“It’s taken a lot of effort, time, and energy but I can tell you there is nothing better than a) loving your body wholeheartedly, lumps and bumps and all. b) telling society where they can shove their ideals of beauty.” Taryn Brumfitt
What a freaking powerful statement. What a bold title. How many people believe in the beauty of the world? The beauty of the human body? The perfection of our own body? How scary and freeing that could be. I’ve struggled with body image for a long time. Only recently have I begun to look at it honestly. For over a decade my family ran a fitness center focused on weight loss. For ten years I watched myself yo-yo. Up and down. Up and down. I identified myself by my body- I felt constantly judged by my body. I judged myself by my body. I was told to lose weight- it’s not good for business. I strove so hard to be the perfect weight, the perfect size, the perfect body fat percentage. It was never enough- I was never enough. Even when I reached my goal, it still didn’t feel like enough. I developed major complexes. I felt like I was unlovable if I was not skinnier. I developed dysfunctional relationships with food. With the way I dressed. With my body. I hated eating in front of others. I felt guilty for eating, period, after a point. How do you come back from the self-loathing? How do you develop a healthy relationship with your body? How can you love yourself alone at home, and out in public, in the streets? How do I balance being a spiritual person in a physical world? How do I love myself today as I am ?
Dr. Dyer talks about planes. Most of us never leave the physical world we live in. We see value in physical looks, how much money we have, how much stuff we’ve collected, the size of our homes, our jobs. We let what we have define us. How limited. Are we not more than what your see? Are we not more than a number on a scale? More than a number on a bank account? What if we shift our way of thinking?
Today I look in the mirror and look for the good. What a stunning girl! What a beautiful, healthy, strong, flexible body I see looking back at me. What strong legs, which can carry me on a 3 hour hike. Legs that have climbed mountains. Legs that pedal for miles on my bike to get me where I need to go. Legs that have rocked 80 pound Turkish Get-Ups. These legs fucking rock! Last week as I sat with my friends putting on make-up: I wish I had longer lashes. Other friend: me too. Me: I have long lashes. “But don’t you wish they were longer?” NO. Stop. Stop picking ourselves apart. Stop reducing ourselves down to eyelashes. You are more. You ARE perfect. These lashes are perfect. They’re what I HAVE. This body is what I have. It is a blessing. Why waste time not loving what you have?
Every moment we have choices. Choices to say YES to happiness. When I reflect back at my leaner (skinnier) day, was I happier than I am right now? Was I a different person? The truth is I can be happy now. Happiness doesn’t come with weight loss, at our goal weight. Happiness cannot be bought. A million dollars cannot guarantee a life time of happiness. Happiness is available to us always. Not in 30 pounds form now. Not in a new relationship or another person. Not in a big paycheck. NOW. It is in our perspective. It is something we decide. Do you want to be happy or not? I go back to Viktor Frankl in Auschwitz, even when all human rights are taken from us, we still have a choice of how we suffer. We are responsible for how we feel: anger, hate, bitterness, jealousy, love, joy, passion. Own up. No one else is to blame for your shittiness. No circumstance is to blame for your judgement. The world is not unfair. The Universe wants us to flourish, thrive, love, and live in beauty. But we don’t always open our eyes to the greatness surrounding us. We are our decisions. Our choices on how we feel.
It is revolutionary then to love, accept, and be happy with who we are. To say fuck it, ” I am a whole person. A person who I love and accept with all my heart. I am enough.” After years I have come to this. I love myself right now. I choose happiness. I am more than what people see. As I was hiking and writing this in my head, I thought of my brother Cliff. Looks can change in an instant. Over time, we’ll age, skin will sag, our story will be written in the callouses of our hands, in the wisdom shining in our eyes, in the wrinkles on our face. We’ll weight. We’ll gain weight. We are ALWAYS changing. When we had our car accident, my brother cut a hole all the way through his cheek. Boom in a second his appearance is change. He was scarred, maimed, disfigured, imperfect. I have never looked at my brother and seen his scar. I see my brother. The brother I love. I see my caring, pure, innocent, loving brother. I hear his infectious laugh. We are more than our looks and what the world ‘sees’. For it is the light within us all, that is truly breathtaking and constant. The best make-up you wear is the smile you choose by deciding to be happy and love yourself. If only we spent more time hearing with our hearts and seeing with our souls.
We are surrounded by beauty. What do you see? I have never met someone I didn’t find beautiful. Am I not the same? I choose to see the shining light within me. To embrace the good. Can I not choose to be enough? Can I not choose to be happy? YES I can and I do. I wholeheartedly, love and accept myself today- NOW. today I make choices to make me better: body, mind and soul. You are perfect in your imperfections. Check out Taryn’s Body Image Movement!