As I take each step on this self-love journey, I wander out into the unknown with the purpose of more fully loving and accepting myself just as I am — and, in particular, my body. There is certainly the light and the dark of the soul that we can each explore and unfold, but it is in the body that these aspects are rooted. Often times we even project these aspects of our soul onto our bodies. A fear of inadequacy in the soul can manifest in all manner of outcomes in the physiology of the body as well as in the relationship with the body.
I have been so disconnected from my physical body for most of my life, that I had no idea where to begin when I made the choice to deeply and lovingly accept my physical presence. And, still further, I do not have any concrete answers or cookie cutter plans to recommend. Rather, I would ask you to reflect on the quality of the questions you’re asking to lead you further on your own path, and to examine your conscious intention with your questions and actions.
And so, it was with this foundation and core inspiration that I gained a growing awareness of the word ‘skinny.’ It is ubiquitous in our Western culture, and I imagine now globally. We see it on food packaging and products, in ad campaigns, on Pinterest boards devoted to so-monikered recipes, splashed across all manner of media outlets, and even as an infamous fit of jeans. It’s a simple word that seems to package this desire to be thin — to be free of all fat.
I believe words and language to be of utmost importance, so I started exploring this word a little deeper. Do any of the applications of this word actually get us where we desire to go? I can order my skinny latte while my skinny crock pot meal cooks at home and even treat myself to a skinny cocktail as a reward for the day’s progress. But, where does that get me? What am I really going for by making these choices? What do I gain by striving to become skinny?
So, I took a step back to examine my motivations and goals. Ultimately, I desire to achieve a state of thriving in vibrant health. Looking holistically, that meant happiness, prosperity, and ease in all the major areas of my life–health, wealth, relationships, career/creative expression, and spirituality. It became immediately apparent that this saturated drive toward ‘skinny’ not only did not bring me closer to experiencing that reality, but it actually brought me further away from it. I desire to experience life more fully, not just take up less space.
If we truly dig in to what that label means in our marketplaces, it paints a much different picture. The label applied across the food and beverage spectrum generally means the product has been altered — most often implying a reduction in overall calories or fat content or both. We are so utterly afraid of fat on our bodies that we eschew it outright in what we put into our bodies. And even if we begin to embrace fats from whole food sources, it is often under the directive of ‘only in moderation.’ We compartmentalize our nutrition as we compartmentalize our bodies. The fat on our bodies may not give us the silhouette we would prefer according to the socially-conditioned ideals of modern-day beauty; however it has actually done a brilliant job of protecting us. It is evidence of insulation from trauma and toxicity in the body and soul. It may not be our hoped-for outcome, but the body is absolutely brilliant.
I’ve come to a growing awareness that the body has an innate and powerful intelligence. I absolutely believe that it knows exactly how to heal and do what is best for each of us. Any challenges we have with it are not a result of failure of the body — it is always working to protect us and keep us alive in the best state it can given the whole perspective of our beings. Symptoms are merely an indication of imbalance in the body. In fact, they are an invitation to go inward and explore how to help restore perfect balance. And that opportunity is what feels right for me. It asks, ‘how can I be more?’ instead of ‘how can I minimize myself?’
And so, I decided I no longer wanted to be ‘skinny.’ And while my journey still very much involves releasing weight, it will be in the service of wholeness. I will continue to literally and figuratively feel my way through this journey toward embodiment and rooting in love. I will unabashedly consume whole food sources of fat as long as that makes my body feel good; I trust its genius. I invite you to join me at the table, just as you are. And, together, we can share our wisdom and our stories.