Writing about body image is a tricky thing. It is slippery. Connected to words like self image, self worth, self confidence.
They mean something different to each of us. They push so many buttons.
Hope, denial, pain, fear, pride.
These are just my thoughts. Some of this post of from an email conversation I recently had. I am exploring these things myself, having struggled with them over the last few years. I am not an expert, a phsycologist, a doctor. I am just me, exploring my thoughts – maybe one day I will be an expert on me... But then I will surely change again...
This is not a blog about eating disorders. If you have an eating disorder and are reading this I would like to say I am sorry if anything I say in this post over simplifies your situation or patronises you.
It is a blog about my struggle to lose my baby weight. About how I felt I lost control of my body – on top of everything else I had lost control of. Of how looking in the mirror and not recognising the reflection really messed with my head.
When we are suffering with overactive thoughts about our appearance it can act like an open door for the Ego.
But the Ego does not represent or reflect our truth.
We live in a culture which loves to simplify things. Increasingly in short visual advert form.
A culture that knows exactly how to tap into and exploit our Egos'.
We have to find a way to take what we want from the mainstream media, advertising, and our peers, and be confident enough to enforce healthy boundaries where necessary. And this is across the board. From comments from family/strangers, to airbrushed pictures, to cut away swim-suit trends.
Otherwise we are just giving away our power. We are all on the way to misery in the hand-basket.
Whatever being comfortable and confident in our own skin means for us is right. In the here and now, it is exactly where we should be, looking exactly how we should be looking, perfectly perfect.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Fat, thin. Beautiful, ugly. On trend, out of date.
Accepting ourselves as we are this moment as perfect is incredibly powerful. The tug-of-war with the Ego is definitely worth it.
And what then if we do decide we want to make changes?
It can take time to move from a-b in our lives. Who defines a and b? I do for me, you do for you. Being at 'a' is ok. We don't have to stay there. It doesn't define us. Unless we want it to?! There is no shame in being at 'a' with no intention of ever going to 'b'.
I was ok with putting on nearly 5 stone when I was pregnant. I assumed it would all fall off when I had Henry and I was very very wrong.
I had pelvis problems, and a great deal of stress that made this much harder. And as it transpires Endometriosis. And no matter how clean I was eating and how active I was being I could do neither as well as before Henry and I was putting weight that I had lost back on. Which I found quite upsetting actually.
I don’t want a model body. I don’t want a number on a scale. I want to feel fit and healthy and strong. I want to be able to run around with Henry.
But being totally honest – the pictures of women that we are surrounded with in magazines and advertising are distracting. I don’t want to look like that, yet my eyes still linger...
My Yoga is my choices and behaviour, as well as a specific physical and meditative practice. It helped me cope with the last couple of years, including the weight gain, and some of its loss.
It also helped me realise that I was not happy and didn't feel healthy a couple of stone heavier than I used to be. It was right for me during this time, but I don't feel comfortable thinking it will be like that forever.
I will probably dissect this further on another follow up blog post.
For now though – I just want to say. We (women and men) need to take back our control. To stop giving it away to whatever triggers that open door for the Ego.
"This is where I am, this is what I look like, and its perfect."
With lots of love
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