Thursday, January 28, 2016

Love The Body You're With

I taped the tab from the Yogi tea bag
in my Passion Planner to remind me of
my affirmations.
I am beautiful.
I am bountiful.
I am blissful.

My January affirmation is brought to you courtesy of my Yogi Green Tea bag. Every day at 2 p.m. I give myself "tea time" in the cube farm. It's the oomph I need to get me through the last three hours of my work day. 

One afternoon my eyes were drawn to the paper tab attached to the string of the tea bag. Three simple sentences. Three simple reminders. Three simple affirmations that have changed the way I speak to myself. 

Earlier this month, Purpose Fairy wrote about liking yourself and shared the video below created by the Jubilee Project. By the time I reached the end of the video tears were streaming down my face. 

They took 50 people ranging from all ages---kids to the elderly---and asked them one question: If you could change one thing about your body what would it be? 

My answer silently popped in my head as I heard the adults say they would change their stretch marks, wrinkles, big forehead, big ears, puffiness of face, blemished skin, small eyes, etc. 

The tears poured in earnest when I listened to the kids' answers: a mermaid tail, a shark mouth to eat a lot of food, teleportation in the body, wings so "I could fly", legs like a cheetah so "I could run faster", and the best answer: I don't think there's anything to change. 

What is my answer? I'd change my inner thighs from rubbing against each other. My degenerative disc disease halted my love for running. Hence, the skin on skin action. Like my good friend joked I could start a fire from all the rubbing. HA! 

I was irritated that I cared about something so trivial, admonishing myself, "Really Nannette? There are young girls being trafficked and you're worried about your damn thighs?" Oh, the vanity! 

But on the walking station, in the grocery store, down the hallway, there it was rub-rub-rub-a-dee-dub. Sure I've lost weight and I do all kinds of crazy squats every day. To no avail. They still rub. 

After I watched this video I told myself to shut up already about my damn thighs. I didn't share my secret with too many people but the internal dialogue about my thighs was beyond annoying. Like static over the radio when you're favorite song comes on. 

I was curious to see what my eight-year-old granddaughter's response would be. Over the phone I asked her to please answer my question honestly. 

Me: So Rylee, if you could change one thing about your body what would it be? 
Rylee: HUH?! 
Me: I said, if you could change one thing about your body what would it be? 
Rylee: body...ummm...Nothing! (I expected a DUH thrown in there.) 
Me: Nothing? 
Rylee: Yes, nothing. Now tell me why you asked me that. 

I explained the premise of the video I watched, explained how the adults wanted to change their bodies but the kids had better answers. In a disdainful tone she let me know that it didn't even make sense. Why would adults change their bodies? she asked. 

Of course, I later asked her mom the same question and my daughter promptly answered, "My big feet! It's hard to walk sometimes." 

So there you go. Somewhere in between the threshold from childhood to adulthood, we lose our sense of worth and confidence. Not to mention our ability to imagine the impossible, to dream bigger and better. Somewhere along the way to maturity something or more often than not, someone kills the security of knowing we are more than enough. 

Now when the insidious thoughts about my thighs creep into my brain I pause, take a deep breath, slowly exhale, tap my chest and say: I am beautiful. I am bountiful. I am blissful.