My Journey To Body Love!

Last week I revealed a very dark part of myself and brought it out into the Light.  My best friend was in disbelief.

If you didn’t catch my dirty, dark secret, go read about it here.

What’s most interesting to me about that post is how far from that reality I now am.  I’ve come a long way.

It all started when I left my husband.

At that time I was really taking a hard look at my life.  It had been a long time that even though everything seemed ok, I was actually miserable.  I was exhausted, defeated and waking up to a new decade of my life.

I was turning 30.

I’m just going to say right here and now – being in my 30’s has been so awesome!  I finally stopped worrying about what anyone else thought of me.  I started listening to my heart.  NOW I feel like I am being myself!

My marriage was one that reinforced all the bad habits I had developed in my 20’s.  Being with someone who didn’t actually accept me for who and what I was, meant I never fully learned who or what I was.  I continued making choices based on what I thought he wanted of me.  Of what my bosses expected of me.  I hadn’t given myself permission yet to fully embrace myself.  I simply hid behind my feelings that I wasn’t enough, and I made all of my decisions based on that false belief of myself.

Leaving that marriage, I opened myself up to a new definition of myself.

The world was my oyster!  I bought a condo, I joined Yoga Teacher Training, I started CrossFit and I discovered Paleo.

Now the change in my attitude towards myself still took some time, but once I realized that I wasn’t valued on my dress size, my prow-less at the gym, my marital status or my work stature, things did start falling into place.

I needed all of those things to start failing me, for my eyes to open.

I needed to expose my vulnerability in order to feel strong.

Leaving my husband was hard.  A big part was because I worried about what people would think.  When I finally decided that I had to do it, no matter what it looked like to anyone else, I exposed a very vulnerable side of my life to the light.  My mother didn’t even know things weren’t happy for me at home.  She learned about it when I told her I was leaving him.

I went from living in hiding, to full exposure.

Now people at work knew I was getting divorced.  I took three weeks off and sealed my deal on my condo, packed up, and started a new life.  I asked for help.  I needed a lot of help.  I got financial help from friends.  I had help moving.  I asked for the time off of work.  My Real Estate Agent hooked me up with my divorce lawyer.

Everyone I knew, knew what was going on.  For the first time in my life, a struggle that felt completely insurmountable became manageable.  All because of the people who loved me, cared about me, who helped in any way that they could.  I got help from strangers.

Now I see it.  I AM ENOUGH.

Have you ever had to reinstall your OS on your computer?  You know, back up files, uninstall, reinstall, wait around, click some buttons, reconfigure, restore from the back up, search for your stuff, and rearrange everything the way you like it?  It can take hours.  (well at least when I’ve done it did, maybe now things are simpler.  I’m all old school, thinking of my computer from the 90’s…)

Hours of work, stuff that tries your patience, moments when you need to back pedal and do something over again.

Well seeing that I’m enough has been much of the same big messy sometimes annoying process.

Knowing something, and feeling it and living it are two different things.

I’ve tried counting my calories like I used to.  Eventually, I gave up as I was tired of wasting my time.  I tried exercising a lot – and got stressed with how much of my life was consumed by it.  I pushed myself at CrossFit – and injured myself.  I would weight myself every day.  Then once a week.  Now rarely.  Very rarely.

It’s been a process this learning to love and accept myself the way I am.  Part of it has been a journey of even learning who this person is!

It’s been gradual.  But now, I feel good.

It’s been over 4 years since I let my vulnerability into the light.  And now, at this stage of the game, I do love my body just as it is.

I finally don’t obsess over work outs.  In fact, I’ve been so busy lately that I only workout/do yoga maybe once a week.  And I fully accept that for myself because I know where I’ve been.  THIS is much healthier for ME than making exercise a necessity that transforms into obsession.

I don’t count calories.  First of all, it’s part of my freedom from food.  But also, it simply doesn’t make nutritional sense.  This is one of many lessons I’ve learned with It Starts With Food, and Paleo.  Calories-in-vs-calories-out is so turn of the millennium.  Gotta get with the times!

I don’t worry about my pant size.  I just buy what fits, and I donate that which doesn’t anymore.

Loving my body today, looks like being a weight I once thought made me worthless.  It looks like loving colourful clothes.  It looks like dancing even when I know I don’t have the beat.  Like NOT sucking in my tummy when I’m bloated, and like NOT looking in the mirror all that much anymore.  Because that reflection doesn’t tell me much more than whether or not I have spinach in my teeth.  That image doesn’t get to tell me I’m not enough anymore.

So I love my body!  It is strong, it is curvy, it is MINE and I’m proud of it!

Now I’m still re-configuring some stuff.  I have echos of “I’m not enough” all over my life today.  But one step at a time I’m sweeping that garbage out.

My home yoga studio, HappyTree Yoga, is hosting a really interesting workshop on Yoga, Food & Body Image with Chelsea Roff October 23-25th.  If you’re in the Montreal area I highly recommend you check it out.  Learn more and register here.

Please share with me your stories in the comments below!

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