Recently I had a photo shoot with the fantastically talented Caitlin of twentyfive.twentysix.studios. She wrote a lovely post about the shoot on her site, and was so sweet to say what she did, but here's the truth.. I was so nervous before, during and after! I had absolutley no doubts in Caitlin's skills (definitely browse her site, simply gorgeous!) and knew her photos would turn out great, but I was nervous about my reaction. I was nervous I'd judge myself.
You see the last time I had any professional photos taken I weighed somewhere between 15 & 20 pounds less and was below 9% bodyfat while flipping and posing on stage in fitness and figure competitions. The week before this shoot I gave myself pep talks, reminding myself that this was for yoga, I wasn't getting on stage and being judged for how many abs were visible, and I needed to suck it up and practice what I preach.. no judgments and negative talk allowed!
And to tell you the truth my positive affirmations of sorts worked pretty darn well!
Body image in the worlds of fitness and yoga is a funny topic (both funny 'haha' and 'odd'). In competitive fitness you're striving for a specific very lean look, and you get up on stage to be judge for that. In yoga, you're told to be content with where you are but to find your edge, always challenging yourself for more. There are similarities between the two don't you think? Both ask you to push your limits, to surpass what you think you are capable of in order to discover your potential.
But there's a crucial component that yoga emphasizes that is sometimes overlooked in the fitness world.. being content with where you are right now. That's the key, and a piece I have missed for a long time.
You can be content, happy even, and still push for more. You can look at your body, and have so much gratitude for everything it does for you, love it, and still challenge yourself to work towards the next level of a posture, hold warrior two a bit longer, or perhaps add 10 more pounds to that push press.
So moral of the story.. wherever you are right now, physically and beyond, is just fine. It's perfect in fact, because it's where you need to be right this moment. Fine comfort in that, and also in the fact that the fun part is that it's going to change, you get to make it change. The process never ends (there is no perfect!). So be happy where you are, but accept and enjoy the challenge of moving forward. One breath, one day, one week, one year at a time.