Archives for posts with tag: no more diets

#ReleaseRevolution(10)

 

Want to deal with the remnants of body image issues left behind as a result of decades of dieting really fast?

Decide to become a yoga teacher.

In the summer.

I am so aware of all the messages we are inundated with this time of year.  Magazine covers with headlines like “Get A Bikini Body for Summer” or pictures of dimply bums that say “Worst Celebrity Bodies” or just threads on Social Media that shame the crap out of someone because they have body fat.  Bodies with fat in real life are not the exception to the rule. We actually NEED fat on our bodies to survive.  However, everyday we see bodies with fat  endure ridicule and shame.  What’s the solution?  Stop feeling bad about your body and go out and enjoy your freaking life!

So, back to yoga teacher training.  I am hyper-aware of the last of my insecurities as I approach the 2 weeks until teacher training starts.  I realize that I am going to want to ask questions about how to deal with breasts and tummies in certain poses to help my clients adjust accordingly – without shame or judgment.  I am afraid that I will be the only curvy person in my training.  I tell people that I’m worried about the schedule and all I have to learn – only because I want to release some of the fear and vulnerability I am feeling – but the truth of the matter is; all I am REALLY worried about is my body and my perceptions of it’s flaws and limitations.

I rolled my ankle badly a few years ago and in preparing for my training it has flared up – I genuinely worry that backing off from being gentle with this injury will somehow be about the fat on my body… like someone might think “it’s that fat spilling over her yoga pants that’s making that ankle hurt”… I know… ridiculous.

I had a quite a tremendous “aha” moment a couple of weeks ago when I finished a class.  The yoga teacher complimented my king pigeon pose (ahhh, my dream pose) and while I said “thank you” – I went on to complain that I had to use a strap.  She exclaimed “me too!” and we both commiserated that we are coming to terms with the fact that we will never reach our foot in this pose – that our physiology will not allow for it.  Huh, somehow I had made my short limbs about my body fat.  This teeny little gal that was sharing this “me too” moment with me might have had short limbs too – but I assure you – no excess body fat.

This is what I LOVE about yoga!  It’s about your body – but it’s not.  It’s about embracing your body and what it is capable of right in that very moment.  You can’t think about how a pose was easier yesterday – that just makes it harder.  You have to accept.  Yoga is breathing acceptance into every corner of your body. You will never receive the true benefits of yoga until you learn to bring your body to the mat and celebrate the shit out of that!  Yoga is not about having or achieving a “yoga body” if you do Yoga – you have a yoga body.

How you feel about your body is YOUR CHOICE. I have chosen decades of insecurity and shame.  I can assure you that neither of these approaches resulted in no body fat.  So today I CHOOSE love and compassion for my body and ALL of the bodies around me.  It’s not about your body lovies – all of those things that you like to blame on your body…  that’s just a fail safe to stop you from owning your shit.  CHOOSE to love your body – without apology – so that you can make room to find your passion and purpose.  I see so clearly now that without this body my soul resides in – I would not be about to embark on the soul-shifting journey that IS yoga teacher training.  Gawd, did I mention how scared I am????

 

There is this book called “The Four Agreements”.  I read it years ago and whenever I kind of lose my center I always re-visit these guidelines.

I have been thinking a lot about one of the Agreements, which is, “Always Do Your Best”…. I suck at this.  I don’t suck when my best is my best… I suck when I feel like my best isn’t good enough.  To be frank, I still grapple with the idea that I can’t be the best version of myself until I think my body is “doing it’s best” and by “doing it’s best”, I mean looking the way I think it needs to look.

 

always do your best

When it came to 2014 I struggled to do my best in every arena of my life.  And, by my standards, constantly came up short.  It was, to say the least, a year of tests… hard ones.  As far as body image goes I feel like I literally spent 365 days worried about my weight, my appearance, my body and if I wasn’t worried about it I was worried about not worrying about it!  There were days when I was literally consumed by food/exercise and how it all affected my body.

July brought me to me knees – I felt out of control so I went back to the safety of protocol.  Just a little FYI – our protocol doesn’t work when it’s about CONTROL and RESULTS and thus is was a half-hearted attempt.  But it wasn’t a waste.  Finally in a strangely exquisite way.

THIS.

WAS.

ROCK.

BOTTOM.

I came into August with a level of Apathy that actually left me concerned.  I have suffered situational depression in my life.. .but this was different… this was not sadness – I just didn’t care. About anything.  Everyday was a struggle to muster up the energy to do anything.  It was the strangest feeling – this not caring.

I see now that I needed to get there to learn that not caring anymore was not going to kill me. That spending precious energy on making my body perfect was not going to absolve me from feeling imperfect.

I’m learning to love all of the lessons that 30 years of dieting has taught me…. in my heart it feels so liberating!  However, my brain is taking awhile to catch up… all this hard wiring of immersing myself in that culture is difficult to un-do.  Every day it’s gets a little closer to my heart and my soul. And my heart and my soul is where the real work needs to be done.

I am currently doing our Protocol. Along with several of our clients.  I feel very zen about it and whenever I am having a rough day I am finding ways to PERMANENTLY overcome all of these issues.

2014 was not the best example of myself and who I want to be and who I am capable of being… but I was “doing my best”. And that is enough.  ❤

When it comes to the volunteer work that I do – as well as the GBMM  work – it leaves me open to a great deal of criticism.  Some of it is real – some of it is imagined.   Criticism is a vulnerability soft spot for me – I wonder if it’s because I worry that once one of my shortcomings are identified by someone that the floodgates will open and all the shitty things I think about myself suddenly will be nothing but the truth??  Gawd, as I type this I know how silly it seems to think this.

I’m involved with a book study of “The Gifts Of Imperfection” by Brene Brown and today this quote just rocked my world:

“Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection…”

The last 2 and half years of my life have been an experiment of living authentically and vulnerably and I have had the very highest of highs and the lowest of lows but today that quote made me realize I will always stay low if I get too scared to stay vulnerable. The end of 2013 was very difficult and the first half of 2014 hasn’t been much easier and I see so clearly now that my survival mode was to stop being vulnerable and I really shut-down quite a bit.

It got me thinking about the criticism that I’m so afraid of …. it’s never the constructive stuff.  The people that offer constructive criticism have just as much skin in the game as I do… they are living a life as authentically as they can and they reach out to me and offer me guidance when it’s needed.

But that destructive criticism?  That’s the shit that gets me.  That’s the stuff that gets me in my tender little heart.  How do these trolls know where to get you?

The quote “It’s not the critics who count….” is my mantra.

That’s my new barometer for taking outside criticism and considering if it’s constructive or destructive…. if it’s coming from a person who has been in the arena…   I hear it … if it’s coming from an asshole who has nothing better to do than attack a person from behind the comfort of a computer screen I am getting so much better at dismissing it!

Also… putting myself in this role did magnify my shortcomings…. how can it not? None of us are perfect! I’m pretty proud of the courage it took to plow ahead anyway and proud of the courage it takes right now to not give you a laundry list of all the reasons why the work I do is hindered by my inadequacies. 

Today, when I read the words about staying vulnerable I realized that I had “vulnerability burnout”…  I forgot to nurture my vulnerable parts and had to withdraw… guess what? That didn’t work and I have simply felt stuck for the last 4 months.

This is so clear to me now…. if you make a promise to yourself to be your most authentic you… you MUST make a commitment of EXTREME self-care and compassion.  This is the only way to protect your vulnerable heart if you want to wear it on your sleeve ❤not the critic

There is a strange contradiction to what I do and how I help people… sometimes I hate that I have to market our products as weight loss products… I cant’ stand the before and after pictures, the announcing of how much weight people have “lost”, I hate feeding the beast of FAT FEAR.

However, you do in fact lose weight when you use our products… a lot… quite quickly… so we work very, very hard to prepare you mentally to un-do all of the reasons that you have lost this weight before and gain it back.  The first thing we identify with people is that if they have yo-yo’d all of their lives then nothing about their “weight problem” has anything to do with weight.  Typically, the real problem are the ones created by the diet and exercise industry; the obsessive tracking, the “no pain, no gain” and the very worst of all… fat shaming and fear of fat.

For us to imply that we don’t know that people have found ways to abuse our products to continue this cycle of self-loathing, and body-shame would be both ignorant and irresponsible of us. We know that people are continuing the binge purge cycle.   However, we try, clients refuse this help.  It hurts me to know that people are still hurting even after an “almost encounter” with what we have to offer.  However, we must move on. We must move on and celebrate the changes we are seeing in ourselves and people that we have come to love and care about very much.

There are always going to be companies and clients that make our products look bad… but it’s another funny juxtaposition… if a person using our products – loses weight – gains it back – it’s the products that don’t work.  If a person loses weight by exercising aggressively and tracking their food and gain it back – it’s THEIR FAULT.  The real culprit here is people not identifying what the real problem is…. WE CAN DO THAT.  We can FINALLY set you FREE.  We can TEACH you ways to take control of YOUR body.

We must focus on the people that we do help and the lives that we are changing…. somedays.. .when I’m having a really bad day I just have to think about how far I have come.  It has been just over a year since I kept a “food diary” – something that I did almost daily for about 13 years.  I also kept an “exercise diary” complimented with a “reasons I suck diary”.  Do you see that if these tools really worked for me I would not have needed to lose weight (or thought I needed to lose – let’s not forget the “imaginary fat” decade!).  For some, I think these tools work, if losing weight or not gaining weight are the only measures of success.  However, I can tell you from personal experience that feeling guilt and shame about food and/or missing a workout and keeping journals about all of the depressing reasons why you just can’t seem to lose weight… does not a happy life make.

Throw away your scale.  Eat when you are hungry.  Stop when you are satisfied.  Move your body joyfully, deliberately, kindly.  Keep a journal about all of the reasons that you and your life are awesome.  This is what our “weight loss program” teaches you… you will find by and large most of what we promote has little to do with weight.   Our products act as a “hormonal re-set” and give you the opportunity to learn EXACTLY what your body needs.   The weight you lose is like a “motivational bonus”!

The thinking and belief system that I subscribed to for decades is deeply bedded in my psyche… some days I still consider food tracking, some days I still consider pushing my body beyond its’ limits, some days I still look in the mirror and hate what I see – it’s not all going to happen over night.  I imagine I kind of feel like the first people who began to realize that the earth was round…  I now KNOW the earth is round… like I KNOW none of the last 30 years of diet torture  served me… but goddammit… somedays I wake up positive the earth is still flat.   Those are the days I feed my soul – not starve my body.

What I know for sure is that I have experienced a shift that is creating a mind/body balance that I have never experienced – what I know for sure is that I have been RELEASED from the cruel, cruel world of diets and fat fear.  What I know for sure is that I have watched people shed and RELEASE far more than weight.  I have watched people blossom into the people they were MEANT to be and that INSPIRES me to keep the faith!

release