Good morning to me (and you, of course)! All week I have been waking up, pausing at the foot of the bed for a moment of gratitude, and looking out the window to be face-to-face with the day. Then I walk over to the kitchen to start preparing my nourishing and nutritious meals. This morning I made my herbal tea with raw honey, juiced carrots/celery/parsley/cucumbers (which is actually much tastier than I thought it would be), and prepared a fruit platter of Japanese grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. So great!
Ever since I was about 11 years old, I have been health-conscious. Back then, though, it came from fear of getting fat. In fact, compared to all the girls I was seeing in magazines and movies, I thought I was already fat; in reality, I was a typically small little Asian girl. My family would tell you that I had very healthy eating habits. But of course at 11 years old, I wasn’t that informed on what was truly good for my body, so I usually followed the latest diet trend (that undoubtedly some celebrity credited as having given her the body she now had). I remember doing Cindy Crawford workout videos, and then eating a bowl of plain lettuce, which I didn’t know actually has very little nutritious value. I mainly looked to avoid “fat”, even steering away from nuts, avocados, and coconuts, which offer the “good fat”.
Looking back, I can now see that I wasn’t so much health-conscious as weight-conscious, and this mindset culminated in college. I was in a TaeBo class at UCLA (those were my favorite because I’d read somewhere that you can burn 800 calories in an hour) when I started to feel sick with dizziness, nausea, and a cold sweat. My heart was pounding in my chest, threatening to burst through my sternum. Luckily a friend was taking the class with me, and I told her I had to leave. She drove me home and tucked me into bed, and called my roommates to let them know that something was wrong. No, it wasn’t the exertion of TaeBo, but rather the diet pills I had taken before class. I unfortunately can’t remember what these diet pills were called, but they were advertised in all the magazines at the time. I am pretty sure I bought them without telling anyone, because my gut knew that my loved ones would surely talk some sense into my misperceiving mind. I stopped taking them immediately after this incident, but couldn’t bring myself to throw them out right away. This was my attachment to 1) wanting to lose weight and 2) not being able to see that I didn’t need to lose weight in the first place.
That isn’t to say that I was perfectly fit or that there wasn’t room for self-improvement; there always is. I was just thinking and going about it all the wrong way.
Soon after, I found yoga, and my focus and perspective on so many things started to change. In a nutshell, I stopped trying to change myself or to achieve an external ideal. I honestly stopped caring about losing weight or even getting rid of fat. My efforts turned to self-acceptance and self-love, the idea that everything – including me – was already perfect exactly as it was, and overall wellness and balance of body/mind/spirit. From this internal shift, the outer/physical changes I had been wanting started to happen naturally.
Naturally. I think that’s how Nature intended us to be, eat, and live.