Stop The Shame-Talk: We Are Not "Before" Photos

photo creds go to my v. fancy self-timed iPhone

In the last few days, I've had a surprising number of conversations about bodies and body image. My own mental narrative about my body has sucked lately. I've been practicing yoga (virtually) with a couple of my friends for almost twenty days now, and most days I still feel just as weak as I was before. Seemingly, I am no stronger or more toned on Day 19 than I was on Day 1 - just as shaky, but more sore. Yesterday evening, halfway through my practice, I thought about giving up. I was so frustrated by my body.
"Why can't you just be good at this?" I stormed internally. "You are so bad at yoga and you have a bad body and you do everything wrong and you look awful and I hate you."
Let's set aside the fact that I should never speak to anyone that way, least of all my body, and the PMS hormones that were writing this script for me. I really, really wanted to quit. My muscles (still sore from a day on the water this weekend) cramped up. My hips were insanely tight. My upper arms shook as I "rested" in downward-facing dog while tears pricked my eyes. It was still so hard for me, even though it was a "fun" practice and I'd taken any modification I could get my hands on. I was completely over it, on the verge of quitting, mid-practice. Already behind in the challenge after taking a rest-period over the weekend, I would just fall farther behind if I quit now.  But that's what I am, I thought. A quitter. If I wasn't a loser with a loser body, then this would be easy for me and I would show up to the mat every day wanting to work out, and I'd have a good body and I wouldn't be here, like this. A bad girl with a bad body who's bad at everything.
Bad.
Loser.
Ugly.
Every time.
Never.
Always.
Harsh and drastic words; in the moment, I meant every one on them.

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Roasted Strawberry And Buttermilk Ice Cream


Today is Sunday, and today I feel encouraged. It seems like we've turned a quiet, invisible corner in this strangest of times. A corner back toward common places and things and I'm here for it. We went for a walk on the beach (I feel endlessly lucky to live so close to big ocean energy) and joined many others walking at a socially-safe distance and soaking up the sun. We even saw dolphins, and surfers, and sailboats, and it made me realize that life will go back to normal, and we're making it. I'm really thankful. We're making it, and spring was still beautiful, and perhaps a summer of freedom awaits us.