So, I literally just danced around my living room to Lizzo’s song Good As Hell on repeat three times because, for the love of cheese, I’m feeling fucking good as hell. I just had two smashingly great calls with my e-course students, I’m headed to Chicago tomorrow for a weekend retreat (where I’m the student, not the teacher - Holla!!!!!), and I’m wearing my new favorite underwear from Aerie.
I mean, does life get any better?
And as I was booty shaking on the back of my sofa and slapping my own ass, I wasn’t thinking about how my thighs could be firmer or my waist could be smaller. I was laughing out loud and thinking how great it felt to be jumping and singing at the top of my lungs for the motherfucking JOY OF IT.
And as I listened to all those amazing love-yourself-lyrics from Lizzo, I felt so. much. gratitude. that I’m living in a time when women are taking our bodies back and giving a big F-U to the culture that told us we had to look a certain way to be valued in this society. And then I gave a little hair toss in honor of my own journey toward body love…how freaking far I’ve come in loving me and how much more in love we still get to fall with one another - me and the dear, old bod.
And damn, it’s been a journey.
Let me give you some personal stats for context. Not that I want this post to be about weight or size (because, fuck weight), but I feel like a little background might help.
My whole childhood I felt like the “fat one.” My older sister was always skinny and tall, and I was one of those kids that tended to grow out before I grew up, if you know what I mean. Looking back on photos now, I can’t believe that sweet little girl ever thought there was a damn thing wrong with her. But, I’m sure you can relate in one way or another. The world tells us that we should be different, and instead of throwing up the middle finger and going about our merry way, we start to believe it for some reason.
In my teens and twenties, I did everything from Tae Bo and Body for Life to Denise Austin and Tony Little. I counted calories, posted “goal” photos of myself on my bathroom mirror and took crazy dangerous supplements all in the name of taking up less space. I mean, it’s hard to even think about it now because it makes me so mad for that girl.
About five years ago, I thought I’d finally found balance, that I was over all that up and down body stuff. I was running daily (joyfully), meditating my face off, and generally feeling great about finally being skinny, happy and healthy. I weighed less than I ever had in my adult life, and I felt like I’d finally beat the system.
But then we moved to Colorado, and weight started to creep back on my frame. Over four years I gained forty pounds, and it felt crazy inexplicable. I saw doctors and tested my thyroid. I quit drinking beer. I tried spin classes and hot yoga. But nothing got me back to the place I was before.
After lots of tearful conversations with my sister and way too much time wasted in self-loathing, I finally said fuck it. This is me. This is the body I’m in. I decided to start moving my body for the joy of it, instead of to lose weight. I stopped focusing on slimming down and started focusing on building strength and working with my body instead of against it. I felt like magic was going to happen.
You know what happened?
I didn’t lose a damn pound. In fact, I got on the scale after a month of my new way of being, and I’d gained weight.
That’s when I realized I was still coming at things all wrong. Sure, I was being nicer to myself in my head, and I’d changed the focus in my life from weight loss to strength. But I was still focused on changing myself instead of loving myself. I was still moving from a place of wanting to be different instead of loving being me.
You guys, this is the real magic.
Look, I believe in change, and I love a fun, juicy goal. I mean, part of my whole deal is teaching people how to get in deeper alignment with themselves and their innate power. But since I started practicing being with myself in this body, in this version of me, I’ve realized that my desire to change this body wasn’t ever really my own. It wasn’t actually my goal.
It was what I thought I should be doing.
Tell me this. If all magazine ads, all TV programs, all diet & exercise gurus, all gyms and cookbooks and Instagram influencers and magic diet teas suddenly disappeared, would you still feel the way you feel about needing to change your body?
If we woke up tomorrow in a society where absolutely NO ONE was messaging to you about your body in any way, what would you think/feel/believe about it?
Maybe some of us would still feel some sort of discomfort and would be drawn toward movement or foods that felt better and gave us a sense of relief. But I bet most of us wouldn’t.
My point is that when I started pulling back the YEARS of implanted messages about my body, I finally started to scratch the surface of what I want.
And what I want is just to enjoy life. And I sure as shit don’t want to suffer at the hands of my own thoughts.
What I know right now for sure, for sure is that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my size. When I wear clothes that fit, I barely think about my body. In fact, when I do think about it, I’m usually thinking about how fucking sexy it is. LIke that moment when I was dancing around and slapping my ass with my girl Lizzo.
You guys, the size or shape of your body doesn’t fucking matter.
Allow me to repeat.
How much you weigh doesn’t matter. The size of your clothes doesn’t matter. How different your body used to look at some other age or milestone in your life doesn’t. fucking. matter.
It’s all a distraction. A big crazy game that keeps you out of the present moment and stops you from enjoying life.
Now, if bodybuilding and crossfitting and all that is your jam, then rock on! Lift those weights. Flip those tires. You do you. But I do not believe that the diet and exercise culture is serving us as humans. I don’t believe in it as this blanket rule that everyone must follow.
If you were honest with yourself, how much time do you spend daily thinking about your body and how it could be different? How much energy do you spend lamenting a bulge or a curve? How much suffering do you undergo in the name of clothes that are too tight just to stay in a certain size?
My friend, buy the bigger jeans. Drink the beer. Skip the soul-sucking workout. And maybe take a hot minute to love the energy that you bring to the world.
If working out feels great, work out. If not working out feels great, don’t work out.
Do you know what I think feels great? Being in the presence of someone who truly loves themselves. Getting showered in the energy of a person who is confident and kind and connected with what matters.
I think we all deserve to feel good as hell in our bodies. These bodies. The one you’re in right now as you read this. And, if you wanted to, you could turn on this song and shake that sexy ass of yours.