May 16, 2013

Stop Wishing Your Body Were Different. ~ Joy Fichiera

Standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror, a new thought hit me yesterday morning.

Yes, I saw the same cellulite on my thighs, I saw the same softer-than-I-would-like belly. But something shifted…

Stop wishing your body were different.

Ten years from now, you will be wishing for this body.

How much time have I wasted throughout my life wishing my body were different, working to make it different, weighing myself, looking at it from all angles in the mirror, pulling my belly skin back? I am sure I was doing those things 15 years ago when I was 23.  Really? I would love to have that 23-year-old body right now!

Why couldn’t I see that, appreciate that?

I think a few things brought me to this epiphany—yes, a strong word—but it really is a life changing way of looking at my body. I have been reading Amy Weintraub’s book, Yoga for Depression and it has impacted my teaching lately. In it she quotes Julia Mines, a Kripalu yoga teacher, as telling her students while they are in poses, “this body is a good one, this body is worthy of your love.” She says that her students, upon hearing this, visibly open up “the way a flower turns toward the sunlight for sustenance”. As a yoga teacher, I am blessed to learn what I am teaching, and to get to hear it over and over, many times a week.

The second thing that made me ripe for this epiphany was the hidden blessing that has come from my Mom’s cancer. I am reminded daily that I am taking the future for granted. Seeing my Mom, a brilliant, healthy, successful, young grandmother have her life completely flipped on its head has taken me by the arms, shaken me and said:

“Wake Up! You don’t have as much time as you think you do!  What the hell are you waiting for? What are you afraid of?”

We don’t have as many days left in this life as we may think we have. As many days as we are counting on to feel healthy, vibrant, with energy to eat whatever food we feel like and take on whatever task we want, we may not have that time.

I can imagine there is a list of sh*t that my Mom wishes she had not wasted her time on. And if worrying about her cellulite was in her past, I bet that is at the top of her list of “Meaningless Sh*t I Wasted My Time on Before I Had Cancer.”

If I had a list, it would read something like this:

  • > Doing things I didn’t really want to do, but thought I should
  • > Volunteering for things out of guilt
  • > Caring about what people thought of me
  • > Not having as much fun as possible
  • > Not seeing as many beautiful places as possible
  • > Not spending as much time as possible with the people I love
  • > Holding my ground in a fight just to be right
  • > Holding grudges
  • > Gossiping
  • > Working too many hours a week
  • Feeling guilty for taking time for myself

It is a morbid perspective to have, and even worse when your Mom is going through it—it is not just a philosophical question. It really does put things into perspective for me. As awful as my Mom’s cancer is, I am trying to see the blessings that have come from it.

Loving my body right now, as it is, is at the top of the list.


Joy Fichiera is a yoga teacher, football Mom and wife of a football coach who convinced her husband to let her teach yoga to his football players. She is fascinated by the chakras and how they manifest in our modern lives and in our children. To learn more about the chakras in your life and how the yoga for football players goes, go to www.joyfichiera.com.


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Assistant Ed. Caroline Scherer

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