I’m sitting cross-legged, writing, emails, etc and I reach with my left hand to feel my right side flank. There is a pile of fat there and I notice how I can easily grab it, make it squish around and how the skin folds into itself as I sit here writing.
For some reason, my shape is different on the left side. My weight isn’t evenly distributed and it lands in differing places on my body. On my right there is an extra fold, lump, whatever you want to call it, that isn’t there on my left.
I don’t like this fold. It confronts me about what I know that I don’t want to know, I’m “obese.” I’m just slightly obese, but never the less, obese. And until I get my weight down I’ll remain obese until I am considered overweight, with a BMI between 26 and 30.
In the meantime, I can deny my fold. I can stretch my body so it doesn’t make the fold on my flank. I can cover it, not look at it, deny it is there, love it, embrace it, say, “HELLO WORLD! HERE IS MY FAT!” but in the end, I still have too much weight around my precious body.
“Too much weight for who?” you may ask. Well for a healthy body, I need less weight. Period. It’s true. For longevity and movement and quality of life in the long run, I need less weight on this body.
So slowly, I lift my nightgown to inspect and examine what I’ve been feeling through the fabric. When I look at my stomach and my flanks, I don’t recognize myself. I don’t think of myself in this way. Perhaps that is the problem. I haven’t been seeing reality. Because how often do we sit cross legged writing a blog and realize, there are folds that don’t feel comfortable. If we have that momentary thought, how often do we actually feel the discomfort for more than a second?
Surprisingly, I’m not really going into self-loathing right now. I’m more curious about my aging body and how it distributes it’s weight. It feels very different than when I was in my 20’s or pregnant. This body is new for me. It’s folds don’t feel familiar. And I’ve been denying them to keep myself out of self-loathing.
I can blame society for my difficulty. You see I don’t have a consistent tribe of women around me, guiding me into my middle age, into my wisdom, my divineness, my extraordinary changing body. Instead I have a lot of media telling me that I shouldn’t be exactly what I am because it isn’t or smooth or thin.
When I think of the women in my life, my heroes, they are all over 50. They have wrinkles, curves, humor and love. They think acutely, love passionately, care vehemently and I learn each time I get the opportunity to hang with them. These are the women that I hope to become.
When I think about my folds, and worry about my looks, I don’t respect myself. I don’t like the Amy who feels lost in her own dislike. It’s vanity, it helps no one, it keeps me down. It’s hard to access my creative force.
So what to do?
Get up! Move your body. Move it hard and soft, long and deep. Connect back to the power that is your body. Put music on. Dance. Dance strong and supple. Notice how those folds and wrinkles no longer matter. They are just part of a much more vital force. Your life force. And your self-loathing burns out that life-force like an extinguisher to a flame. Imagine your body as a life-force. You are lucky to have that force. Many people would give everything to have a body that moves and dances.
Change your thoughts. Be grateful to any one part of your body. Notice how it moves and responds to your commands. Tell that body part you love it. Tell it you are grateful for it. Feel the gratitude towards your body part. Feel how your brain can change with the openness of just allowing gratitude for one body part.
Sing. Loudly. Sing something that makes your heart soar. Put on music and go at it. Go in the car if you have to, but sing, sing, sing.
Write. Write about the things you are grateful for. How you love the smallest to the biggest aspects in your life.
Get to nature. Nature doesn’t give a darn about folds and wrinkles. It relishes age. It knows that things that age only are deeper, wiser and more lovely. Imitate a tall tree. Touch it, hold it and breath in it’s energy. Feel the air around you and notice the immensity of the earth, the sky, the tree and your being.
Keep practicing. Self doubting thoughts are habitual. Don’t try to turn them off. Instead just make a commitment to practice getting yourself out of them. Every time you catch one, release it and do or think something else. Change the lens of perspective. Keep changing. As long as it takes.
I choose to keep working my negative thoughts without denying my health. I truly am doing the best I can and I need to give myself a lot of credit for that very fact. Hooray for me! I’m good!