Love in Your Body, No Matter the Size

I have undergone some major shifts in my life, especially as of late. I have had energetic shifts, body shifts, thought shifts, job shifts, emotional state shifts and weight shifts. The last one is the one everyone around me notices and points out because it’s obvious.

I had been really overweight. I think the doctors called it “obese” and not far from the “morbidly obese” end of the scale (pun!). I stopped weighing myself when I hit 220. I may have exceeded that, I just did not want to know, because the knowing of 220 was enough for my emotional state. At my recent doctor weigh-in, I weighed 25 pounds less than I did in fourth grade. Yep. When I was nine, I knew what I weighed because I had written it on a bright yellow piece of paper on a bulletin board in the kitchen. Next to the fridge. I had done that because I was tracking my weight since I had been told by my parent that if I lost ‘x’ many pounds, I would receive a gift; a gold panda ring. I would love to still have that ring. Notice I got the ring? I don’t recall losing the weight, I just knew that my body was not okay the way it was and that if I changed it, I would be gifted a thing that expressed acceptance and love from my parent. Love was shown to me through gifts, a conditional thing. I am not righting or wronging here. Just facting. My parents did the best they knew based on how they were parented, and let’s be honest, it was not the most accepting and love filled environments for them. And, without this exact upbringing, I would not be able to appreciate what my body is physically capable of. I do not focus on what it cannot do or what I dislike about it. Rather, I look at it and appreciate all of it. My body has carried me through my life and acknowledging that fact gives me a feeling of solace. I now know the beauty of the scars on it. I appreciate the growth, expansion, learning, and loving capabilities it has. My body has safely housed my soul, my spirit, my energetic self, the love nugget of who and what I am: that we all are.

Now, back to the scale. In my ups and downs in my body, now is the best I have ever felt, and I have no doubt that this will get better and better. When people comment on it (especially those who haven’t seen me in a while), they are curious as to how I have done it. The truth is that I began to love myself, unconditionally. When I truly felt that, I had a lot more compassion for myself for what I have lived in my life and the experiences I’ve had. I had not given myself any compassion during the first 37ish years of life. When I felt love and compassion for myself, I accepted who I was and the choices I had made for they have created a unique ride for sure. Everyone has their own journey on this beautiful Earth, and they should be as unique to them as they are to ourselves. Once I truly accepted my choices along the way for the growth I received, the people I’ve met, and the places I’ve seen, could I realize that everyone else on this Earth is on their unique journey. They, too, are doing the best they can with the way they have experienced their life up until now. And because we are all on our own journey, we all are doing everything at different rates. Some of us move faster or slower on our journey than someone else, and that is not good or bad, or better or worse than. The timing and pace of everyone’s journey is just as unique as their journey itself. This perception allows for feeling true acceptance of Self and others, and having this knowledge and applying it when looking at the world around you creates a life that is filled with happiness, balance, and ease.

I used to look back on my life with blame (toward myself or others) for my being overweight. I also used to look at myself in the mirror and loath what I saw reflected back at me. I looked back at the decisions I made as either mistakes, or wrong, or stupid, or even the reason I deserved to feel badly. Now I look back and see all the lessons I gleaned from every situation and not because everything was rainbows and kittens, but rather the contrast. The extent of a contrasting situation has a direct correlation with the amount of potential appreciation. If one’s life is always homogenous, complacent, easy, there would not be much of a growing, learning, and joyful life journey to have. So I see these past events in my life as something that has served me in some fashion or another and are unique to me, just as everyone else’s is. In my acceptance and knowing of this, I cannot help but to accept everyone around me. This does not mean that I have to like or prefer what they choose, it just means that I accept them and where they are in their life. They are not messing up their life, and neither am I. My life, I cannot mess it up. Your life. You cannot mess it up. Others may think you are and they may be quick to tell you about it. They are just not able to look at their lives and accept who they are in their role in their own life journey. We cannot mess up our own life.

However, we can make choices that are not from our heart. We may even make decisions from the space of fear, of judgement, lack of acceptance, of failure, of looking stupid, or just fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown is a lack of confidence in Self. The unknown is just information yet to be learned or acquired. The fear is from the thought that we may not be able to handle the new information. Sometimes new information creates cognitive dissonance due to our ability to take said info and contrast it with our life experience without judgment. The dissonance occurs when we judge what, where, who, or how we are in relation to this new information. Fear of the unknown is us judging ourselves for our perceived inability to handle it. Yet, when we look back at our lives, we can see that we in fact handled it. We have always gotten ourselves through the unknown anything, and we learn and grow from it. I got mySelf through many situations and opportunities for growth, just as you have. Our individual Self has been the common denominator that has always been there. Just as I have grown through my journey, as have you. Just as I have gotten myself, my Self, through life experiences, so have you. To have those around you concerned that you may mess things up does not feel good as the recipient of this doubt. To look at others with fear they may mess things up does not feel good either. It is natural to care for others and our own well Being. However, it is only our conditioning that leads us to fear the failure or shortcomings of others and ourselves.

As I have redefined the focus of my thoughts and behaviors, again, my body has changed. When people see me who have not in a while, my body size is commented on. This brings me joy for it is the outward expression of all the internal changes that have taken place. When asked how I am doing it, the truth sounds uncomfortable maybe to some. The reason for my weight loss is that I no longer have the same reliance on food as I once did. As I shed limiting beliefs of my worthiness and deservedness, I replaced them with a feeling of self love. I no longer feel the desire to fill my belly to cover the emotions that were not serving my Being well. In fact, as time goes on, I only eat when I am really hungry. Then I eat foods that will nourish my body at that moment. Sometimes it is a large and comforting meal. Usually it is fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans for those things make me feel good. When I eat the old food that caused pain to my body and yet soothed my emotional state of not truly accepting who I am, I physically feel bad. I do not deserve to feel bad. Once this belief took hold, there began a lesser reliance on food. Sometimes I feel emotionally not so good, and I choose to eat a sweet and comforting food. I do not feel badly about this. I am aware of it, and I will enjoy it. My body may not enjoy it as much, which is a great deterrent for not indulging beyond my body’s capacity to process it.

My reflection is my daily reminder that I am well, I am capable of change, I am accepting and loving of myself and others. I have gotten myself through my life thus far and I trust that I will continue to do so. I trust that as I move along in my journey, I will be more apt to make loving decisions for I have more knowledge every day due to the previous days’ experiences. I no longer judge what I see in the mirror, I accept it for all the scars and lines and resilience and smiles and compassion and the capacity of love that I know I embody. I see that in others now. I cannot not see that. It is what I reflect back to others as I adore them in the same manner. I see their differences and their similarities to me as the beauty they embody. The unknown space of self compassion and acceptance is nothing to fear. It’s just a matter of releasing old thoughts we had been conditioned to believe. We are all a lot more well and capable than we have been repetitively been told. When beliefs of our own lacking are replaced with excitement to embrace our own journey, our bodies follow along. So, when I am asked how I have lost so much weight, the simple truth is that the more I love life, love me, accept and appreciate the body I have, the more weight comes off. My well Being is thriving because of the intentional shift in my focus and perception of all that is around me.

So, look in the mirror. You are resilient, you are learning, you are doing the best you can right now. You are a human being and you’re supposed to look and be unique. Embrace this. Be the beautifully unique Being you are. Release judgement toward yourself. You are not getting anything wrong. It is your life. Allow your body to relax and be the home to the Spirit, the love nugget, of You. If your body changes, because it will, allow it. It is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Reflect love and acceptance. You’ll find you’ve never looked better than right now; for you see your body as the unique vessel your brain and heart get to reside in for the navigation of your journey.

My bro and me. I was big and he was little. He’s five years older than me.