I can’t tell you the number of healthy students I have had cry to me about their body shape. Beautiful women and men who deserve to feel really good about themselves caught in a spiral of negativity. While I always have compassion for my students, the bottom line is that WHAT WE LOOK LIKE IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT. It’s not worth the anxiety. The practice is mentally changing the subject when those superficial self loathing thoughts creep in. Just acknowledge them and then gently but firmly steer your mind in the direction of gratitude.
Start simple: “I can walk”- amazing! “I can breathe”-amazing! “I get to go to yoga”-amazing!!!
And if there is someone in your life who makes you feel badly about putting on a little weight after a holiday Eff that! That’s them pushing their values, control issues and whatever else onto you. It’s silliness, ignore it. Keep up with your gratitude practice. I know it’s not always easy, but don’t give up.
The longer you’ve been body shaming yourself the longer it will take to rewrite those thought patterns. Practice, practice, practice. As a teen I suffered from body image issues and the solution wasn’t in blaming myself, my parents or society. It was in gaining perspective. The world is entitled to their opinions and I’m entitled to choose happiness. My weight and body shape fluctuates a bit
But so what? Looking good isn’t number one. Giving back to my community, celebrating life with my friends and family- those are my priorities.
Eat, drink and be merry!
If you really want to worry there are real problems out there. The world is a scary place for some people. Volunteer in a soup kitchen, or an AIDS clinic. Do something to give back. It boosts self-esteem and grants perspective.
Truth is I don't always love what I look like, but I've got better things to do then to worry about it.