It’s Holy Week, the last week of Lent. I’m still wearing black Tshirts, no makeup, no jewelry. Although Sundays have turned into colorful feast days, I haven’t diverged from my uniform during the week with the exception of the occasional streak of black eyeliner over each lashline.
In some ways, it’s been much easier than I anticipated. The only moment of temptation is when I get dressed to go out; it’s not an ever-present need. At most, I feel the limitation twice a day: getting dressed in the morning, and getting ready for any social functions or events that Keller and I go to in the evening. For the former, the lenten uniform is a relief from the high-adorableness-factor fashion at school. For the latter, it is only a deep moment of longing to wear layers of color and a range of textures, followed by a moment of pressure to simultaneously blend in with the crowd’s level of formality while standing out in my choice’s unique pieces or combination. I quickly scramble for a black T, once again relieved.
At the start of this season, I had hoped that the practice would aid me in, if not loving my body, at least ceasing to loathe it. I won’t say I’ve entirely stopped the negative thoughts, but I rely less on the image in the mirror. I feel the weight in my body, and it doesn’t feel entirely healthy. And I think that’s ok to feel: it encourages me to make healthy changes, rather than attempt to motivate myself using self-hate. I’m eating a lot more vegetables, and drinking more water. I’m running, lifting weights, practicing krav maga. My muscles are vaguely sore, and the ache feels gloriously physical in ways I had forgotten.
Which is a revelation and reminder I hadn’t planned on being gifted: God took on human flesh. This is what it feels like.