The long and shorts of it: my struggle with body image
If I'm being honest, I'm not crazy about my body. I've always hated my legs and these days, especially, they're not pretty. I've got cellulite running up and down the back of them. My thighs seem to explode up my legs after my skinny calves and knobby knees into a gelatinous mess. I avoided shorts for years, wearing flowing skirts or pants even in the heat of the summer. While this photo makes me cringe, it also makes me proud.
It's easy enough to compare my body to other people's. I'm smaller than some, but bigger than others. And even when I was younger and thinner, I wasn't thrilled with how I look.
I've been taking yoga classes regularly for a little over a year now. I'm breathing and sweating and downward dogging with people, mostly women, representing a wide variety of sizes and life experiences. Some are younger, but most are older than I am. Each and every class, the teacher reminds us not to compare ourselves to the person on the mat next to us.
It is a good reminder that I should appreciate the abilities of my body. Some classes, I can slide easily into a pose. Other times, it's a struggle and it hurts. I need to ease up and be gentle with myself, both in the yoga studio and in my everyday life.
My legs may not look like Gigi Hadid's in shorts, but they help me get from A to B. They're strong, and I like the way they feel when I'm stretched out in pigeon pose.
When I (hopefully one day) have children, I don't want to miss out on chasing them around the beach in a bathing suit because I feel too fat. And I certainly don't want to pass on my own self-image issues.
So I'm going to keep moving my body in yoga class because it makes me feel healthy and strong. Maybe one day I'll confident in shorts, but I'm going to keep wearing them either way.