"Life is your birthright, they hid that in the fine print. Take the pen and rewrite it."
One day at the salon, I was sitting under the dryer reading the Yoga Magazine. There was this article about a girl who learned to love her body through yoga. The thing that struck me most was that she knew the exact moment when she realized she was overweight. I put down the magazine stunned. Because, for as long as, I've recognized I had a body. I knew that it was overweight.
All my life, I have struggled with weight issues. I did popular diets, stints of working out, but even when I did lose a bunch of weight, I still thought I was fat. The other day, I looked through my high school pictures, shocked that I was so thin. In my mind, I was a 250- pound football player. Not a curvy, but thick in all the right places cheerleader. Other people joke about wanting to jump back in their old body, but I wish it were possible! I would appreciate that body. I wouldn't allow dumb ass boyfriends to feed me lies, that I could "stand to lose a few pounds." I wouldn't let the jokes from kids at school to get to me. I would stand up to them. Tell them they were just jealous because when Beyoncé was talking about Bootylicious, she was talking about me.
But I can't go back in time, snatch my teenage body and have a do-over. I can only deal with the cards I was dealt. Looking at that article and old pictures made me realize just how powerful the thoughts of others can be; it can change your perception of yourself. If you are not careful, you can override your own opinions for the opinions of others even when the evidence proves otherwise. I would try to lose weight, but nothing would stick. I would say things like "I don't want to be restricted," and I love food. When the truth was, deep down inside, I believed that I could only be that fat girl. I would look at people's body transformations, jealous thinking that could never be me!
I took these outside projections and internalized them until I paralyzed myself. Running to food because it gave me comfort and satisfaction in the moment. Food was so much more than just food to me- as sick and weird as it sounds- food was a friend. Food was dependable and predictable in my otherwise chaotic world. So, what changed? A month in the hospital kick-started the process.
No seriously. This time around, I approached "weight loss" as a lifestyle change. I refused to do the latest diet, the hottest fitness class, and instead did things that I enjoyed. For me, that happened to be yoga. Yes, in the back of my mind, I thought yoga would whip my body in shape. But, I never thought in a million years, I would fall in love with it. I never thought it would lead me down the path of becoming a certificated yoga teacher. But that's precisely what yoga did! I don't want to be corny, but yoga legit changed my life. It changed my mind and my body. It also made me realize I only get this one body, so why not take care of it?
Our bodies are powerful and are always giving us information. Think about it. It tells you, when danger is near, when something isn't right and when it' time to try something new. So, what has your body been saying to you? Is it tight, stiff, or aching? It may be saying- it's time to move. The idea of yoga floated in my mind for two years before I took it seriously. So please know, your body already knows what to do! Your only job is to follow through.
Ignoring it, not moving your body or only feeding it crap is a recipe for disaster. Think about your car when you make a mistake and get the wrong gas. Or if you go too long without an oil change. It starts to run funny. Think of your body as a vehicle and your 'lifestyle' change as the maintenance plan. I'm not saying to go crazy, join a gym, or even to convenience you that yoga is for you! I'm merely saying find something you enjoy, that will get your body moving and your heart pumping. It could be as easy as dancing in your living room to Beyoncé for 20-minutes a day.
Whatever you do, move! Move that negative energy and thoughts out of your body. I have never been the type to believe that weight loss is tied to your mind. But it is. You have to think it's possible, and you have to believe that you are worth it. Purge the opinions of others, confront your fears, and give yourself a chance. It's time to start embracing the real you, Sis. In case no one has told you, and you need reassure-
YOU ARE MORE THAN WORTH IT! (Word to Elaine!)
I hope to see you there,
Are there exercises/ fitness regiments that have been on your mind? What is my relationship with my body?
Until Next Time:
“Dream them dreams. Then man-up and live them dreams, because a life without dreams is black and white. And the universe flows in technicolor and surround-sound.”- The Late Great Combat Jack!