Feeling only excitement, pride and eager anticipation to this perfect start of the day I caught a glimpse of myself in the elevator mirrors. The shirt I'd thrown on in my haste was a smidge see-through and kinda clung to my love handles. "Man I'm going to look ridiculous this whole walk, people are going to see me like this," ran through my head. My mood immediately dropped quite a few notches.
We were halfway through the first block when I remembered something I had learned at the Beauty Redefined lecture I attended in February. I had learned the concept of self-objectification. This is when we experience an activity as-if from the outside because we spend our time thinking about how we look during the activity instead of just focusing on what we are doing. The research shows that it diminishes our performance abilities and enjoyment when we self-objectify. So I took a deep breath and the amazing spring-air-smell that had pulled me outside flooded over me again. I realized worrying about my clothes had taken so much of my brain power that I hadn't even noticed the smell for the first three minutes of our walk. I remembered why I had come outside in the first place: to revel in that smell. I resolved to put my focus on enjoying and experiencing the moment rather than thinking about my love-handles.
It was glorious. H would suddenly stop on her scooter every time she saw an ant and watch for a while. K decided to start doing tricks on his scooter and his excitement and pride as he tried something new was amazing. We all enjoyed the spring blossoms and the crazy squirrel antics. Dr. Kite and Dr. Kite of Beauty Redefined have taught me to not think of my body as an object to be looked at but as an instrument to use. I am learning how to apply this in my life and it is awesome. Today on that walk I realized I have a body with eyes that can soak in the beauty of a spring morning. I have a body with legs that can run next to a scooter. I have a body that houses my heart so I can feel it swell with the joy of these tiny moments. And I LOVE this body.
So I guess this one is a little bit of a shout out to the work of Beauty Redefined. And really, a shout out to all you amazing people out there who are using your bodies to experience and create joy. Any great resources you love that help spread the message of positive body image? I'd love to hear about them!