On the subject of love, legs, and femininity.

Hairy kneecaps. The first time my body became “my body”—a thing separate from me—was at 6thgrade lunch period when Hannah Wiessgarber informed me Paul Ferris would never date me because I had hairy kneecaps. She’d asked him about me, and his answer, given in the presence of the other 7thgrade boys, had been, according to…

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A Way Through

“97, 98, 99, 100.” I pull my exhausted, 8-year-old body out of the pool, and collapse onto the warm concrete patio. Through the haze of chlorine fumes and low blood sugar, pride at my accomplishment revives me. Later I speak to my father, who is on a business trip, “I swam 100 laps”, I declare.…

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War and Peace In My Body

I stared at the number on the scale, then stepped off quickly so it would disappear before my husband made his way into the room. How could I have let it get this bad?  I began to run the numbers in my head, each one a new accusation. I was scarily close to my self-defined…

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Belly Dance

“Ewww, Mom, that’s disgusting,” he said as he glimpsed a sliver of the wrinkly, stretched skin of my stomach. The moment had started sweetly. Miracle of miracles, the kids were ready to go to school early which of course, never happens. So my two youngest boys and I were enjoying a few minutes of snuggling…

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Someone Who Talks About Miracles

“I take my shoes off,” I told the nurse apologetically. I flung off my sneakers before stepping on the scale, knowing I was taking up her time in order to save myself from the weight of my Nikes. I was 34 weeks pregnant, or maybe 35, and the weigh-ins were all running together as I…

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All Bodies Are Good Bodies

In Zadar, Croatia there is a thousand year old church that sits crumbling on the edge of the Adriatic sea. Embedded in its foundation are countless broken artifacts, alters, and columns from the pagan temple that once stood in its place. It was only a few meters from this church where I swam in open…

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The True Dance

“Oh Woman, come before us, before our eyes longing for beauty, and tired of the ugliness of civilization…Dance us the sweetness of life. Give us again the sweetness and the beauty of the true dance.” Isadore Duncan   On the morning of September 15, before the Brave On guests began to arrive, I stood in…

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Bravery with Self

As I was preparing my talk for the Brave On Conference, I was searching for clues as to why March 22, 1990, was the day that changed my life. It was a pivotal day that ended my 25 years struggle of an eating disorder addiction.

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On Girls and Small Stories

Four girls gaggle in the back of our van as I eavesdrop. They discuss Donald Trump, Miley Cyrus, the status of their braces, and length of their earrings.

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