Like most people, I have struggled with accepting myself, especially my body. Although I have never been formally diagnosed with an eating disorder, I definitely have had one. In a nutshell, my mind was typically consumed with thoughts about what to eat, what not to eat, how many calories was in something, how many grams of fat, what the proportions of my butt, thighs, stomach were, etc. Nothing was ever good enough and there was always something that had to be fixed and it usually had to do with ME.
So as is usually the case with me, I decided that I was going to fix this. I read books, did workshops, and worked on it in psychotherapy. However, nothing really ever changed. Notably, the more I got involved in yoga, the more accepting I became of myself in general. I noticed that, when I was feeling negative about myself, I just let it be and allowed myself to be right where I was. Nothing to change. Nothing to fix. I think the bigger change came when I started practicing meditation, particularly mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being right here, right now and not trying to get anywhere or change anything. It is about being fully aware. The combination of a daily yoga and meditation practice allowed me to be aware of my thoughts and be okay with whatever was showing up. Eventually this started to carry over into my thoughts about my body and food. I noticed less emotional reactivity around those areas.
The other day I decided to get on the scale (which I typically do not do) and saw that I am currently weighing the most I have in over 15 years. I am 10-15 lbs bigger than my typical body weight. I have gone up almost a size in my pants due to the extra weight in my booty and legs. Although I am not freaking out trying to lose weight, I keep telling myself that I should be upset and trying to fix this. I notice these thoughts and I just accept them. I don’t have to do anything about them. So here is the irony- I am finally “happy” with my body and now my mind is telling me something is wrong with that.
My “Ah Ha” is that my mind wants to look for what is not working to make it better. We all have this negativity bias. We can try to fix it or we can notice it and accept it. I choose the practice of Acceptance. ACCEPTING ALL OF IT!