There is something I have been struggling with lately.
The struggle that has felt the most real lately is in knowing when my body is "good enough". I have struggled with my weight since adolescence. Even in the last 7 years, when I have successfully maintained a "healthy" weight, I have had periods where maintaining that healthy weight has been a massive struggle. I feel blessed that running (even when I hate it and want it to go away) has eliminated that struggle for me, at least in the short term. I can eat all of the things, pretty much whenever I want to, and it's not a thing. I have kept my weight in a 3 pound range for the last 6 months, and that feels pretty cool to me. HOWEVER.
I have a hard time letting myself be okay with the way that I look. I wake up in the morning, and I look at my tummy, and I frown that it's a little bit floppy. I judge the way my legs get all cottage cheesy when I'm doing yoga (the worst time to be critical of your body is when you're in downward facing dog. Trust me.). I instantly forget that this magnificent body, which is propelling me through MARATHON TRAINING, is in fact magnificent, just as it is. I want to change it. Because it should be easy to get crazy skinny and lose tons of weight when you're running 20+ miles/week, right? Uhm, no. Not so much. And to tell the truth, I really have no desire to lose any weight. I'm a comfortable 142 pounds at 5'7". I wear smalls and mediums, and I am healthy. But when confronted with my naked self in a mirror, or my scantily clad self while working out, all rational thought flits away like scraps of paper on the breeze.
Does it really matter if I have girl abs? Nah, not so much. In my everyday career and lifestyle, I'm not walking around in sports bras and lycra pants like I'm Jillian Michaels. And does it really matter if my legs look a little funky during yoga? I am the only person who sees them that way, and the cellulite actually goes a long way in hiding the stretch marks on my inner thighs, probably the thing I dislike most about my body. So maybe my body is doing me a couple of favors there.
Body acceptance is my biggest struggle in this lifetime. It is something that I think that I have down pat, and then it rises up again, like some kind of crazy hydra that just won't quit. I won't give up fighting it though, not ever. My body does incredible things, but it will never be perfect. Even if I did achieve that ideal of "perfection" I hold in my head, there will always be some new thing about my body that I am picking at, and trying to improve upon.
I'm not saying that I want to be okay with mediocrity, or that I am justifying some type of backslide. I think that sometimes people see acceptance of reality as an admission of mediocrity. It isn't that. It's more of that serenity prayer type of thing. There are things that I can change about myself, and there are things that I can not. Or maybe that I can, but I simply love donuts too much to go there. And it's about realizing that it's alright to pick and choose when I push full steam ahead, and when I take a step back and let myself accept that what I am doing, and who I am is good enough, strong enough, worthy enough. I can fall short plenty without having to create additional ways that I fall short in the way I look to myself in the mirror. Those self-induced stresses have too much impact on the rest of my life to let them fester and grow.
So I'm choosing to seek the wisdom and the serenity to accept the things that I can not change about my body. I'm choosing to accept that my stomach is always going to be a little more round and feminine. I'm choosing to accept that my legs will always look better in yoga pants over booty shorts. I'm choosing to accept that my weight is just perfect for my frame, and that it isn't worth it to me right now to give up things I enjoy and appreciate in order to change that weight that is already perfect.
These are my choices today, universe. Hear me as I declare them, over and over again. You have given me a body that is exquisite in its design, and I am honored you entrusted it to my care. I can only hope that I am doing it a service by choosing to honor it exactly as it was created.