My topic this week with May Cause Miracles is body image. Oh. My. Get ready for me to get super transparent with you all. Guys, it has been a struggle. I had planned to work though May Cause Miracles in 40 days because, you know, it’s a 40-day guide and I’m that girl, the girl who does things on time. But Gabby, isn’t that kind of teacher and in the beginning she laid things out and said that you may need to repeat days. I didn’t plan on it. But I can tell you, I am going to be stuck on this day for a bit.
The first day of body image week (week 3) is all about witnessing your ego’s negative projections onto your body. Gabby teaches that your body isn’t you. You are you, your body is a learning tool for this life. When you compare your body to others, whether you think your body is better or worse, that is a negative act.
I know it may seem a little crazy that finding your body superior to someone else’s could be a bad thing but hear me out. When I first read this I was like “whoa whoa whoa, part of the reason I went on this journey was to learn how to love myself.” But Gabby is super clear on this, loving yourself DOES NOT include putting yourself above others.
And…. if you stop and think about it for a sec, that is pretty much what we’ve been hearing since preschool, it’s just not right to feel better about yourself by putting other people down, even if it’s only in your head and you don’t say it out loud. Gabby has some more metaphysical and spiritual reasoning behind it but I think that it’s actually a pretty core belief in being a nice person, so I’m just going to leave it there.
After 2 days of focusing on just witnessing my behavior and using the affirmation, “My false perceptions of my body are an attack. Today I choose love instead of my ego’s perceptions,” I have learned a LOT about myself.
- My perceptions are so ingrained in my behavior, I didn’t even notice them. I hardly noticed my negative behavior or perceptions the first day.
- The negative behavior? I have a tendency to hardly eat at all during the day and then binge at night.
- I do this, because despite being slim, I still want to be thinner.
Yeah, number three, that was hard to admit to myself and even harder to admit to you. I wasn’t even aware of it really. I keep trying to think of a reason why I would need that, why would 8 lbs really make a difference in my level of happiness? Why should I beat myself up over it all the time? It just kept coming down to that thing that we are all brain washed with: thinner is better, thin makes you special. Ick, it’s that comparing thing.
And so, a la Gabs, I am witnessing the behavior and forgiving myself for it and instead, trying to replace it with love.
So, now that I know being thin, isn’t a worthy goal in and of itself I need to focus on being fit. Because fitness and thinness are so easily convoluted in my brain, I realized I desperately needed to set out new goals.
Dun, dun, dun. Enter the new book I’m reading, The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. Last week I mentioned that I was going to see her speak, all I can say is that she was, totes amaze. Life-changing amaze, the teacher I needed at just the right time…
She talked about how instead of deciding how you want your life to look, you should decide how you want your life to make you feel. You need to come up with a list of core-desired feelings. When you base your choices on how they make you feel instead of meeting your criteria of how life should look, you’ll make better choices. You’ll take the job offer with the more rewarding work over the job with the better office. Catchin’ my drift? Because I’m basically trying to some up an entire book in a paragraph.
First, you have to get honest and CLEAR with yourself. I’m still in the process of figuring out my core desired feelings, the only one I really have nailed down is creative. But I realized I could use this exercise with goal setting for my fitness. Instead of setting goals based on how I want to look, set them based on how I want to feel. And thin, is not a feeling.
I know I want to feel energized. I also want to be pain-free (my right shoulder is effed) and I want to be able to breathe (Hi, I’m at asthmatic living in one of worst cities for pollution.) I would like to come up with positive words for pain-free and able-to-breathe so if you have any thoughts, get at me.
When I look at how I want to feel vs how I want to look, it completely changes my fitness and nutrition goals. I really need to be focusing on my health issues and not at all on my weight.
Now friends, I know you have something to say about this, if you’ve worked through your body image issues, please tell me how. Or if you are working through some, what helps?
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