Love Squad’s “We Love Them” series takes a deep dive into the personal fitness journey of a guest writer, in weekly installments told over the course of several weeks. These narratives will get real and open as they talk about life-changing events and personal obstacles that were somehow overcome through fitness, exercise, and both mental and physical wellness.
Introducing Tira Feierstein (@tirafire), our second “We Love Them” guest writer. Tira went from hating her body and comparing herself to others to “happily living an awakened life of gratitude and self-love.”
This is the first installment of Tira’s series.
How could so much love be born inside of so much hate? The love I speak of is for my son, the hate I refer to was for my own body. I had what some would consider a pretty typical experience living in a female body. Most days my relationship to this magnificent abode is one of confusion, resistance and yes, hate. I boldly use “typical,” because the dialogue amongst my peers about body-image illuminates curiously parallel story lines. Is there a proverbial self-criticism score-card provided as an award for being born with a Y-chromosome?
I was raised in what I refer to as a “bubble-of-sameness,” in a suburb of The United States very similar to most. I came to realize that “sameness” was safe (or so I thought). My punch-card came in very handy around 8-years-old. The universal aesthetic (amongst girls my age) in my home town was mostly white, straight hair, petite/skinny, topped with a bow and rooted in glowing, white Keds. As I began to check the boxes on my own score-card, let’s just say I didn’t have enough ink in my 10-color pen. I am not exactly white, my hair is not straight and according to my father, my figure can skew “portly.” I did what any girl who wants to survive would do: I took control of what I could and I plowed ahead. I stocked up on baby doll dresses, straightened my hair and I went to PayLess where my mom bought me knock-off Keds. To say that any of this cultivated self-confidence or love would be a lie.
What becomes of a girl who spends her whole adolescence and then some chasing acceptance through conformity? I’ll say this, I lived in a great deal of fear; fear of how my body would take form as result of my decisions, fear of being loved, fear that I may never love myself.
A moment came in my pregnancy where I chose to abandon sameness. I quite literally surrendered to the miracle my body was performing. For the first time in my life, I just ate…I worked out because it made me feel strong and alive. And when I gave birth, without intervention, I witness the pure magic that my body was capable of. I don’t, however, stand here today a strong, connected woman as a result of childbirth. I’ve suffered severe pain from postpartum depression, gained 80 lbs in my surrender to food and cultivated some of the strongest self-hate in the process.
As I sit here writing this, drinking my hot lemon water, I’ve replaced hate with acceptance. I’m in my 30’s, happily living an awakened life of gratitude and self-love. Through my journey into motherhood and a self-development, I’ve forged a strong, albeit winding path to my current state of being. My fitness and body chronicles may enlighten a glimmer of familiarity, some that I hope will inspire anyone who reads it. Self-love is born out of the sincerest acceptance of what currently is, and with that you can harvest your highest form.
By Tira Feierstein
If you are interested in contributing a personal story of your own as a part of our “We Love Them” series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org !
Tune in next week for the second installment in Tira’s story.