A few years ago now and for decades before that, I had this awful phenomenon that would happen to me. My skin would hurt if I perceived that I had eaten too much or not exercised enough in a given day. I would have this feeling overwhelm me, born of guilt at not fulfilling my compulsion to perpetually under-eat (and I LOVE food) and / or to not exercise every day, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, hunger pains and sore muscles.
I have stopped the madness over the past three years, spawned by the need to take medication which causes weight-gain and, have slowly begun to just be okay with looking like a normal 50-something menopausal woman. I have come to the sad realization that it doesn’t matter so much what your Earth Suit looks like, if you don’t let it matter. It is the ‘not letting it matter’ that is the tricky bit, especially if your brain is wired for approval like mine. ‘Sad realization’ because of all the time, preoccupation and wasted potential due to being ignorant to the reality that how your body ‘looks’ doesn’t matter nearly as much as we think, in this Western world. And, as another friend told me her mom would say, ‘dear, your body size is the least interesting thing about you.’
How about we make these things more important than the shape and size of our body: enthusiasm, zest for life, helpfulness, kindness, compassion. How about we stop telling little girls that they are so pretty and focus on how kind they are?
Over the past three years, I have been so much happier, it is profound. (Okay, I have had moments of uncertainty, but they were fleeting, comparatively).
I was walking with a friend the other night whom I hadn’t seen in ages, and this post was imagined. Due to my Earth Suit looking a lot plumper these days (which I am totally fine with), she asked, ‘So, are you still doing a lot of yoga, M?’ I chuckled in my head at this. It is inevitable, this question. Just like last week at the physio, he goes, ‘so, any thyroid issues these days?’ ha ha! No, actually. Just eating like a grown-ass woman, as one of my fave podcasters says: Summer Innanen. Of course, I didn’t say that, I just said, ‘um, nope’. To my friend I tried to gently express the shite I have been through. Knowing her to be a dieter and she having already poked fun at her ‘fat’ (of which she has none, oh friggin geez). I explained that yoga had been a dozen year obsession which was all about ego and not really about zen at all. It was a compulsion when it should have been a path to peace. It was the opposite, and it made me skinny and very muscular. (See for yourself: https://youtu.be/9lSU9I-ZPbk ). Oh excuse me: lean. The new word for skinny. It also made me cra-cra.
I have had a new thing happen for the very positive, of late. I have had all this energy and yearning to be athletic again (like I was as a girl). So, I have taken up tennis lessons and just loving the feel of my body as I strive to hit that effing ball. (It’s amazing how much I just want to hit that effing little ball.) And, with a tennis court right behind my house, well, I’m set! Pun intended.
The other day, out of the blue, I had a yearning to go for a bike ride. I was able to adjust my son’s bike to handle my shortness and off I went. It was fabulous. I tried frisbee-throwing, swing dance and archery at the #tryitinwolfville initiative. I just have this energy and wish to move my body and it has nothing to do with being fit. It’s just about joy this time, folks. And, on the other end of things, sometimes I’m just tired and I take a nap in the middle of the day. Lucky as I am to be able to do that. Yo Universe, thanks again. Life just keeps getting better as I strive to be like that little girl in the image above. Not a care in the world and certainly no thoughts of dieting, restriction or gym time, just free to be me.
Any comments would be welcome, as always and I love to hear from you!
(The picture is of my little brother and I when we were kids at the camp. Taken by our eldest sis.)