an old goat out of the cold, my eyes still see and there is still much to be amazed by. My waistline is thicker, and I hope to hold it at bay, but I am tired of fighting. I just want to bend down and kiss my waistline, but it is rather difficult, so I now have a regime where I pat it, just like I pat my dog, donkeys or the pony shaped all short and stout. It is my Goddess belly.

My belly is full of nurturing food, and not a lot of it, and tonight I'll feed it some wine.


lishofmann said...

Amen sister! Love this! I generally don't weigh myself (had an eating disorder as a teen ... never again to be slave to the scale and false idea of what those numbers mean.) I try to go by how I feel and yes, how my favorite clothes fit. Admittedly, I noticed my jeans seemed to have shrunk, so I stepped on the scale and the number was higher (so I can't blame my laundry skills) but am trying to cultivate a relationship of trust with my body. If I really listen to it, it directs me to eat what and when I need to. It is when I follow my mind (or emotions) that my eating is not supportive of a happy body. A life-long process. Thank goodness no one notices women over 40 anyway! Goddess Belly Rules!

Anonymous said...

Katherine, I've just found your blog & was quite excited because I've always loved animals & moved to Maine over 12 yrs. ago. I enjoyed your "Belly" blog today in particular. I just celebrated my 79th b'day. Always super thin doing aerobics and loved hiking, etc. Then in my late 50's breast cancer w/ treatment followed a partial amputation of my foot due to a tumor... I also was experiencing menopause. I had to do an awful lot of adapting to my new body and learned to love my belly as well. No longer aerobics or hiking or getting on the roof to paint the house. But after a long struggle, I have learned to let go of what I was and appreciate what I am - physically that is: A contented woman happy to be here.

Carole Reid said...

Oh Katherine, I totally know how you feel! At 62 and now the added weight from Tamoxifen I'm the heaviest I've ever been. I look down at my Buddha belly, which is more noticeable on the side I had the mastectomy, in wonder. I know you don't care about my belly and I certainly don't care about yours. Let's just enjoy each day and be grateful. xo Carole

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~