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It’s Not About the Chocolate or the Chard

When it comes to body image, we can choose war or we can choose peace.

Assortment of high magnesium sources: bananas, nuts, oatmeal, buckwheat, peanuts, spinach chard, dark chocolate and sesame seeds on dark background
Assortment of high magnesium sources: bananas, nuts, oatmeal, buckwheat, peanuts, spinach chard, dark chocolate and sesame seeds on dark background

My pants don’t fit. I need to lose weight. Where did those rolls come from? Does this make my butt look big? How many calories are in this? Exercise? Something’s wrong with this scale. What’s for dinner? Hand over the 70% dark. 

Oy. If you’re a person who values stillness, that’s a crap-ton of cacophony. And it’s relentless. Just when you’d meditated yourself into a state of serenity and release, someone sends you a photo of yourself. And rather than noticing the light in your eyes or the joy of the occasion, you zero in on your bovine pose. The bra-strap bulge. The collection of chins.

And so the pendulum swings. From acceptance of what is, to tantrums of discontent.  From iron-clad willpower, to cantankerous, gimme-that-bagel cranky-pants.

You’ve done #weightwatcherssouthbeachketopaleocabbagesoup24hourshootmenow. You’ve also done #nothingzipdietssuckwhatevergivemechocolateavoidmirrors. The latter unfortunately, can devolve into a spiral of despair as the numbers on the scale creep upward. There’s something to be said for temperance; for not indulging the ego in its need to make the world okay by building ceremony around a 3pm cupcake. And it might also be true that the downtown bakery’s everything-seeded cheese croissant with a triple latte makes all seem well in the world for an hour or two. There’s also the possibility that your body doesn’t love it as much as your brain does.

What is important though, is the fact that you know you’re destined for higher things than obsessing over food and mirrors and clothes and photographs. You know that the world’s cries for more light, less suffering, and more clarity show where your energies are better used.

In order to do that, might it be possible to befriend that chassis that’s carrying you around? Didn’t it take you on a walk today? Didn’t it embrace your beloveds? Keep you upright at the computer? Put away fresh laundry? Luxuriate in the coziness of a blanket?

These imperfect, soft, bodies are our closest ally as we move through this world. And at the same time, they are a miniscule part of our ultimate expression of creativity and consciousness. At our most essential level, we are without time, age, or limitation. We are Idea, Love, Brilliance, Sublimity, Intelligence, Courage, Humor and Play. A whole lot more than a jiggly butt.

War without begins with war within. What if we refuse to make an enemy of that person in the photo, the mirror, the jeans? If the only moment we have is the one right in front of us, do we choose love or hate? Gratitude or judgment? Perhaps the question really isn’t about chocolate or chard. Perhaps the question is about whether we choose war or peace. And put that way, is there even a contest? 

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