For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled to embrace my body.
In High School, I wasn’t one of the ‘skinny ones’. The same applied in college, especially after the introduction of ‘4th Meal’ — which I pegged as pure genius at the time…right up there with ‘Kegs & Eggs.’
When I moved to New York at 22, I had a whole new host of caloric temptations provoking the impressionable senses.
And I also had New York Sports Clubs (NYSC), the pre-boutique fitness era of gym frenzy to devote an hour a day to. I would claim an elliptical and become entranced for the next 45-60 minutes.
And I wouldn’t lose weight.
I’d try again the next week. And the next. And next.
For years I couldn’t seem to crack the code. I started to believe I was the size I was, and so be it. After all, being overweight was totally ‘in my genetics.’
But what I really was?
Asleep. Disillusioned. Out of touch.
As I type this today, I feel warmth as a hindsight teacher. A sense of gratitude toward this younger self. A young girl who was doing her best and didn’t know what she didn’t know.
BUT WHAT IF SHE HAD KNOWN BETTER?
If I could talk to her now, this is what I would say:
You’re strong and loving and beautiful. The answers you need are already within. Not on a treadmill. Honor your beautiful body as it’s the only one you’ll ever have. Nourish it with real food, and know that food is medicine. Tend to your mind and soul as you are your body. Cherish the power of your intuition and listen to it’s every beckoning call. It will be your true compass in life. Pay attention to your thoughts and always choose good ones. What you give you will get back. You are the co-creator of your life. Greatness was planted inside of you and it’s your job to awaken and access it. There is nothing you can’t achieve or accomplish. You will find your true purpose one day and this will all make perfect sense.
What I didn’t have clear access to back then was my SOUL. My inner knowing. HEART.
I was playing a full-out HEAD game, with my young mind running the show.
One day, a friend dragged me to yoga. Expectedly, wild thoughts of judgment and assumption let loose and I almost bailed. I didn’t ‘see myself’ as ‘one of the yoga people.’
Lesson #1: Assumption highjacks the possibility of growth and expansion.
What are we without these two things?
What happened that day would set the course for the next 10 years of my life and beyond.
Lesson #2: The very thing you resist could be the exact thing you need.
Magical and transformative; tiny seeds were planted on the yoga mat that day.
In the following days, months and years, I would experience greater peace in my chaotic city life. I would have more access to joy. My thoughts became happy, positive and inclusive. My soul and heart informed my actions over logical thought much of the time (i.e.; ‘you’ve GOT to leave the job!’…’there’s something way OFF about him!’). I healed both internal and external pain. I invested in things and experiences that filled me up on the INSIDE and less on the outside (i.e.; material stuff: with Lululemon being the exception - because, of course, we’re into yoga now and all).
Last but not least?
The weight that I had been holding on to started to melt away.
Ultimately, my spiritual ‘fitness’ paved the way for my physical fitness.
I got spiritually FIT. Yes, it’s a THING!
Here’s how it works.
Being spiritually fit allows you to become more aligned with your mission, because you’re tapped into intuition, so you feel a greater sense of support. Being spiritually fit influences your body in important ways. Which means you actually end up being physically fit.
There’s something totally ironic and beautiful about this concept.
While it all makes sense now, the younger me took the necessary road less traveled to get there.
And my hope is, in 10 or 20 years from today, when I look back at the younger me, she will be just as proud (and who knows, maybe even able to hold a headstand).