Full disclosure: this might be SUPER TRITE. Let's just acknowledge that and get on to the post.
I just lived through a fairly challenging yoga class. I've gained weight in the past few months which is making multiple things difficult at the moment (such as jeans, forward folds, and looking at pictures of myself). I'm being incredibly hard on myself about it because I said I'd never get back to this weight and here I am. I'm in dresses I had hoped would never fit again. I can't fit into the super cute jeans I got for Christmas. I feel disgusting and unattractive.
I have this little brain scar about my weight. This little brain scar tells me that I'm only desirable at a size 8, between 130-135 pounds. This little brain scar tells me that as I get older it'll naturally be more difficult to lose weight so I can't go running around being frivolous now. I had frivolity: it was called ages 22 to 25. This little brain scar tells me that if I'm not in excellent shape before I have children that I will be hideous after having children and that the person I've had said children with will no longer love me. This little brain scar reminds me that I'm not loveable at 150 lbs.
Today I am 151 lbs.
Let's be real: that brain scar is an asshole. That brain scar lies to me! It's a total dick about fooling me into feeling unworthy - but just me! It's the kind of backstabber that plants little thoughts like, "All of these women who are bigger or smaller or exactly your size are beautiful and fabulous, just not you." And since the call is coming from inside the house, so to speak, this makes me want to punch myself in the face.
But punching myself in the face isn't actually going to work. There's this unbelievably lovely yoga teaching that says if something is challenging or hurts, instead of giving up you just sort of breathe through it and see if it changes. Shift slightly, focus on breathing (meaning you are alive and this is not killing you), and realize that this isn't forever. At most, this challenging moment will last for, what? A minute? Two minutes? And then something else will happen. Maybe the next thing will also be challenging, but at the very least you'll be fortified by the knowledge that you got through the previous challenging minute or two. Or maybe the next thing will feel amazing or can be easily accomplished by your body, which gives you a different sense of fortification.
I struggle with that part of breathing and just sitting through the challenge. I know my challenge right now is how I'm viewing myself and dealing with these negative ghost feelings while I do the work required to get back to where I want to be, physically. But then, today, in yoga my instructor tossed out a few little words that changed everything.
"This is an easy little mantra if you're feeling like your mind is racing: breathe in and silently say the word 'LET,' breathe out and silently say the word 'GO.'"
Let. Go. Let. Go. Let Go.
It's amazing how the simplest answers can be so powerfully effective.