Numbers aren’t the point. Whether we’re talking about the number of days, weeks, months that I haven’t been to class or the pounds, stone, kilos overweight I am, the numbers aren’t the point. So, I am not going to mention my weight or my dress size or the number of days since my last class. The point is that I am unhappy about my weight, and I was stressing out about not having been to class for so long. Plenty of people tell me I’m not fat; plenty of people tell me chill out, you’ll get back to class when you are good and ready. Don’t beat yourself up. My therapist used to say, would you talk that way to someone you loved? Why talk that way to yourself? Well, because I’m fat and I should be in class, that’s why. Took me a while but I got self-compassion in the end. Or, more accurately, it’s an ongoing project – but that horizon is getting closer.
So, what stopped me from going to class?
- I can’t afford it. Who has that much money? It’s ludicrous.
- I have stuff to do:
- I have to find a new job (see first bullet)
- I have to sleep in at the weekends
- I have to watch tv on my laptop
- I have to see my friends
- I have to wallow in self hate
- I have to remember to hydrate
- I have to finish book two of Game of Thrones
- I have to keep improving my baking
- I have to eat everything I bake
- I have to help my sister transcribe research interviews for her PhD. This one, actually is no joke. I am properly doing this and I want to do it. She is busy, has two 9 year old sons, a life, and she lives 100s of 1,000s of miles away so this, in a funny way, is something we can do together. (I don’t actually know if it’s 100s of 1,000s of miles. I don’t really do miles. Do you know how far the earth is from the moon, or how many miles around is the earth’s circumference? What use is that information to you? I don’t understand miles. I understand “total hours in flight” and I understand “ground time”. I figure once I get to the airport, the miles are somebody else’s problem. Like, someone already took that exam. Leave me alone.)
BUT this morning I realised that bikram is something that I do for me, I don’t go for the results – I go chiefly because I like class. So I should go to class. Yeah, it’s a drag. It’s far – 45 minutes on public transport – and it’s expensive and it’s crowded and people see me wearing lycra. And it can be really challenging and sometimes I cry and get frustrated that I can’t do it. But I can’t do it but I’m doing it anyway.
And I like that it shuts me up, it shuts my brain up. It’s, frankly, a relief not to be worried about how badly beaten Holder got in The Killing last night (must remember to go back to the top and insert a spoiler warning) or whether I have chosen the right names for my pinterest boards, or the right earrings, or the right nail colour or waaah waaah waaah.
You may notice there are no photos of me on this blog. My ego won’t let me show you what I look like. Mostly I look ok. I’m 5 foot 8, brown hair, blue eyes, and my mum never let me have fashion shoes so my feet and ankles are very pretty, but I hate how I look and I hate being fat. In class tonight I was aware of the fat that I have to work around in order to practice. I was aware of my forearms hitting my hips at a particular place, for example. And I have the utmost respect for my brothers and sisters in the body positive and curvy yoga movements but that’s not me. I’m not supposed to be fat, I’m so miserable being fat it’s ruining my life. I’m not trying to impress you, or be dramatic, it is literally ruining my life. But even if I could afford lipo, I don’t believe in cosmetic surgery. So, for me, it’s bikram and therapy.
Like I said, my weight and my dress size aren’t relevant. It’s inside my head that is relevant. I could be 100lbs lighter or heavier than you, it’s not relevant. My actual weight doesn’t justify how I feel. I don’t care how much you weigh, I hope for you that you can own how you feel, though, and find peace in strength to change your situation if that is what you want to do.
Tomorrow I am scheduled to go to a class taught by someone I have made friends with on twitter. Etiquette says I should introduce myself to her. My ego says, have you gone quite mad? She will see how fat you are. We’ll see who wins that fight!
Love and peace to you.