Is This Fallacy Keeping You Stuck?

I finally bit the bullet and went to the optometrist today. Apparently you hit “an age” and can’t read anything – including your phone – without “cheaters.” I had been resistant to go in for an eye exam because I don’t like the idea that you simply “hit an age” and things just start “falling apart.” I’m a strong, healthy, vibrant person! I take care of myself! So if I were to go to the eye doctor, I might be admitting that time is taking its toll.

I find it ironic that I was in such a tizzy over having an eye exam – frustrated over my lack of control of my eyesight. Our eyesight is no different than any other aspect of our bodies. We ultimately have no control over the outcome – our bodies are fundamentally in charge. And this is where we can learn a lot from the process of aging. We can use the aging process as a framework for healing our pain and shame around our weight and our body image.

We may not like it, but we do seem to accept aging as a natural part of life (it beats the alternative). We’re all getting older and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. And because of that, there doesn’t seem to be any shame around it (frustration perhaps, but not shame).

But in contrast to our age, there is plenty of shame around our body and our weight. And that’s because we DO believe there is something we can do about it. We believe that eating “right” and exercising will keep our weight and body in check. And why wouldn’t we believe this? We’re told by the weight loss industry that certain foods will help us lose – or make us gain – weight. We’re told by the fitness industry that working out will help us burn calories and lose weight. And we’re told by the medical community to “eat right and exercise.”

Now food choices and exercise are very important – they just are not important like we’ve been taught. We’ve been taught to “eat right and exercise” because it’s healthy and it will help us control our weight. But the fact that we are responsible for what we eat and what we do for exercise does not mean that we can control our body size and shape and our weight through diet and exercise. This simple flaw in logic is at the heart of our body pain and shame.

By understanding that really there isn’t ultimately anything we can do about our weight – that our bodies are in charge – we can start to heal the pain and shame we have surrounding our bodies. And when we can soothe the pain, we can find some peace. And by finding peace, we can start to hear more clearly the guidance coming forth from within our bodies. And when we begin following that guidance, our lives, our health, and our bodies can transform.

At any age, at any weight, at any state of physical fitness, our bodies are guiding us toward an optimized state of health, vitality, beauty and joy. We just need to get out of the way and follow their guidance.