I needed to have an honest real look at myself. So I stood there in front of the mirror, and all that came was a whisper:
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.
All these years I’ve been critical and judgmental of this body that carried me for 62 years.
I spent all this time wishing that I had something different. Different thighs, a different stomach, a different something.
Thank you for shoulders that are sturdy
Thank you for knees that still work
Thank you for allowing me to walk and stand
Thank you for staying committed through the failed promised.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”
In Her second installment of the Supersoul Sessions, Oprah’s talk is titled “Shedding the weight to a better life”. In the words above, she discusses how the real, lasting and sustainable change in her weight loss, came when she changed her relationship with her body. All these years she had spent eating her feelings, wishing for a different body, trying every diet imaginable, nothing ever worked. In this struggle, she collected many an epiphany.
- When she was younger, she would get a whooping for expressing her feelings and being told they were out of line. not only would she get beaten, she’d get told to hold her tears. Eating therefore became a way to suppress feelings which she didn’t think would get validated anyway.
- In all her years of running the #1 talk show in the world, she didn’t really get stressed as people imagine she would; that’s because she was eating her feelings.
- Overeating, was therefore about escaping the discomfort of negative emotions at all cost .
So what to do with this knowledge of her triggers? She learned from Deepak Chopra the necessity of staying fully present at all times. To not try to avoid the discomfort, but sit with it, acknowledge it, name it, give yourself permission to feel it. And when you feel yourself wanting to reach for the Snickers to numb the pain, take a few breaths and allow yourself time to make a healthier decision. This process is better detailed in a previous post I wrote on Dr. Chopra’s S.T.O.P method.
But perhaps her biggest epiphany she believes, is realizing that all of her problems came from the fact that she was disconnected and misaligned from the knowing that we are made of the divine intelligence, of the omnipresence and omnipotence the universe, and should therefore walk this world like joy and bliss are our birth rights. Too many of us forget to give ourselves permission to be happy and instead, we find comfort in the negative feelings that lead us to overeat. We should therefore make it a lifetime daily commitment to remind ourselves of who we are, to seek to get re-aligned and reconnected to the source so as to unapologetically live our best lives.
These words of gratitude which came to her is a whisper while staring at her reflection, were a testimony of that knowing. They were that turning point when her weight loss journey changed from wanting a different body, to a deep love and compassion for herself, combined with knowing she is built from the boundless wonders of the entire universe.
What would it look like if everything you want for your body from now on, comes not from a need to escape yourself, but from abundant love, gratitude, and a deep knowing that joy and bliss are your birth rights?
Check out her talk at http://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=63324
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.