Being, Breathe and Body
Breathe: A regular yoga practice reminds me to breathe deeply to relax my body and quiet my mind
Body: When I engaged fully in the mind-body exercise of yoga, I learned to love and accept my body as a vessel for my spirit. Before yoga, I suffered from body shame – I battled with looking “beautiful, cool, sexy, stylish, young and thin enough.” I didn’t like my belly, my “fat” upper arms and thighs. So I tried to hide my body and dreaded being in tight-fitting clothes or swimsuits. Yoga intimated me because almost everyone in yoga was fit and thin and I wasn’t.
My body shame started when I was in 4th grade: I was 140 lbs and overweight. My family nicknamed me “Fatso” and others followed. My mom told me I needed to lose weight but I resisted until I was in high-school. Though I hated being in a swim suit, I had to wear one often because I was in my high school swimming team. One might ask why? My answer was that was what my parents wanted. I was a doormat and a people-pleaser, so I let them control my life. I went on a diet as a teen to take back some control, but I became anorexic at age 17. So, my mom dragged me to see a doctor who gave me a choice. “Start eating or you may lose your teeth or have early osteoporosis.” I didn’t want that, so I began to eat more, but felt resentful of my mom when I should be grateful. Even though I gained back a healthy weight, I couldn’t love and accept my body because the media blasts full-bodied women and most of the shows feature beautiful, thin, young women.
I watched Miss Representation, it became clear to me that we must stop buying into the lies that media tells us. That’s why I went on a T.V diet and haven’t watched TV for more than 3 months. Join me and take the pledge!