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Practicing Acceptance

I always thought if I just repeated positive affirmations like “i love who I am, and not what I look like”, or things like “It doesn’t matter what people think of me, only what I think of myself” that eventually I would learn to love myself.  I think I missed something else.  What about confronting the things holding me back?

A few weeks ago I posted The Real Me | Before, After and After After.  After unleashing this I felt empowered. I felt like I had been locked in a cell without ever trying the door – which just happened to be unlocked!  The anxiety had been released.

I think by coming out of hiding, I am confronting ONE of the things in my way to acceptance; avoidance of who I am or who I want to be, or who I want you to think I (still) am.  If I’m pretending to be something I’m not, then how can I ever work on accepting who I am now?  On another note… why am I still attaching “who I am” to how I look!? (another post, another day)

Yesterday in the gym I dreaded using my weight belt.  Actually it’s my husbands because mine doesn’t fit anymore – in my mind that makes it even worse!  That belt gets so tight there’s no hiding the fluff.  I avoid looking in anyone’s direction or into the mirror.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Not really, but as close as I can get.  In a room full of mirrors, it’s bound to eventually happen; I turned and stared right at my reflection… weight belt cinched up as tight as I could get it.  Enter mind.

Surprisingly the thoughts that came to me weren’t what I’m used to.  They were a little more calm and accepting.  I realize I’m larger than I would like or what is “healthy”.  I’m coming to see these two sizes (previous weight vs current weight) as completely opposite of each other (more on that later).  I was able to see my strengths in this body firstinstead of the fat.  It was a foreign but comforting feeling to me.  One I hope becomes more of a regular occurrence.

In Christie Inges post 17 Reasons to Love Your Body Now, reasons #5 and #7 are becoming clearer to me.

#5 Loving your body now doesn’t mean giving up on it. In fact, it means the opposite.

#7 When you love something, you take care of it.

Yes, I’ve been practicing acceptance and it has helped a lot, but what if I was missing another pathway to acceptance?

#3 You can’t hate your way into anything but suffering.

Recently a friend of mine made the comment… “I just wrote a really intense post about why it’s been hard for me to move on from the anger I feel towards my mother…and it’s because I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel the anger I have!”  (You can read her post here, but you’ll need to email her for the password.)

If we don’t move through the anger, will we never find the acceptance?

I see this place I’m in as a “good thing”.  There’s so much good coming from it that would have never been realized without it.  If I truly believe all this, why don’t I fully embrace this belief?

As much as I try to force acceptance, the truth is I’ve been very angry.  I’m angry my body gave out on me.  I’m angry I didn’t trust my own body’s cues as it was giving out on me.  I’m angry I didn’t trust myself, even though I knew better.  I’m angry that I can’t willmy body into submission.  I’m angry at the way things were “taken” from me.  I’m angry that what others have they take for granted.  I’m angry with the people that steered me in the wrong direction.  I’m angry with people and their quick judgments.  A week or so ago I blocked an asshole from twitter after he made the comment (something along these lines), “you aren’t overtrained you are fat! #shutthef*ckupfatf*ck”.  Whether that was meant for me or not is irrelevant.  It’s a shame there are so many ignorant people on the subject yet leading people down the path so confidently – arrogantly.  I’m pissed at the situation and everything about it.

I’ve been stuck in a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” holding pattern and not sure how to get out.  Maybe the answer lies in what my friend says, “it’s because I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel the anger I have!”  I’ve been trying to force my way through it.  If I don’t acknowledge the anger how am I to move through it to find acceptance?

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