I’m Good with Me

I had just gotten myself set up in class on Friday and done a few warm-up postures. I was headed out of the room for a minute when another student stopped me. I didn’t catch all of what was said, but the gist of it was this:

(a) I look very skinny

(b) She has observed me losing a great deal of weight

(c) *I think* she was tettering on the verge of saying she was watching me waste away to nothing, but I could be wrong about that part

(d) She noted how much different I look now compared to a few months ago.

Ok. So first I want to say that if you are the person who approached me and said these things to me, and you are reading this, don’t feel bad. I don’t feel bad. In fact, you helped me have a better day because you helped a few thoughts materialize in my brain. The most important thought I had was this: I love how I look.

Now if Mark is reading this he might be rolling his eyes because he knows (and he’s right) that in a few weeks I am going to march out into the living room, declare that I am fat, and stomp off. It happens. Once a month I am fat. I don’t care what the scale says. Y’all get me, right?

But in reality, I love how I look.

And that’s a very, very big deal because up until now I have generally not been happy with how my body has looked.

So back to the Friday morning conversation. Here are things I have learned about myself since January:

1. Because I do this yoga, I have learned to love myself. I love what I can do today. I love what I can’t do today. I love looking forward to seeing what my body can do in class tomorrow.

2. Because I do this yoga, I have learned how to be healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. Yes, the actual yoga itself makes me healthy. But in turn it pushes me to evaluate how every other aspect of my life, including what I eat, does or does not contribute to my health. Because of this yoga, I take better care of myself outside the yoga room so I can be stronger when I am in the room and in all other aspects of my life.

3. This yoga, maybe all yoga, teaches me to love myself for who I am today. It teaches me the very essence of the phrase, “Know Thyself.”

So, to the person who approached me on Friday, I can say the following:

I do look thinner. Yes, I have lost weight. But I lost most of it when I was doing the challenge and first became a vegetarian. I think a lot of it was the diet shift. If I start dabling more in vegan meals I may drop some more. I have held my current weight for three months. So when you say I look skinny, I think what you mean is that I look leaner. I am leaner. I think there’s a difference. But most importantly, when I stood there listening to you talk about my body I did not feel threatened. I also did not feel happy that you thought I looked skinny. Your observations did nothing to validate me either positively or negatively. I did not care that you wanted to share your observations on my body with me even though I could not tell if you were sharing them out of concern for my well being or not. In fact, I am happy to discuss your observations if doing so will help you in some way.

While I said, “Thank you” in response to the statements that were made, I did not take what you said as a compliment. I did not take it as an insult. I merely stood there, listened, and took it in in its totality. My thank you was my way of acknowledging you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. And I realized as I did so that I was so comfortable in my skin, maybe for the first time since I was a teenager, that your comments on my body didn’t help or hurt me in anyway. They couldn’t. I knew who I was, and I was good with that.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bitchingaboutbikram
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 10:49:47

    Amazing post! I’ve had some similar comments over the course of this year while I’ve been doing this yoga (not that I was skinny, mind you, but that I looked “good” or “great”). As someone who is almost never comfy in my own skin, I think it’s wonderful how you took this interaction. I know that Bikram is getting me there, guiding me more towards self-love and self-comfort, and that it’s still going to be a long road.

    I find you to be a HUGE inspiration to me and my practice (even though I’m slacking right now). This post along with your regular thoughts, which always come across as so positive and so even, are why.

    Thank you!!!


  2. leighahall
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 19:58:31

    Thanks Bitchin! How are you with things? Are you going to do your challenge? I hope you do!


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