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@HEARDinLONDON #blog

Nature Does Not Reject Me: How to Thrive and Carve Space for Yourself in a World Not Designed for Larger Bodies

The ocean never rejects me. It never runs away and says there is too much of me (or if it does, it returns in the next breath). It never tells me that there is not enough water for the likes of me. It just surrounds me and accepts me as I am.


And I began to think of other places which do not reject me. The trees never criticised the size of my stomach or my gait. The woodlands never squirmed when I sat next to them or tried to edge away.  And I've always suspected when they sighed it said their own glory rather than repulsion at my mass.


For those in larger bodies, it can feel like the world is not made for us. We often face unsolicited opinions, struggle to find clothes which fit, and have difficulty navigating public spaces which are not designed with our bodies in mind.


It's exhausting. Having to constantly brace yourself against judgement takes its toll (and with a straight face, your body then decides stress is a major factor in gaining weight, as it believes it is under attack - and it is).


And though I have spent years trying to come to peace with my physicality (after decades of trying to abuse it into a different size) it occurred to me that my feelings about my body are very dependent on the environment.


The way nature accepts my body, just as it is, cannot be said for moving around man-made structures. I need to sit, but I no longer fit in chairs with arms (thank you TFL). I get strangers on the street telling me all about myself: what a hazard, and a drain on the NHS, and a bad example I am. When I leave my house. I manoeuvre the world slowly, so as not to bump into things and draw more attention to myself.


My body is an inconvenience to others. And they're very comfortable letting me know this.

And it's been with relief that I have realised that there are places I can be and not feel like an imposition. Where I don't have to hold my stomach in or twist my spine so I'm not touching legs with the person next to me. Wear my sweat is just another particle, not a drip of shame and disgust.


It's been good to find my place again. It's not been easy living in a world which was not designed for bodies like mine. And in this day and age, I'm going to sink into any peace that I can.





A woman runs though an apple orchard at sunset

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