In March of this year, I let go of trying to heal myself and control my body in any way. My main challenge in awakening has been my body and my health. I was trying so hard to fix myself for so many years, I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I let go. I stopped my restrictive diet of just fruits and vegetables, I stopped doing energy work on myself, I stopped everything. I decided to let my body heal itself. It certainly wasn’t doing it with me in control.
It was an immense relief to not have to worry about healing myself anymore but when I let go, I really let go. I started eating whatever I wanted, not huge quantities, just lots of “bad” food that I hadn’t eaten for so long. My body also started to heal itself. I could feel the energies shifting now that I wasn’t trying to control it anymore.
And I gained a lot of weight. I swear, I gained about 20 pounds in like 2 weeks. Before that I wasn’t exactly thin either. I gained weight so quickly that I even have stretch marks now. I knew at this point that I couldn’t fight my body anymore, so I had to accept that the weight was what it was. I assumed that it was part of what my body needed to do to balance itself. Also, I was having too much fun eating all this delicious food and not caring about health. I started really enjoying life.
It seems like whenever I choose to accept something about myself, all the parts of myself that are not in acceptance come up to be looked at in the eye and integrated. Growing up, I was always very thin. I benefited from a beauty standard where this was acceptable. Later, as an athlete in high school and college, my body was still thin but very toned and muscular. This was also acceptable and even idealized in our modern beauty standards. I felt lucky that I had these genetics that kept me thin. I still had to exercise to remain that way, but I didn’t have to work too hard or diet extremely.
I used to read women’s magazines but a few years ago, I stopped. I was beginning to realize that they are mostly just advertisements for the products in them with very little content. I never felt good after reading them, on the contrary, I actually felt worse about myself. I dropped those like hot cakes.
Later on I became fascinated with learning how advertising works. I read books like “Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel” by Mary Pipher and Jean Kilbourne. I watched videos like “Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women” also by Jean Kilbourne, about how the advertising industry portrays women. I couldn’t get enough of that information.
I realized that what I viewed as an acceptable body type and appearance was basically arbitrary. It was an ideal decided on by a few people (who mostly want to sell products) and then perpetuated through media as a beauty standard. I could see how it was just like a hypnosis, an overlay that I was subscribing to. I looked back at how quickly beauty standards had changed in just the last 50 years.
I was learning to discern what was really me and what were the messages around me that I was believing as “truth.”
So when I gained weight earlier this year, it was a perfect time to put what I had learned into action. My increasing weight brought up all these aspects of myself that wanted to change me. They said that I needed to start exercising, that I had to go back to my diet, that I had to eat less. They said I was ugly, undesirable and fat.
I heard those voices and started to feel bad about myself. But I was also accepting my body as it was for the first time in my entire life. It’s really strange be in both worlds, the underlying feeling of acceptance, and at the same time, the thoughts of the parts of you that want you to change.
Then my husband started to judge me. He was disgusted by my body, even angry for a few days. He didn’t want to have sex or look at me. I was sad and angry too and I blamed the media for warping his perception of what beauty is, but at that point, I couldn’t hate myself. I was all in on the acceptance. Later I realized that he was just reflecting back to me what I was already feeling inside from the parts of myself that were judgmental about my body.
Then something amazing happened. As I integrated these parts of myself that wanted to change me, just by accepting that they were there, my own perception of my body changed. I began to look in the mirror and see a beautiful body, not just telling myself that I was beautiful but actually seeing it and feeling it.
There were times that I got pulled back into the judgments again and saw myself as fat but they were becoming fewer and fewer. More often than not, I would look at myself naked and see a beautiful, curvy body. I realized that it was very different from my previous experience of having a thin body, but this was equally as good. It was fun to have all these curves. It was a new experience.
Then to my astonishment, my husband’s perception of my body changed. He also began to really like this heavier version of myself, even going so far as saying he loved this new body I had. I couldn’t believe how quickly his perception of my body changed as my own internal perception changed! I realized then that maybe real beauty is a reflection of self-love and how people respond to you is a mirror of how you feel inside.
Ideally, I would like to be a bit thinner and not carry around so much extra weight but I’m ok with where I’m at right now. I literally have no fight left in me to attempt to change it so that helps. I decided to write about this today because I woke up feeling lighter, more slim and really attractive. My immediate thought was, “Oh, maybe I lost a few pounds.” I went over to the scale and laughed out loud. “Ha!” I had actually gained 2 pounds.
I proved to myself again that it really is all perception.