Days 18-30 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {Failure + Body Positive}

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Failure

 

Yup.  Twelve whole days has passed since my last post.  From all accounts it would appear as though I ‘failed’.  I had, afterall, promised to blog daily throughout my 31 day yoga challenge.  I said I would do something and…I didn’t do it.

Yet, this Body Love Yoga Challenge had other plans for me and the truth is, by Day 18, I was spent.   My mind and body were completely exhausted.  Not so much from the physical yoga, but from the mental and emotional walls my yoga practice was apparently bull-dozing around me.

When I embarked on the Challenge I seriously had no idea what was in store. If I had, I might not have signed on, but oh how grateful I am that I did. The past 30 days have taught me not only to let go, but also how much I need to repair the messy relationship I’ve had with my body the past 15+ years.

 

See I thought I was the perfect picture of health———

Vegan, only consuming organic foods, never allowing processed food to cross my lips.

Any dessert had to be made of the highest quality ingredients.

Daily workouts.

Setting rules {no animal products, no gluten, no sugar, then no grains, ok maybe some animal protein is ok, wait no animal! -the list went on} and abiding by those rules.

And then something happened.  My body turned against me.  My precious, one-and-only body decided to stop working.  Two years ago on January 6, 2012 I got my last period.  For a year I waited, unwilling or totally unaware of the responsibility I had over this.  In January 2013 I was given the ‘diagnosis’ of early menopause {just shy of my 30th birthday I need to note}.  After a second Doctor’s opinion I gladly accepted her diagnosis of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and tried to shrug off the early menopause thing.

I hate diagnosis.

I hate labels.

And yet isn’t that how we so often find the ability to identify ourselves?  I am this. I am that.  I am vegan.  I am blonde. I have Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.  Well darnit {I had typed a not-so elementary word and then my conscious got the best of me so darnit it is} I am so stinking sick and tired of pulling on another mask to try and define me.

I am not any of this.

I am simply me.  A girl turned woman who happens to have dimples and a smile from ear to ear when she doesn’t allow her worries and mind to get the best of her.  A spirit that is reminiscent of a curious cat – an intriguing interrogator that absolutely loves to ask a million question and know exactly why it is you do what you do, a soul that still loves to spend hours working on {and finishing puzzles}, who loves to meet new people, visit new places and try incredible love-infused high-vibrational delciously-tasty foods.

Ahhhhh yes that is me.

I am not the labels or the boxes I have made for myself to shrink to fit into.

And yet I am also a woman who is desperately trying to find who she really is.  A woman who so fiercely wants to love herself and feel peace in her body and a woman who desires, with every core of her being, the gift of her period again and the incredible blessing of a child – oh how I want to be a momma!  And oh what a struggle this is for me right now.  As I type this I have five dear friends on the brink of motherhood and yet I struggle with knowing whether I’ll ever be able to share in that experience.  The thought breaks my heart and moves me to tears.  I am not married and no, am not trying for a little babycakes right now and so, in some way, I believe these feelings are not validated.

Yet I know they are.

I’d love to talk more about this, but the truth is I’m still discovering it myself.  What I do know is: I am finally willing to accept the power my food and body obsessions have had over me and my life.  And, more importantly, I am ready and wanting to let go of the control this has held over my body and of the incessant negative self-talk.

When I first heard the words Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and its relationship with eating disorders; I thought – me? Nope.  Definitely not me.  I’m not too skinny.  I don’t starve myself or make myself throw up.  In fact I love food too much.  But the reality is food has consumed me – not just physically but mentally and emotionally too.  I am currently reading Intuitive Eating and found this paragraph to sum up my relationship with food perfectly:

“The Careful Eater can spend most of her waking hours planning out the next meal or snack, often worrying about what to eat {insert in when to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat etc etc}.  While the Careful Eater is not officially on a diet, her mind is chastising every ‘unhealthy’ fatty or sugary food eaten {heck grains, almonds, cauliflower, sesame and beets aren’t even allowed in my book!}.  The Careful Eater can run the fine line between being genuinely interested in health, and eating carefully for the sake of body image.”

That last part  -for the sake of body image – really stung.  That is the ONLY reason why I’ve been eating the way I have.

My dear friend Lily, who has helped me tremendously over the last year to navigate my relationship with food + body, is hosting a Body Positive workshop in May that will focus on body image, food, exercise, and self-love.  It is going to be held on May 3rd and is being hosted by the non-profit, The Body Positive.  Originally started as an eating disorder support group, The Body Positive has now evolved into working with people that have varying relationships with food and their bodies.   According to Lily, “Even if you have a beautiful relationship with food and your body, this will still be beneficial to learn techniques in how to help others create a more positive way to love their body and how to nourish it more intuitively. At the workshop we will start with an introspective approach and explore our own body relationships and then move into techniques around intuitive eating and reframing what a healthy relationship with food and our weight can look like.”

I already purchased my seat for the workshop and have attached a flyer with more information.  Feel free to email Lily with questions at lily.stokely@bastyr.edu. Also feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who may be interested. Space is limited to only 25 people so be sure to sign up quickly if you wish to attend. http://thebodypositive.org/tbp/workshops-and-groups/

BeBodyPositiveWorkshopFlyer_Seattle2014-page-001

 

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22 responses »

  1. Jamie your sharing of your heart, soul and mind is amazing and beautiful. You are so loved by me. We are all on a journey that requires so much courage and faith. You are an inspiration. Thank you for all you do.

  2. Jamie, I love this post. Everyone’s struggle is so different, but in my field I’ve come across so many who have unhealthy relationships with food and I feel that they will never be able to realize it or admit it to themselves or others. The understandings you’ve come to are amazing and your courage is such a huge inspiration. Wishing you all of the happiness in the world, you are undeniably deserving. I love you! -Britt

  3. Jaime this post is wonderful. I’m so glad you are being so brave and open in this journey. Some of your words here really hit me and I hope you know you are not alone in this self discovery. Your example is most definitely an inspiration, a call to so many of us to stop inflicting so much judgment and harsh criticism on ourselves and to begin to learn how to give ourselves unconditional love. You are one of the most beautiful girls I know, but I love you for your honesty and for just being real.
    Thank You!
    Stacey

    • Stacey, I am just reading this. Wow. Thank you love, thank you. I know I am not alone which is what really inspires me to share my truth and my journey. I am so tired of discounting myself and my body and not loving the woman in the mirror, just as she is in every moment – constantly evolving. I hope that as I begin to love and honor and embrace me and my body, I can help other women do the same. Love you and see you soon :)

  4. Its happening….all the barriers and rules are coming down…i am witnessing the real jamie coming out and while it may feel like a violent ripping apart over the last few months…it is really just a blossoming that you will look back on as profoundly beautiful… this authenticity with yourself and the world is the road to peace and love and HOME.

    • Oh Tessa, thank you. I do trust and believe this. Even though I have felt more pain, uncomfortableness, uncertainty, self-doubt, even self-hatred in the past few months than ever before I also feel so much more beautiful, authentic, light and – as cheezy as this is – am falling more and more in love with myself everyday ;-) heeeheee love you!

  5. Jamie,
    I love your brutal honesty and transparency in the space between. It is so easy to blog when we are on top of our game, but to come out of hiding and speak truth, that takes courage! Stay on your path. Your calling and wisdom and vulnerability and authenticity are beautiful! The world needs your message. Press on!

    • Ahhhh Jean, thank you!!!! I definitely am not sure I would be so transparent in my writings had I not committed to my yoga challenge back over a month ago. Funny how things unfold and sometimes the reasons behind why we do things evolve into something we never would have expected! I so love your support – thank you!! xxoo

  6. Jamie, thank you for honoring us with the honesty and courage of your truth! This invites and gives permission for others to open to you. How could I not love this post! You are loved.

  7. Wow Jamie this is beautiful! I had tears in my eyes as I read it. You create such beautiful and vulnerable space. It’s funny how we embark on these challenges so often and then berate ourselves when we “fail” when in reality, the fact that you gave yourself a break and allowed that gentleness to come in is WAAAAAYYY more important than forcing yourself through 30 days just for the sake of completing those days in a row. It’s so much more inspiring to read how you listened and gave yourself the time to breathe and be with your body. So much love to you, sweetheart!

    • Katie love, thank you. It was hard to fess up and yet felt so right doing so and I really do believe this journey unfolded just as it was meant to :)

      Much love xxoo

    • Hi Sweet Katie,

      Thank you – totally agree! Sometimes what we first view as failure as actually the doorway to success…just wait till you read my next blog ;)

      xxoo

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I agree I think we do have an “ideal” type of healthy we want to be but it might not work well with our bodies. I have experienced this before and I think it is all about listening to our bodies as well. Thank you for your beautiful vulnerability and honesty. Go you!

    Much love,
    Paige

    • Hi Paige,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes I agree and I think, for me, it is really learning to let go and surrender. Just let go and let life unfold as it is supposed to, instead of trying to fit myself into some little ‘perfect’ box I’ve created for myself :)

      xxoo!

    • Hi Paige!

      Thank you for the comment and support – I totally agree it really is about listening and honoring and trusting our unique bodies, since we are all truly unique and different. Aren’t we? :) xxoo

  9. Pingback: Day 31 + Beyond: Body Love Yoga Challenge {Surrender} | The Serendipity of Life

  10. Pingback: Day 31 + Beyond: Body Love Yoga Challenge {Surrender} | The Blissful Kitchen

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