I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing bodies, mine included. Because I’ve worked in the fitness industry for many years, I’ve been exposed to many people’s views of their bodies. Some people with the most beautifully toned bodies that loathe themselves and others that look like they are heading for a coronary, with no connection to their body, who are only exercising because their doctors have sent them to me.
When I was in high school I had a scrapbook (for those of you who don’t know what a scrapbook is – it’s those things that Pinterest is modeled on, only you had to actually use scissors and glue). My scrapbook (a.k.a. Prehistoric Pinterest Board) was filled with pictures of bodies that I wanted. And guess what? None of these resembled my body type. No amount of dieting and exercise was going to make my body look like that either. This deprived me of my happiness. I was only going to be happy when I had legs like Naomi Cambell, a bum like Elle Macphereson and arms like Madonna. Unless I committed myself to hourly sessions on a torture rack to stretch my legs and adhered to a strict macrobiotic diet, genetics, dieting and exercise alone weren’t going to allow my body to become this.
These things don’t matter to me anymore. I still have many moments of insecurity around my body – mostly when I see a photo of a tight bum and big boobs. It doesn’t consume me anymore though. It’s more like: “Oh, that’s quite a hot body. I wish… Hey, Kayla! Don’t put that in your mouth!” That’s because there are more important things in my life now. I’ve gained perspective.
What’s important is to have a healthy body. What is a healthy body, I hear you ask? One that’s strong and flexible enough to allow you to carry out your daily tasks without getting injured; One that doesn’t get sick each time the weather changes; One that allows you to do all the things to help you attain your purpose.
And what is your purpose? Your purpose is to know who you are at your source, to nurture that and to do only those things that keep you aligned with your source -that make you real.
As simple as this sounds, it’s not always that easy. Like Pinocchio who desired so strongly to become a “real boy”, it sometimes only happens after we’ve gone through many trials. This may even mean spending some time as an ass.
Time doesn’t matter. What matters is that it happens – that you start to filter out superficiality and what’s not important (like having the “perfect” body). Take your focus away from all those things that are pulling you away from becoming real.
“It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or have sharp edges or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ~ The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Photograph by: Deryck van Steenderen