I look in the mirror and feel a little horrified by the foreign shape looking back. I used to be fit, toned, highly active; obsessed with the number of runs I had achieved, the number of hours I had worked out, the value on the scales. Many years, and two kids later, I stand in front of my reflection and pause for an honest moment for the first time in a very long time... I wince just a little. What once was compact and defined had become mushy. Cellulite covers my thighs and butt. No where to hide. No way to cover that up. Vulnerable.
15 years ago, I would have loathed my run-down body. Reprimanded myself for becoming 'such a monster; a disgusting creature of flab'. 5 years ago I would have still struggled to come to terms with my reflection in this moment. But today, at almost 31 years of age, I look at my tired self, and I feel endearment. I tell her "yeah you could fix a few things but look at what you have achieved. Look at what you have. Look at the strength of character you have cultivated." I say that in the face of a few ugly thoughts sure... But I choose to be endearing; I choose to lean into vulnerability.
Vulnerability is facing something that brings pain, or fear, and simply breathing deep and taking one more step towards something greater than you, that will see you rise above the wound you so deeply feel.
It was in this moment that I realised, I would much rather be vulnerable, than in denial, or worse, self condemned and judged. Because in that vulnerability there is an opportunity for something truly beautiful. And that is choosing to do something positive about the pain you might feel. Healing can only come in that place where you lean into the pain.
So there I was exploring my reflection and starring at my imperfections. The very flaws I so tirelessly worked on keeping out of my life in years gone by. How vein I used to be.
And while I explored my feelings and thoughts, I came to a very interesting conclusion. I have been hiding behind the excuse that 'I am care-free' or perhaps more honestly put, 'I don't care', all in an effort to avoid my past mistakes and champion the body positive movement. But because of that 'care-free' approach I now experience poor health. I let apathy set in for the wrong reasons. I was afraid to face myself in this area for fear of being accused of what I once suffered -the loudest accuser being me!
But nothing could be further from the truth. Truth is the best body positive action is to care about the health of your temple. To care for the right reasons. Not to fill a need to look a certain way, but to fill the need to be HIGH ON LIFE, in love with LIVING, and experiencing energy, relationships, beautifully wholesome food, and a deeper sense of awareness!
I suddenly heard myself saying, I want to be high on life; high on love, my family, my work. I want to be bouncing out of bed in the morning feeling alive, and ready to be all that I can be. For me, that meant finally facing my giant elephant in the room... why don't I care anymore?
Right now I am learning how to answer that question and to help that process I have decided to undergo a year of healing my body from the inside out with the deepest and most sincere care. I want to strengthen my tired, run-down frame so that it will reflect the lioness within. After just 3 weeks of starting this journey, I already feel empowered; I am incredibly excited about the things to come in this area.
2016 is going to be my year for discovering a wholeness I have never quite nailed down. I am giving myself '1 year for life!' What does that mean? 1 year to change some stubborn habits and heal my body through wholesome foods, exercise, authentic though-life that seeks truth and genuine care, to sustain me for (and prolong my) life.
I will be sharing my journey right here, in all its glorious vulnerability. Please feel free to share your own thoughts on this and where you too struggle. You can also sign up to my Freedom Chaser eNewlsetter to get updates straight to your inbox.
Love Heids Xx