For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with liking my body. It’s hard when one’s body type doesn’t fit the current model of societal beauty. There have been so many moments of shame and guilt, both with how I eat and how I exercise. Several years ago, though, a miracle happened. I lost a lot of weight because of an unknown illness. When sitting and reflecting on my good fortune, these words sprang in my mind: “I’ve given you what you’ve always wanted. What will you do now?”
Since then, I’ve made key changes in how I treat myself.
First, I haven’t weighed myself for three years. I associate my worth with my weight and that is not healthy.
Second, I don’t calorie count. I become obsessed and actually gain weight.
Third, one of my goals is to practice mindful eating. Our bodies know what they need better than we do.
Fourth, I took my yoga teacher training.
.If there is one thing I’ve learned from practicing yoga daily, it is how to accept myself for who I am in the moment. Does this mean I always succeed? No, but the intention is there. True mental healing concerning our body image comes when we stop punishing our bodies for simply being.
Common ways we punish our bodies are overeating, not eating, harmful exercise, harsh language, and even physically harming ourselves.
It is definitely not easy to treat ourselves well all the time because our bodies are constantly changing. So the question I ask myself is, “Will I accept myself for the way I am right now?” This acceptance means we find the balance between loving our current selves and embracing changes that come by challenging our limitations to embrace our innate abilities.
This means we don’t reprimand ourselves for not being able to fully express poses during our practice.
It means we actively choose to become stronger by practicing harder poses.
It also means honoring our bodies when they reach their limit.
Above all, it means we mindfully tune in to our bodies to know what they need.
Thank you for reading! I hope this helped you! May we all continue forward on this journey of discovering and loving our true, divine selves.