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Originally published at getfit6015.com on November 21, 2016; republished here with permission. Get your blogs featured!
It’s holiday time and I want to go ahead and address the all-too-common statement: “Avoiding Unwanted Pounds During the Holidays”
Did you know the internet actually has a Burpee Calculator. “How many burpees does it take to burn x number of calories?” The burpee calculator says: “Listen, we’re not saying to not eat candy – it’s devilishly delicious! But the average American will consume 3.4 pounds of candy during the Halloween season. As with everything action in the universe, there must be an equal or opposite reaction. In the case of candy, that reaction is burpees, to which almost all people are opposed!”
The way that reads to me is that average Americans stuffs themselves with candy during the “Halloween season” (Halloween is 1 day) and then because we uncomfortably stuff ourselves with candy, we must punish ourselves by doing a gazillion burpees because you’re guaranteed to hate that.
So in conclusion, because you hate yourself, keep the cycle going and then you’ll keep buying this message and the diet industry will continue to stay alive and well!
This is not ok.
I lead some retreats called Heartfelt with my dear friend Ruby Chandler of Shakti Power Yoga Athens. At one of our weekends away, Ruby Chandler and I noticed a few women take off their shirts during a yoga practice. Ruby and I followed suit and it was a wonderful, unspoken experience!
In private, Ruby and I discussed how beautiful we thought that was that we had created a space where everyone felt comfortable. Then we sat down for discussion. The first woman who had taken her shirt off said that she had been too hot, and then after she took her shirt off, all she could think about was putting it back on. A second woman mentioned that she realized her pants were inside-out and she thought about that the entire practice. A third woman said her belly being exposed was all she could think about after taking her shirt off and she was trying to “suck it in” the whole time.
Ruby and I were heartbroken.
We had recognized this as such a beautiful and comfortable experience., when, in fact, it was the opposite. We realized that the movement of our bodies makes us uncomfortable. Seeing our own fat move when we move is uncomfortable and a source of shame and guilt for so many people.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We go through a series of question note cards at the beginning of our Heartfelt Retreats and one question we ask is “Do you love your body and why?” The woman who pulled this particular card answered through tears and said, “no.” She wasn’t the only one. “Lean in,” Ruby says. “Kate and I decided that the Heartfelt way of being must naturally include getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.”
We both turned to one another as if to say, “Wait. This shit is never comfortable and never will be. Why are we telling people they should get comfortable. No way.” So we shifted our focus: expect the uncomfortable.
Lean in, breathe more. Because you may never feel fully comfortable in half pigeon. And that’s okay.
(or any other sensational posture or confrontation) The practice isn’t getting comfortable. That’s not always realistic. The practice is knowing it’s uncomfortable, showing up anyway, holding space for yourself to BE, and believing what you know to be true: that you are and will be ok.
Love expands us.
My promise to you: In the coming months, you can expect to see me without a shirt on more often. You can expect to see my body in motion. See my skin in motion. See my fat in motion. See my muscles in motion. Because I know that if we all saw each other’s bodies in authentic motion more often, there would be less self-hatred. Less disordered eating. Less disordered exercising. More love.
My promise to myself: I give myself permission to unapologetically love food and eat what makes me feel good during the holidays and beyond.
I give myself permission to rest. I give myself permission to love exercise. I give myself permission to be uncomfortable without my shirt on and do it anyway. I give myself permission to get comfortable. I give myself permission to continue doing things that make me uncomfortable knowing all along that I am and will be ok.
As far as avoiding those “unwanted” pounds over the holidays goes, my response is simple: eat what you want!
Gain a few pounds. Stop spending your life’s precious moments obsessing over your weight and enjoy life instead. Enjoy whatever it is that you do. Watch your body in motion.
Take note of the messages that you see on social media and hear from your friends. Does the messaging align with you loving yourself? Ask questions. Have opinions. Listen.
Would you say that to someone you love? No? Then don’t say that to yourself. Take it back. Say something kind. Think for yourself. Lean into love.
I will leave you with this powerful message from Anne Lamott:
“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Repent just means to change direction — and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.”
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