Tuesday, January 24, 2012

These Curves

The scale has been the discussion of several awesome blog posts lately. *See links to a few of them at the bottom of this post.

These thoughtful posts have reminded me that I've wanted to talk for a while now about how yoga has truly changed the way I see my body. Sure, a lot of people say that, but let me tell you, it's true.

I'm not one of those hippy, dread lock loving, arm pit hair kind of Eugeneans. But I am a high stress kind of gal who NEEDS the moments and opportunities to destress and lengthen these short, tight muscles I've developed from running and strength training.



I first started doing yoga back in high school at my home gym where I occasionally subbed when the teacher was out of town. It was a power yoga class and was a great opportunity to stretch, strengthen my core and get a little sweat on. Yoga was also the saving grace to some back problems I had.

As my yoga journey has developed, so has my appreciation for this body that gets me through all the sun salutations, chaturangas and boat poses.



I did not always love these curves. Sure, they were curvier at times, but I loathed the round bumps, the extra flesh in my thighs, the jiggle under my arms. And now? I don't always love the jiggle, but I appreciate it for what it has allowed me to do. 

A few years ago, I stepped on the scale several times a day, beating myself up mentally if it didn't land on the right number. But thanks to a roommate who opted to chuck the old bathroom scale, I was freed of that ball and chain and able to decide for myself what I was worth. 

Today, we have a scale at home that I occasionally step on out of mere curiosity from time to time. And you know what? The days that I step on thinking "Wow, I must have gained about 5lbs over break," it's often the case that I've gained maybe a pound. 

Sure, I'm human and there are days where I'm envious of the thin girls in a fitness class. But I remind myself how far I've come with this body and what it's done for me. More often than not, I am thankful for my body. 

In addition to allowing me to appreciate my curves, yoga has...
  • made me appreciate slowing down 
  • made me more patient with my body and its capabilities
  • shown me what I have to work on in my fitness
  • allowed me to value workouts that don't always involve buckets 'o sweat

I think our relationship with our body is an ever changing thing. I'm just trying to be flexible and not expect something out of my body, but rather try to learn from what it's teaching me. It's a work in progress, that's for sure.

Posts of Interest 
Why I Hate the Scale by Nutrition Nut on the Run (Hillary)
The Zero Scale by Meals and Moves (Janetha)
You and I Just Don't Get Along by Best Body Fitness (Tina)

9 comments:

missris said...

I used to be of the mindset that I had to sweat and really get my heart pounding for a workout to "count." Then I met yoga. I found it's a great workout, and often I'm more sore after a good yoga class than a good treadmill session or long run. It also really takes care of my runners' legs. Yoga is the best!

Leigh said...

I have a love hate relationship with the scale. When I was at my heaviest, I was so scared to step on it to see the truth. Now, that the number on the scale is lower, I like it more but still let myself get irritated if it's not a number I want. Not a good thing! I have also had to re-evaluate the scale since I've started crossfit and not running as much. I am gaining more muscle and that shows on the scale, but I am happy with what my body has been able to do in the last three months of crossfit!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I do not own a scale! I used to, but it just had an unhealthy affect on my self perception, so I got rid of it. My gym has a scale and I weigh myself about once a week just as a pulse check for where I am. My weight usually hovers within a 5 pound range, which isn't a huge range, and I am comfortable with the bounds of it. I also know the scale doesn't tell the whole story, so I sort of take it with a grain of salt!

Running has made me really appreciate my body. I respect what I am able to do and happy to say that because of running I can no consider myself an athlete. I haven't gotten into yoga, but I am sure I would benefit from that as well!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Great post friend! Yoga has made me love my body and my life more. It's just made me so much better at being present!!! It's an amazing thing isn't it!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I've never had a scale! I do still complain about my pear shape, though. The more I run, the bigger my thighs get. They could eat you for dinner. Seriously, one of my thighs is bigger than an entire you.

Kristin @ FoodFash said...

Nicely said! Although I'm not sure there is any part of your arms that jiggle. I'm pretty sure I have photobooth proof of your killer arm muscles!

Danielle said...

LP, you are one of the skinnies in class! And you can certainly do more push ups than half of the guys :) Go on sportin' the spandex proudly!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love yoga and pilates although they really make me realize that with all the running, I am still pretty weak! When I am in class and am trying to stand on one leg for a full minute with my arms like a pretzel and my belly button tucked in and my hips straight, it is HARD! I love that something seemingly so simple is really so hard!

I think running has given me the same body confidence that yoga has given you. It just makes me FEEL like I look stronger, even if it is all mental!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I love hearing everyone's perspectives on the whole body image/scale thing. It's good to hear that so many of us are working toward healthier relationships with weight and a number that doesn't calculate worth.