I know my body image wasn’t great. I knew when I started to weigh myself (x kg). I think it stemmed from dance, that dance company was great but I never felt strong enough or good enough. Looking at my alignment in the mirror for hours on end did something to my perception. I worried you and I scared you. I started wearing oversized jumpers to hide it.
You said “Health over Size”. I had that pinned up on my wall for months. With the stress from exams and anxiety, I only got worse. In the summer I started yoga as a way to find balance. Yoga brunches are my favourite kind of Sunday morning!
Come 2018, I did yoga every day in January. I got stronger, but I wasn’t focusing on the results. Instead, I focused on coming back to myself and being my true self. Then I changed my mind to “Strong not Skinny”. I’m surrounded by people who diet constantly, unfortunately, it is a side effect of being a teenager but I think that is only to challenge you to find who you truly are and what you truly desire.
I decided I want to be strong. I am strong. Not in a lifting my body mass in weights kind of way. I want to be strongly smart, strongly compassionate, strongly passionate, strongly loving…strongly fierce. I went back to appreciating food and baking like I used to…like I do. Tacos are a fabulous creation! Sometimes you are actually disrespecting your body if you deny yourself the pleasure of quality food once in a while. Balance is the key I was looking for.
I decided to stop drinking alcohol. I’m 16, I’ve got years for that. I don’t understand why I used to go out with my friends only to be exhausted and emotionally drained the next day. Also, it doesn’t honour what I’m trying to do. Balance. Why should I infuse my blood in a chemical to make it act differently? Why can’t I just be me? Myself? Turns out, people don’t care if you drink or not, it is almost fashionable not to! Watching drunk people is still funny though.
After a month of yoga, my mass weighs in at x+5 kg to the original which is equal to my weight a year ago before the stress of exams. I have a beautiful full-length black mirror. For the first time last Monday, I rolled out of bed, I threw my hair in a ponytail and I stopped by my mirror. My brown eyes met mine. Truly met mine. I was grateful for hair I can tie up so easily, the colour I chose. I then began my yoga practice to find myself proud of my strength and fluent communication between my soul and body.
I now prepare for my 10KM training. This isn’t fitness. This is charity. This is loving what I do and this is loving myself for it.