Date: December 6, 2014
posted by Women Enough / Comments: 1 Comment / Tags: body image, dieting, self-love, self-worth
Do you strive for perfection or feel shitty when you look in the mirror? Are you pretty sure that Self-Love is a short drive from Minsk? These are my thoughts on why being called fat in public once again pushed me to change how I related to myself - for the better.
My weight… Just writing that sparks so many thoughts I have a hard time keeping up. Feeling forced to relate to how I look, what I weigh and most importantly what am doing about it has swung into my life again and again.
Some have said I am easy on the eye, others say there is so much of me I am hard to miss. This is a recent story about getting my personal space invaded by other people’s opinions and the ripple effect of them on me and my life.
The foundation of my work is that you belong here exactly as you are. I believe that there is no perfect ideal to strive for. Body image, intellect, beauty, coolness. It has been the work I needed to do with myself to feel free in my life, and it is how I support women to feel content, happy and strong as they are.
I know that for me not owning that statement has been exhausting. In motherhood I read books, looked at women who wizzed through the challenging parts smiling and looking great, and I felt like a constant failure. Going to meetings with oatmeal in my hair, or saying that “I just” gave birth to excuse the blubber on my belly.
The art of comparison once again left me feeling less worthy. The foundation of being wrong or less than, isn’t a nice place to be and very, very seldom leads to a life with happiness and ease. The self-compassion practice showing up just as I am changing my life.
Does this mean that that foundation is never shaken? No. But it takes a bit more to get the earth quaking, and it happened a few weeks ago.
This is a little story I want to share.
I was out for drinks with my two sisters. We had a great time and we decided to end the good times with a burger. Now it is no secret that I have put on weight after 2 pregnancies and what not, but burger it was – Yolo or something.
In the queue some guys thought we had cut in line. One looked at me and said that I probably shouldn’t be in there anyway, considering my weight. Tears galore came and I felt like crap. Reduced to an unworthy lump of Blubber (did you every read Judy Blume’s book? It’s awesome… anyway).
The sense that everyone in there were looking at me deciding whether they agreed or not felt humiliating. I had to get out of there. Shaken by how someone could effect how I felt about myself stayed with me for days.
Fast forward 2 weeks and my man and I are away for the weekend at a music festival. As I am coming out of the toilet area a woman stops me. She is a scout for a model agency and thinks I would be an awesome model for the normal size/curve department. Huh?
All of the sudden someone’s opinion of me steered me in another direction.
So which “truth” do I go with? A third – my own? How I see myself? How I feel about myself? Or do I let either of their perspectives rule and dictate whether I feel worthy just as I am? Do I wait till I have X weight to go out again or do I pout my lips and work it like a supermodel? The “you belong here, exactly as you are” reminds me that none of the above is my truth. It is their eyes looking at me. What matters is how I look at me. And this has been such an awesome reminder.
BMI and weight has nothing to do with it. I feel it is irrelevant for most women. I believe it begins with how you feel. Does the need to shift come from “I am a problem that needs to be fixed” or does it come from a deep knowing of worth and compassion and from the asking of “So what do I want?”
This is what we can work on – how you see you. And knowing that you belong here, because hey you already are!
Carina Lyall is a story worker and meditation teacher. She has lived in 4 countries, worked with the American and British army and picked herself up from severe anxiety. She now works with women in supporting them to more self-compassionate lives. She has co-written a book on healing from within and creates online courses on story work and self-compassion. She strives to keep it profound and humorous and blogs about her life over at www.carinalyall.com and Facebook at The Self Compassionate Woman.
Image: Christi Nielsen. Find at Flickr.