Sunday, November 12, 2017

My new thing: body positivity!!!

Why all of a sudden this about-change from gym-chic to body-loving chic?

Age.

As I age and get softer, no amount of gym training will change that. I may stay mobile, active and strong, but my flesh will soften and wrinkle and I need to learn to love that. Also, I can't subject myself to such rigorous exercise anymore. I just can't.

Maybe I burnt out. I don't know. Or maybe I'm just tired of placing so much value on the outside, when what really, truly counts is the inside.

Maybe I just want to enjoy my food, and enjoy my exercise. So maybe, I don't want food to be either "good" or "bad" and maybe I don't want exercise to be "a grind" or "work" or a form of "burning calories" and I don't want to do what I have heard women say, and what I thought I might be doing, which is to "run so I can eat". No. I LOVE running, mostly (yes, it gets tough, but it's a way of digging deep inside myself and that is part of the enjoyment) and I don't want to see it as part of an equation. I want to run for enjoyment. I want to eat for both fuel AND pleasure both. And if I don't feel like running for a time, I might stop.

Are you getting my drift? I don't want to suck the joy out of things anymore. I have done that before, and become obsessed.

But wait, didn't I love my gym-training and my competing? Yes, I DID! But I honestly believe that if I were to continue competing, I'd need to take something (you all know what I mean) and I just don't want to. I take my hats off to all athletes who do what they do. I am glad I got to peek into their world. I am so glad I learnt what my body could do, but I don't want my mind to fall back into obsession-mode.

I have realised that I have a son to raise and I need him to see me act NORMALLY around food. I need him to also see his mom with a healthy attitude towards her body. I am afraid he hasn't seen that yet in his young life, and it kind of saddens me. He has seen me weigh myself daily. Sometimes more than once a day. He has seen me with a tape measure, jotting down my measurements. He has seen me demonize some foods. He has also heard me obsess about "being healthy", but even that can become a weird obsession, where I freak out about "unhealthy" foods. I don't want to act so freaky anymore. Clearly, I have a tendency to become obsessive, as you can see.

Probably I'm heading towards some body-positive obsessive behavior, but heck, if it promotes self-love AS WE ARE, then I guess it's going to be ok.

I am, unfortunately, so overly-conditioned to hate what I see in the mirror and to want to always, always look younger and thinner, that my thinking around this has become automatic.

But when I delve deeply into my soul, into my true essence, I know that my body is irrelevant. It's totally irrelevant. And here I have invested HOURS and THOUSANDS of rands on it. And yet I could be in a car crash and lose use of my body. Or I could get cancer and have to cut parts out and off. And then what? If I have focused solely on my body, on my outsides, I will feel really lost.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is NOTHING WRONG with exercise, and nourishing your body, and all those good things. My father was a dedicated Comrades runner and I saw how it gave him joy, hope and purpose and lifted him out of his tendency towards depression. When I exercise I sleep so well, and I feel those post-exercise endorphins, but that should be the focus, not on "fat burning".

For me, it's all about the WAY I have gone about things in my head and THAT is what needs to change. If you have hated your body for as long as you can remember, like I have, then please click on these awesome links. Check out these awesome pictures of naked females for body loving inspiration. And this blog here.

More than anything, I want every woman, myself included, to have the power of loving herself AS SHE IS. She could be an athlete, a couch potato, or someone inbetween. She could be rail thin, or fat, or thick, or short, or missing a limb, but each one of us deserves to feel self-love. I believe that. I really, deeply believe that. And each one of us is beautiful in our own way. I also deeply believe that. Even if we are not traditionally beautiful.

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