I finally got back on my yoga mat today. It was only for twenty minutes and boy was it was hard. Its been probably three months, at least, since I have done any form of yoga. I had shoved my mat back deep in the dimness of my closet. You know the places in your closet you put things you want to forget about? Yeah, I had put it there. I got it out the other day and put it on display in my room when I realized that I was starting to believe lies about my body. Lies that I am too large to do yoga, that I’ll never have the strength or the focus, or that I’ll never get the positions right, so why try. At the same time as these lies have been hitting me, I’ve been obsessing over how much weight I’ve gained this school year and how much bigger I look in pictures in comparison to what my brain actually thinks I look like.
With my journey through withdrawals from medications and coming off medications, it never even occurred to me (silly, I know) that one of the physical side effects would be weight gain. And I’m finding it hard to give myself grace. I just keep thinking that I should be fit and toned, skinny and in perfect health. And Im beginning to find that the longer I sit in the lie that “skinny” equals healthy, the sicker and LESS healthy I become. And as I sat on my mat today and listened to my body and asked God what I should be striving for I heard him answer me with simply this, “Nothing. Do not strive. Just be.” As I thought about it, I realized that the times that I not only love myself the most but also feel the healthiest are the periods in my life that I have done just that: been with God. When I walk with him, holding his hand, asking him questions, wanting to know what he thinks about me, my body (both spirit and physical) respond with peace.
Now to be clear, does this mean that I should be drinking the amount of coffee I do, eating fast food as often as I do and sitting on the couch all day? Probably not. But what matters here is my motivation. I don’t ever want to work out or eat a salad from a place of shame or striving but instead, from a place of peace and honor. In Beni Johnson’s book “Healthy and Free” she talks about this idea that health and fitness shouldn’t be because we’re always striving to be perfect but should be because we see ourselves as God created us and we want to honor and love our bodies. She says,
“…I thought about the beauty of how God has designed us, and it gave me a greater incentive to want to take care of this temple that God has specifically given me to live in.”
I want to do yoga, drink more water, and eat healthier because my body deserves that and because I deserve to be at my healthiest. So one cup of water a time and one yoga session at a time, here’s to learning to just be with Abba.
Thanks for listening to my random thoughts friends. Happy health!