I just realized that sometimes I feel like a fraud.
I had the honor of taking Dr. Melody Moore’s workshop at the Off the Mat: Game Changer’s intensive at Yoga Journal LIVE in Estes Park, Colorado. I’ve been familiar with Dr. Moore’s work with the Embody Love Movement and felt compelled to take her workshop entitled: How Yoga Brings Healing to Those Who Struggle with Negative Body Image and Disordered Eating.
We gathered in a circle and after learning more about her journey into the world of yogic healing, we played a getting-to-know-you game.
Standing in a circle, every time Dr. Moore made a statement we agreed with, we were supposed to take a big step into the center of the circle. Even if we wanted to justify the statement or explain our reason for agreeing, we were supposed to stay silent and just step in and out of the circle accordingly.
I told myself to just move from my gut. So when she made a statement, I wouldn’t think twice. I’d either step in or I’d stay put.
At one point, Dr. Moore said:
“As someone who promotes Body Positivity, sometimes I feel like a fraud.”
Before I knew it, I was standing in the center of the circle.
When I stepped back out, I wondered why I felt like a fraud but didn’t give myself enough time to worry about it because she was already onto the next statement. As I stepped into and out of the circle, it was not only a great way to get to know the people in the circle around me, but most of all, I felt like I was really getting to know myself.
After the workshop I had time to reflect, WHY DO I FEEL LIKE A FRAUD?
Immediately, I thought about a moment, just the day before, when I got out of the shower and was changing in front of a full length mirror. I was looking at my bare legs and started to criticize them. They were pale, covered in bruises, scars, veins (even some purple ones that bulged behind my knees), and my thighs looked soft and giggled easily.
THAT’S why I felt like a fraud.
I felt like a fraud because my instinct was to criticize my physical form.
HOWEVER, I am NOT a fraud.
I am not a fraud because even though I had a moment of criticism, I was able to flip it.
After my initial instinct to criticize my legs, I thought to myself:
“Well, these are my legs and they have treated me well. They are strong and they are powerful and I am so grateful for everything they have done for me.”
Then I realized:
Just because sometimes I feel like a fraud, doesn’t mean that I am a fraud.
Just because sometimes I have moments of insecurity, doesn’t mean that I am insecure.
I am a modern human and I have unmistakably human moments. The fact that I can briefly express a negative habit, but then catch myself and turn it into an affirmative opportunity for gratitude, is the best exercise of body positivity that I can think of.
I don’t think body positivity means always loving every part of your body at all times. I think it’s more dynamic than that. Cultivating a positive body image requires a constant learning process. Just as the body is always changing, so will our relationship with it.
So as I give myself a little slack, I ask you to be a little less harsh on yourself too. When you have moments of insecurity or self-criticism, take a deep breath and see if you can turn it around.
Remember, body positivity is a process and takes practice. Luckily there are people like Dr. Moore and others who are here to help.