Think of your “worst nightmare.”
One of mine was having people see, be disgusted by,
know the truth about, or laugh at my jiggling thigh cellulite.
And if I really capture the worst..
…and go deep…right to the heart of the worst imaginable,
internally-squirming, cold-sweat humiliation….
Or as Byron Katie sometimes says, “What’s your worst nightmare?”
The real “knife-in-the-heart” reaction?
When it comes to my body, it would be standing on stage,
either in a bikini or maybe even naked, with all the people
I know in the audience, thinking “eewwwww, I had no idea,
she is in terrible shape, how disgusting!”
I’d be standing facing away from them, at a slight angle under bright
lights so the backs of my thighs, where the wavy bumps
and rolls, would absolutely STAND OUT for everyone to see.
The audience would be feeling terrible for me, extreme pity. Murmurs
of horror and shame.
And I’d have nowhere to run or escape, and no way to erase this
image of my body from their minds, ever.
Whew! That’s really what it was like for me.
You have to have some amazingly powerful images and thoughts to
be as self-hating as I was.
So how did I react when I believed the thought that my thighs were
disgusting? This is question #3 of course in The Work.
I wanted to DIE…get away, squirm, cover my hideously ugly thighs, think
about changing my diet, exercise more. I had images of men turning away in
disgust and women being disappointed, saying, “Yuck!” when they saw
me, and feel devastatingly discouraged. I wished I had a different body,
and I felt a LOT of internal pain.
That’s why one of my most favorite quotes in the world is:
“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure” by Joseph Campbell.
I turned the spot light on this pain, even though I chided myself for being
ridiculous, superficial, and caring about looks waaaay too much.
And now, I don’t feel the same way in the slightest about my body
But if someone had told me this was possible, I would have thought they
were false, pie-in-the-sky, bullshit-preaching, positive-thinking liars.
Though secretly, behind the anger and fear, I would have desperately
wanted to believe it was possible…
But now, I actually LIVE in the fourth question of The Work, “Who
would you be WITHOUT that thought that my thighs look disgusting?”
Without the thought that cellulite is ugly.
I can actually look in the mirror, at the cellulite that’s STILL THERE,
and feel completely at peace and happy without a twinge of
self-hate or embarrassment or revulsion. I decided it looked like Texas
Hill Country…beautiful rolling hills. I wouldn’t say “those hills need
to be flat and smooth for them to be beautiful”. Hilarious!
This is what we were dealing with this past weekend in my hometown
Seattle, Washington, USA.
And I feel grateful, with such a connection to the courageous 14 folks
who were here with me, doing their own precious work on their
painful moments with food, body image, body shapes, and eating.
And I hope that by reading this, if you’re struggling with your
own thoughts…at any level…even if it’s just 2 extra pounds that
you think “shouldn’t” be there on your thighs or face or stomach…
…that it brings you a little more acceptance and peace, and
awareness of how you’re believing something about what you see,
when you criticize your body, that isn’t actually true for you.
P.S. My food teleclass starts tomorrow on Tuesday to work with more
folks with these same kinds of thoughts and feelings. At the moment,
there’s one last spot available…and there’s even a GUY in the class!
Lot’s of guys think this is only “what women go through”!
If it’s full when you sign up, I’ll let you know right away
and I’ll put you right on the waiting list for the next
one which will be in a couple months on Saturdays.
Horrible Food-Wonderful Food!
Healing the Love/Hate Relationship with
Eating, Food, & Our Bodies-that Leads
to Weight Gain & Loss, Anorexia, Bulimia,
Exercise Addiction, Binge Eating,
Dangerous Diets and Depression.
Also starting on Thursday:
Our Wonderful SEXUALITY!
Untangling the Passion, Attraction, Love,
Fear, Body Image, Confusion, Tenderness…
and Joyful Intimacy! Starts Jan. 19