Be happy IN your body, not BECAUSE of your body
After reading this woman's story shared by a friend on Facebook, I was inspired to share my own story to illustrate the fact that an awesome(r) body does not necessarily equate to happiness. I wanted to share this story not to pass judgement on anyBODY(I am truly inspired and proud of my motivated, inspiring and fit friends!), but to share the message that our happiness should not be dependent on the size nor shape of our bodies.
The shape and size of your body are affected by so many factors. Genetics, diet, activity level, medications, etc. can all affect how we look, so in order to reach that "perfect" body, you would have to stress yourself out and manage all of those things. Although a "nice body" can be a by-product of living out your true joy, it should never be the primary source of your joy. If you have strong lean arms just because you rock climb every chance that you get, then great! If you have lean muscular legs because you love the endorphins you get from running every day, then, awesome!! If you love the feeling of strength from lifting heavy and happen to have guns and buns of steel from doing so, then rock on! But if you are not a fan of strenuous activity and instead find satisfaction in gardening and passionately express yourself through painting and your body is soft or frail, your body is not any less awesome than the others. Don't slave away doing/eating something you abhore just because of the promise of happiness once you achieve that "perfect body", which isn't always guaranteed. All of our bodies are equally miraculous in their capacity, regardless of their size or shape, so we shouldn't pass judgement on ourselves or others. What matters is that we live out our true joys and passions- that we express ourselves and live with gusto in whatever way makes our heart sing.
My body has been an assortment of sizes and shapes over the years, but for the most part, I've mostly been curvy and soft in varying degrees. My weight has topped out at 210lbs right after giving birth to my daughter and got down briefly to my lowest adult weight of 125 lbs. I've always felt cute in the clothes that I wear, even at my heaviest, but I have to admit that it was just more convenient to shop and have a larger variety of clothes to wear when I was a size 6.
About 3 years ago, I had one of the best years of my life. I was flooded with effortless energy, weight loss, creativity and happiness and everyday was a sunFREAKINshiney day. Then one day, I felt like someone had blown out my light. I've spent the last two years searching for that high again. I tried different formulas of mixing work, fitness, family, food, fun, and vices to get it back. At one extreme, I was working out twice a day, documenting and stressing out over every morsel of food that went in my mouth. That's when I got to my buffest, lightest and fittest physique EVER, and yet, I was definitely not at my happiest. Not because I was comparing myself to others, but because I still felt like something more was missing. I tried to tweak other areas of my life, including going to the opposite extreme of indulging myself in food trying to find happiness to see if that did the trick, but it still wasn't the answer.
2 years later, I embarked on a spiritual quest to find answers. Instead of looking for happiness through things outside of myself- food, alcohol, work, fitness, money, and even religion- I looked within. In me, I found a vast treasure trove of knowledge, mystery, beauty, science and love all up in there. Although I still don't have THE definitive answer, the process of exploring myself and the Universe (One and the same) has led me to release judgement of myself. The realization that I am Creator incarnate, perfectly shaped by experiences, existing perfectly the way that I'm meant to be was the first step in truly experiencing freedom that I've never tasted before.
During my recent trip to the Philippines, although I was 40 lbs heavier and 4-6 sizes larger than I was at my fittest/lightest self, I pranced around beaches unabashed in my bathing suit, proudly walked around and did yoga naked in a hot spring full of skinny tight youthful ladies in Japan and not one time felt self conscious. I can now truly say I am at my happiest and sparkliest. I haven't stepped on the scale in months and can only tell how much weight I've gained by the tight fit of my clothes. But that's a minor inconvenience compared to physically, mentally and emotionally feeling myself sparkling with every breath. ✨💖✨