Greetings, dear friends.
My name is Allison Stieger, and I’m an author and speaker working with mythology. I write on myth at my site Mythic Stories, and I write on myth and creativity at The Creativity Post. However, this project is a “horse of a different color”, as it were.
I’ve created this new site at the beginning of this, my most personal project yet. On this blog I’ll be sharing many parts of myself and my journey that I’ve never shown publicly, and indeed are only known by my closest family and friends. In fact, I can think of less than a dozen people in my life that I’ve ever shared any of this with, but I’ve decided to take this part of my life public.
What am I talking about? Time to stop being oblique about this. I’m talking about my lifelong struggle with how I live in my body. I’m talking about obesity, disordered eating, and the broken parts of myself that have led to the health issues I’m dealing with now.
Despite all the shiny-bright parts of my personality and life that I usually share with others, I’ve decided that its time for me to address the fact of my obesity, and to turn that struggle public. Over the next several years, I will be using what I’ve learned about myth and the human psyche to attempt to regain a healthy weight, regain mindfulness with food, and hopefully be around for my children and husband for as long as possible.
I’ve called this blog “The Mythic Body: Finding Artemis” because, for me, this journey is about connecting to the archetypal energy of the Greek goddess Artemis. What does that mean, exactly? Artemis is the virgin goddess of the hunt, and she is associated with robust health, vigor, and athleticism. She is also the goddess of the “parthenoi”, which is a Greek word which refers to young women who are just out of childhood but are not yet married. So, around 11-14 year olds. The stage where women were considered parthenoi was thought to be quite a dangerous one. It was the most liberated time of a woman’s life, after childhood but before she took on the responsibilities of married life.
When I was a pre-pubescent child, I was very skinny. That didn’t change until I went through puberty. When I was about 11, I remember going on a hike with my dad and brother. I can remember practically flying up the mountain. It was effortless, and I couldn’t understand why my family members kept wanting to take breaks as we hiked. It’s been a long time since I felt like that, but that moment was pure Artemis. I’m much older than 11 now, but, if I can, in whatever way I can, I’d like to find a bit of that spirit in myself again.
On these pages I’ll be talking about both my exercise regimen, my diet, and working with different myths that reflect the stages of the journey that I find myself. I will also be sharing the hard stuff, the scary stuff, the embarrassing stuff. That’s why I put a picture of myself at my heaviest at the top of this blog. In the months to come I’ll be putting new pictures up, so the followers of this project can see how far I’ve come.
When I fall, I’ll tell you about it. When I fail, I’ll tell you about it. I hope you’ll come along with me as I start on this path.