Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for work I caught a glimpse of myself in my full length mirror post-shower.
Whoa there Buddha belly, I thought, I know you've happily been eating well lately (as in well, this looks good...let's eat it!) but can your pants even button these days?
It went downhill from there.
I hate my thighs. I'm not sure my ass could be any bigger if it tried. If someone could just cut out from my belly to my thighs and replace it with something better I'd be a much happier camper. How can I weigh so little but look so...gross. So fat. So ugly. So disproportionate. Nothing I pick out of my closet will make this look good. I want to crawl back in bed. I want to hide every fashion magazine sitting on my nightstand with all of the pretty and skinny and cellulite free girls...actually I want to burn them...actually I want to hire their personal trainers...actually I want to meet their plastic surgeons...
And that's where the brakes came on (insert sound of screeching brakes) and I was once again reminded of a piece from Women Food and God (can you tell how much I love this book yet?);
"No matter how much you loathe yourself or believe life would be better if your thighs were thinner or your hips were narrower or your eyes wider apart, your essence-that which makes you you-needs the body to articulate its vision, its needs, its love. Inhaling your child's baby-powder-neck perfume requires flesh, nose, senses. Presence, enlightenment, insight are only possible because there is a body in which they unfold....
...Your body is the piece of the universe you've been given; as long as you have a pulse, it presents you with an ongoing shower of immediate sensate experiences. Red, salt, loneliness, heat. When a friend says something painful to you, your chest aches. When you fall in love, that same chest feels like fireworks and waterfalls and explosions of ecstasy. When you are lonely, your body feels empty. When you are sad, it feels as if there is a Mack truck sitting on your lungs. Grief feels like tidal waves knocking you down, joy like champagne bubbles welling up in your arms, your legs, your belly. Our minds are like politicians; they make stuff up, they twist the truth. Our minds are the masters at blame, but our bodies...our bodies don't lie. Which is, of course, why so many of us learned to zip out of them at the first sign of trouble."
Um, I'm sorry, but when did it become OK to so cruelly berate yourself at any hour, let alone at 7:45am when you should be kick starting the day on a positive note? Would you ever let one of your friends stand in front of her/his reflection saying these kinds of things about themselves? Of course not! Of course you would step in and shower them with kind, true, loving words. Of course you would remind them of how beautiful they are. Of course your heart would ache over the fact they held such little respect for their bodies.
So why is it so impossible for us to reserve some of those kind words for ourselves? Why can we see beauty in various shapes, sizes, colors in our friends and loved ones, but when it comes to ourselves we are critics of the worst kind? Critics who pick apart, belittle and lie. Our Inner Voice can sometimes be, frankly, a real bitch.
When I got home from work I decided to apologize to my body by giving it a wonderfully soothing and healing detox bubble bath;
2 cups Epsom Salts
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
All natural Lavender bubble bath (the more bubbles, the better, in my opinion)
After soaking for 30 minutes I felt relaxed, rejuvenated and peaceful....enough to to speak slightly more kindly to my 5'4" figure;
Dear Curves, I'm so sorry. Dear thighs, I don't hate you. You are strong and you carry me through life without asking for anything in return. Dear ass, you're not too big. You actually look pretty fabulous on a dance floor. Dear belly, you really don't Buddha out much and if you do, it's because I'm not choosing to nourish you the way you deserve. Dear body, you are my piece of the Universe and I cherish you deeply.
"In each moment of kindness you lavish upon your breaking heart or the size of your thighs, with each breath you take--God has been there. She is you." -Geneen Roth