Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10:24AM
Skinny. It’s a cute word and we all love to say it. Put it on books, beverages, magazines, jeans, menus…”Oh it’s a skinny version of that? Then yes! I want it!” I will admit I am not immune to the word’s promise and power (skinnygirl margaritas in fridge, skinny jeans in closet). But if Skinny were a person, I’d say our relationship is tormented.
I’ve never been Skinny…even though I wear her jeans, they are in the “normal” size category (obese for Hollywood, not that I’m comparing). I’m not tall, yet I’m not small…a “large frame” or “bigger boned” is what I’ve heard and told my entire life. And I reluctantly admit I’ve lusted for Skinny just as long.
I have been studying yoga for almost 10 years (gasp). Through it I work to resolve my issues with and attraction to Skinny. I’ve learned and taught that Yoga Bodies can and should be a reflection of our choices, our love, and our care. If we eat good food, live for the moments that make us happy, surround ourselves with active, happy friends, sleep, MOVE…then our Yoga body will respond in kind. It’ll be good to us, strong and healthy (enough)--it’ll feel good as it provides us with a vessel for breath and love…
…but it might not be Skinny. It might have muscles and broad shoulders. It might have legs that are too big for skinny jeans or even fitted yoga pants. It might have a tummy or breasts that make it hard to fold and twist in poses. Like mine, your Yoga body might really be a beautiful, strong, and healthy body, working hard to give you vitality and energy to accomplish all your tasks. But maybe we don’t see it? Deprived of sleep, nutrients, love, restoration, Yoga body still gets up every day and takes the abuse, accepts the fact that we still want Skinny. Like a loyal pet, Yoga body quietly waits for your appreciation, hoping you’ll see yourself as perfect as you are, but expecting nothing.
So like any other close relationship, I look closely at Skinny and Yoga Body. I think, what if I continue to eat natural, real, good food, I continue to walk, bike, rollerblade, practice yoga, use weights…what if I learn to really listen to what my body needs and give it, even if means resting more, eating meat, reducing wine…what if I do this mindfully for a year and Skinny still eludes me? Would I give all of that up in favor of excessive cardio or starvation? If I could see the future and see myself, a year from now, the exact same size, feeling great and strong in my Yoga body, would I still want Skinny? Would I feel like my efforts were worthless because my clothes weren’t a size smaller? What if I did all of that and I were a size bigger?!
What’s Skinny ever given me (other than hunger)? She serves as a comparison that in no way gives me real perspective. She distracts me from feeling. She makes me feel bad. She makes me feel anxious. She fills me with dread. And like a bad relationship that has gone on too long, I see all of this so clearly and wonder “what the hell am I doing?!” With sound mind I can see that I need to break-up with Skinny.
I always serve as an example to my students by relating to you my own journey…so here it is. Today, I marry myself, in sickness and in health, good times and bad, to Yoga body. Like I would instruct you, I set the intention stay mindful and present and shift my awareness and focus from how I look to consistently monitoring how I feel. Instead of weight-loss goals, I will focus on fitness. Instead of size 4 jeans, next fall I want to do 10 chin-ups. I will accept ALL parts of this body as a whole; I will see it with honesty and gratitude.
I am resolved to let Skinny go. Let’s dump this bitch.
Anyone with me?