Here's a snippet of my conversation with my sister yesterday after she sent me some new yoga clothes I should buy for these Zoom yoga classes:
me: I can't wear floral print leggings!
m-c: Why? These are super cute!
me: Because my legs aren't as long as yours and I have big hips and if I wear floral prints I'll look like grandma's couch.
m-c: Oh my god... did you just compare your hips to a couch?
me: Yeah, I guess I did.
m-c: I can't believe you just compared yourself to a couch! You have such a smokin' hot bod! You need to show that off! You need to show off that sexy body you have!
me: Um, okay. I mean, I guess I look pretty good for a mom.
m-c: Pretty Good? C'mon! You look amazing! Show that body off!!!
me: *head in hand and blushing* okay okay okay... yes, okay, you're right.
It's been 24 hours since that conversation and I still cannot bring myself to buy a pair of floral print leggings (especially since I can't try them on... because the "fitting room" is in my mind and my mind is not making these legging look smokin' hot on me)
Believe it or not, I've gotten much better with my body image. Although I was considered "big boned" compared to the petite Asian kids I grew up with, I've had a fairly easy time managing my weight over my adult years and I've been blessed with a healthy body. But I did go through the "too skinny" phase in my 20's where I over-scrutinized my body based on what I saw in the media. Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband, and friends and family to remind me that I'm beautiful just the way I am... most of the times I believe them... but I still have my insecurities. Probably always will at some level.
I've noticed that my insecurities get stronger when I'm stressed, tired, pressed for time, uncertain about the future... you know, like everything I'm feeling now during this pandemic... and I will take it as an opportunity to quiet my self-criticisms. To quiet the negative language that I had gotten so used to hearing in my head that I didn't even realize how hurtful I was being to myself. Today, I am using yoga, journaling, and meditation to find myself again. To bring love, acceptance, and perspective to where I am right now... in the present... in this breath. To be grateful for my healthy, imperfect and beautiful body - just the way it is in this moment.
So in two days, I will gather my courage and put on the one pair of floral leggings that I own (but I've never worn outside the house before) and I will teach the Wednesday yoga class. And I will "own them" like my sister told me to do. And I will look smokin' hot.
We all have invisible struggles. Yay for the little victories.