What happens at age 51 when I take skinny out of my life equation?
What are the consequences of challenging my ancient belief system that skinny is better, more lovable, and healthier?
Well I will give you one example of a life living in Boulder Colorado (one the thinnest cities in America). Some would say I’m a very lucky person to have a privileged life. Yet, it was one filled with silent suffering, years of self-criticism, and never looking or being exactly what I wanted.
Today while out jogging on the mountain trails, I ran into a wise, hard working, and very intelligent woman. She said, “I’m lost,” “Awesome,” I responded, and she started to cry. “Lost to be found,” I said.
What a hard thing “being lost” is for all of us. Reminiscent of a pain so intense, like a break up after a long relationship, or watching everything that defines you as a person fall apart and drift away. Lost.
One thing though, she was WAY skinny. Folks are constantly asking her, “what are you doing, you look so good.” These words aren’t meant to insult but when you are struggling with your body image (trying to reach the unattainable perfection) these words can cut you like a knife.
Last summer my partner Lindsey was dying inside, years of holding in old shameful traumas and patterns. Folks stopped me in Boulder and Lindsey while she was out strolling, and said what are you doing Lindsey you look so good. Dying we both answered in our own, What THE FUCK WAY.
So I ask myself what would my life look like if I took skinny out of the equation? It is an experiment I have been working on for the past two years:
- Bikram and Core power yoga: Out, no need to be in the unnatural heat
- Hatha and Anusara yoga: In
- Wild and crazy fitness clubs: Out
- Natural surroundings: In
What workouts to do? Allow my body and spirit and inner child to lead the way as I continue to learn how to LISTEN. The key for me is listening beyond the reprimands of my demanding conditioned “you must do” mind. This I have learned, it has not gone away, and I am not counting on it to go away. More bird watching, more walking to work, and using walking and alternative transportation—instead of being so tired from my workouts and feeling overwhelmed from the fitness club mania.
My hope is that more of us will join this “un” doing way, where movement is a joy and a time to relax and fill up our being-ness beyond the rat race of doing and becoming more of a hard body. Wow when I say that, “hard body,” I feel a bit of grief, yet such relief in giving up the unattainable fight and now I feel free…