Friday, September 27, 2013

Thought About Reading a Fat-Shaming Diet Book, Decided to Love Myself Instead

Once upon a time, or rather this morning as I was getting out of the shower and looking/admiring my naked belly in the mirror (we all should be able to look at ourselves in the mirror with love!), I overheard the local newscaster say "The obesity epidemic is at an all time-high and on our show today we have an expert to help us get fit!"....or at least they said something like that.  Honestly the second that I heard "obesity epidemic" I could feel a spasm of eye-rolling starting.  But I took a short break from my mirror-gazing-vanity to walk over to the tv to watch.

They were interviewing this guy about his "new" book (cause 2010 is new apparently) called "Die Fat or Get Tough".  To summarize the 2 minute interview....fat people are fat because they think like fat people and that in order for their life to improve dramatically they have to get 'mentally tough' and think like "fit" people.  The female newscaster tried to ask him about how people's bodies are different, genetics, nature vs. nurture, etc.... but he promptly cut her off with his assertion that fat people think all the same and that if they just had the mental toughness they could be thin....and of course that their life would be full of butterflies and roses instead of a early grave.

I had a brief.....BRIEF.....moment where I thought that I should read his book before making any judgements about it or writing a scathing review of it, etc.  Instead I looked up his website....his gimmicky, cliche website.  Because he's deigning to you, reader of his website, by sharing his 'life changing' secrets with you in this book.  He had to take precious time out of his busy, successful motivational- speaking career in order to write this book.  He felt morally called to this task apparently.  He also "gets it" because he once gained 40 pounds when he was traveling for work and had some unhealthy habits.....he went from a 32 waist to a 36 (gasp! horror!).  And then he exercised  and was 'mentally tough about his fitness', lost the weight, and is now your new weight-loss savior.

I would like to note that I read his website while eating a particularly delicious chocolate cake doughnut.  Incidentally, I have some left over if anyone wants to visit me at my office today....

But I digress.

After reviewing his website, I decided that I didn't need to or want to read his book.  He mentioned in the news interview that he had received 'death threats' because of how difficult his message was to hear.  And while I don't condone anyone giving death threats in general or over a fat-shaming diet book....the guy seems like a bit of jerk.

What I would rather do..... is love myself.  I want to see and look at myself with love and possibility.  And chunky knees and thighs bug me.  But they are still part of me, part of my legs that allow me to move about this world everyday....they hold me up, support me, and are bendy and soft and seem to be constantly changing.  And ultimately, they are pretty damn awesome.

I would also rather listen and spend my time reading the words of people who don't need to scare and shame people so that they can live a lavish lifestyle.  I want to read the works of people who are human and average and not 'well-off'.  I want to connect with people that I can relate to, and people who can relate to me as a person.....and not some statistic that they think I fit into.

You know what else I would rather do?  Tell you about the strangeness of my clothing choices today.  I decided to put on the one pair of bluejeans that I own....which I haven't worn in a couple of years.  They fit, no problems weird laying on the bed to zip them up or holding your breath for a minute while you try to inch up the zipper.  Wow....are blue jeans restrictive!  I can still bend over and touch my toes and all that....but it is by sheer force of will!  This just adds to the superiority of skirts, dresses and yoga pants....

....and of course....

.....shame-free doughnuts.....

......and a whole lot of self-love!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sitting in Possibility

I'm having the very strange experience of having no pressing deadlines. 

It feels like that for weeks now, every single night has been fraught with the "you didn't get everything done you need to" panic followed by completely crashing out....then waking up in the morning with a groan because your need to sleep cuts deeply into your time to get all the silly things you committed yourself to done.

Frankly, it has been exhausting.

This last Friday I did a 2-hour workshop on the stories behind the yoga poses.  I've been researching all the stories within the Hindu tradition that correspond to various yoga poses for several months now.  It's fun research....the stories are oddly crazy but their application and meaning are incredibly profound.  I procrastinated way too much in getting ready for this....but I pulled it off.  And not just in the way of barely skirting my way through it....I nailed it.   It was the first time, in a very long time, that I truly felt like "I've got this, this is going to be ok."

I'm still sitting within that feeling....that I've truly got this.

Which is good, because it feels like the new ventures I've been trying to undertake have been failing.  I really needed to not feel defeated/hopeless about something for once. 

I hope that this lasts.  In the immediate future, I get to have an evening where I can do whatever I want....there is no rush, only the feeling of possibility.

And so now, I am sharing a video of Tarkan for no other reason that I can, and I realized how much I missed watching this beautiful man dance..... these are the things that you get to do when you don't have a pressing deadline....pretty nice....