“Loving My Wabi Sabi Muffin Top”
Thirty years ago I was obsessed with the ambition to attain physical perfection. I had this idea that if I could weigh a certain amount, have my measurements be an exact number, have my hair the best length and all ten of fingers nails “long” at the same time, I would be perfect and with that perfectly happy.
I spent a year working out two hours a day lifting weights, running, doing sit-ups and squats. I carefully measured and tracked everything I ate and I weighed myself daily (ok, multiple times a day).
And, then one day it happened. I got up, stood on the scale, took out my measuring tape and voila – perfection had been reached. For a few moments I was in bliss.
This occurred while I was at Club Med in the Bahamas on a vacation by myself. (I had recently broken up with my boyfriend.) It was only Day Two of my holiday and I didn’t have anyone to share my “good news” with. I realized that I couldn’t just walk up to strangers and tell them, “Hey – look at me, I’m perfect!”
I quickly sank into a bit of a depression as I realized I had just spent a year chasing a dream that wasn’t fulfilling me…
The gift of all of this was that I stopped the insanity of restricting myself on so many levels. I quit measuring my food and counting calories. I decided to exercise a more reasonable five times a week for an hour, and most importantly, I no longer looked to the scale to tell me how I would feel about my body.
A few years later, I discovered the ancient Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi which seeks to find beauty and perfection in imperfection. Slowly, I began to let go of my notions of perfection (in all areas of my life) and find fun ways to reframe the things I formerly judged about myself. I declared myself a Wabi Sabi Artisan!
Rather than beat myself up over my less-than-ideal spelling skills, I embraced “typos.”
I found humorous ways to forgive myself for having a bad memory and forgetting names.
I forewarned my dining companions that my food was likely to spill into my lap and possibly get onto theirs!
Over the past few years I have developed a “muffin-top.” It’s that extra roll of fat that pops up over my jeans at the waistline. Each time I notice it, I have this thought, “oh no, it’s time to go on a diet!” But, of course, I never do start that diet. Today I decided it’s time to stop judging and hating my little muffin top and I asked the wiser, Wabi Sabi artisan part of me to find the beauty and perfection in it instead.
P.S. Photos: These photos are 30 years apart and an additional 30 pounds! [Click HERE]
Blog post b Arielle Ford
Edits by Coach Roz Harris