I can’t believe I hadn’t done this earlier
I woke up last Monday morning and something felt different. Instead of getting settled into my workday like I typically do, I had an overwhelming urge to do some industrial strength cleaning. (This is very uncommon
It wasn’t the kitchen or bathroom that had my attention. The small tufts of my hair that quickly congregate on the living room carpet were of no concern to me.
It was my closet. It’s all I could think about.
It excited me. It overwhelmed me.
And then a question, “Why do I still own so many clothes that I don’t wear anymore?”
A large part of the answer was sheer overwhelm of the purging process. And still, there was more.
As I proceeded to tackle Operation Closet Overhaul, more questions dawned on me. My memory jogged back to the past 3 Julys, trying on the same lovely summer blouse that fit my 8 lb. lighter dancer frame, and year after year putting it back into my closet knowing it was a bit too snug. By year 2 or 3, why did I keep putting it back in the closet?
And then it got me thinking some more.
Even then, when all the dancing I was doing had me at lower weight than high school, I was still critical of the same parts of my body.
Given the field of work I’m in, this observation is fascinating to me and leaves me wondering, “What’s the deal with THAT?”
Challenges with our bodies are often a reflection of overall discomfort with change (i.e. the discomfort of a body and appetite that change on their own terms). We struggle with the body changing and attempt to manage it, assuming that a certain weight or size will make us feel happier. The problem is, we never really feel fully satisfied if/when we get there. It seems there’s always some better place to be…
The bigger questions
How long have you had the exact same criticism of your body? Years? Decades? Have the same old, recycled thoughts about your body gone through your head for the past 15 years? Have those thoughts actually helped you?
Women spend copious amounts of time thinking about food, weight, body fat, and whether or not they were nutritionally “good” or “bad” that day. They feel great when they work out or lousy when they don’t.
What to do? Learn to love what is.
Here are a couple of options to consider:
1.) Learn to accept and honor a beautifully imperfect body – one of the bravest things a western woman could do! Be bold. Learn to take exquisite care of your body with all its natural fluctuations.
2.) Or you can learn to own the fact that you really don’t like your legs or your boobs or whatever body part tends to irk you. Your practice may be learning to BE 100% OKAY with not being okay with a part of your body.
Either way, you’ve got to own up to something.
So when do you allow yourself 100% satisfaction with your body?
The big news: It’s right now. It has always been right now. Just as you may fondly look back at a particular body size or weight and wish you would have appreciated it when you had it, there will be a time when you look back fondly on your body as it is now and wish you would have appreciated it, adorned it, and taken exquisite care of it.
An Early New Years Toast
Here’s to feeling deserving of exquisite self-care RIGHT NOW. Accepting one’s body as it is not an act of defeat. On the contrary, it is a powerful symbol and a platform for changes that last. Exercise and eating nourishing foods becomes a far easier habit when the motivation is rooted in self-love.
P.S. It’s a lovely feeling walking into a closet that has clothes you love and that love you back.
With love and appreciation,