Monday, January 7, 2013
My weight manifesto-Fat Acceptance-Part 1
My Personal Weight Manifesto :)
fat acceptance: Part One
For me, this used to be a four letter word. My eyes would widen when I'd hear it, and I'd internally
*gasp* if someone who was actually fat, talked about just accepting it. My brain wasn't ready to hear it and I did quite a bit to not process what that statement personally meant for me. This all started, ironically enough when I was teaching an ongoing weekly yoga series about body acceptance. For me, body acceptance meant accepting where you are, but with the thought always towards ultimately changing. I, of course wouldn't relay the last part of the message about change, but it was always there tweeting away in the back of my brain. I'd use the word acceptance, but it never felt like a good word to me, it always felt like defeat.
My intentions with the word acceptance, however, have always been pure. It started back in 2005 when I was going through my 500hr, year long, yoga training. What a transformative year that was for me. I remember hearing a story about living in a Zen Buddhist Monastery and how every day, all the people would sit on their meditation cushions and meditate...for hours and hours each day. The specifics of the story have faded over time, but the gist was. You'd sit in meditation with the intention of being there (all day, possibly) but you were free to go when ever you saw fit. Before you left, you'd approach the teacher and he would ask you if you were settled. If you were, and only you could determine that, then you were free to leave. But what did "settled" mean? In this instance it meant essentially, are you leaving to escape your reality? Are you leaving because your knees hurt from sitting cross legged? Are you leaving, because your mind won't stop chattering? Are you leaving, for any number of reasons that have to do with being uncomfortable, in either mind or body? If the answer is yes, that it's likely you're aren't settled and that maybe you're leaving to escape a situation. This has no inherent problem attached to it, but when you see how this idea can translate into your life, you see that this pattern of being, can lead to constantly escaping for greener pastures, all the while not being able to see the beauty of what's going on in the moment.
For me, this used to translate something like this. Am I trying to lose weight because I feel like my life will be better, prettier, worthier, more successful etc.? In the times where I'd have a serious come to Jesus meeting with myself, the answer was usually yes. I was trying to escape my body and trade her in for a shinier, newer, more put together model. All this, while operating under the guise of "I'm totally settled and accepting of how I am". I had convinced myself, even though I knew better, that my life would be better if only I was thinner.
There was this beautiful girl in my Body Acceptance yoga classes, let's call her Mandy. She'd come to class, and laugh and sweat and move and I liked her. One day during class I walked over to adjust a posse, and I caught a glance of one of her tattoos. It simply said fat, in a cool, bold, typewriter-ish font. In that little nugget of a moment, she was my new hero, and that was just the beginning of the unraveling of "Fat Acceptance"
Stay tuned for so, so much more...
Posted by Katy