A Good Body, Part II
Today is the anniversary of my first post on this website I created – originally called “a place to put my stuff”, then “Live Higher Yoga”, and now “The Honest Yogi”. I spent a long time working on that piece, which you may have guessed is called A Good Body, and asked the people closest to me – my mom, my best friends, my sisters – to read it before I posted it. As much as I was once scared to put on a bikini, I was/am anxious about publishing my writing.
After I had the approval of everyone, I knew there was one person I had left to talk to, because she featured pretty heavily in the piece. It’s an essay about body image, and at times I compared my “wrong” body to her “right” one. Her name is Amy.
Amy was the funny one at our month-long yoga teacher training on Maui. She had a cat and a car full of all her personal belongings, ready to start a new life in Maui. She took a huge leap, starting both teacher training and a new life on a new island with a new kitten (Harley!). Somehow though, in spite of all that, Amy always had a calm energy about her. Even when she would describe past relationships and painful situations, she seemed in control. Even when our friend Alex and I were more than a little concerned about her living situation with some pretty colourful strangers, she seemed bizarrely in control.
I trusted her then, and even more so once she wrote this supportive reply to my request for her approval on my first publicly posted essay.
The original post is here.
What beautiful, well-spoken, magical Amy said to me is below.
I always liked partnering with you since I knew you would always really give me useful feedback, and I loved your assists and the pressure. I feel like yoga is one of the few sports/exercises out there that doesn’t look at the body as a "type" to be categorized into yet more of a strength of mind/body, so probably why our group never judged anyone’s body type--since our mindset there (and now) was already beyond the cliché body judging. I wish we had more time together as a group; I think this topic would have come up.
Reading the parts about the random guy on the subway making comments to you gave me an "OMG, me too!" feeling. I've had people throughout my life (mostly randoms I didn’t know but, surprisingly some friends) ask me straight up if I was anorexic or bulimic. Once, a guy on the street asked me if I knew where he could get coke since, “I looked like someone that does it.” Another woman at the mall asked "How do you stay so skinny? Do you ever eat?" Back in middle school, some random boy I didn’t know yelled "Eat a sandwich!" across the cafeteria. And the funny part is, I've been trying for years now to gain a little more weight for myself (not because of the comments). Same as you, when I saw the pictures and videos that the yoga studio posted on social media, there were some where I saw myself with the group and thought, "I wish I was 10 pounds heavier in that picture." I think we all judge ourselves more than we should and I feel like the people that bring us down with their comments or unspoken words don’t realize that some of us are bigger or smaller because of things like genetics, or family health. But when people open their mouth to make a comment, I usually don’t explain why my body is this way – I shouldn’t have to explain myself, especially not to some person rude and stupid enough to make an insensitive comment. I just give Resting Bitch Face and say, "Sooo… how does that comment accomplish anything?" It doesn’t matter what your body looks like – there will always be those assholes or weirdos out there who have the useless need to make a blunt comment about a woman’s (or a man’s) body.
I've always made fitness and food choices for the sake of being healthy and preventing disease, not to be a skinny bitch to impress a guy or one up a girl. And your body is completely fine. And fiiiiine too! I never thought you were overweight or the "biggest girl in the room". It wasn’t anything I thought twice about, honestly. Yoga and its yogis don’t judge the look of the body. If anything, it shows us our mental and physical strength… and you strong, girl!