Getting Real On My 46th Birthday by Jen Kraft
Blog written by Jen Kraft, Co-Owner & Yoga Instructor at The Body Image Boutique
I teach yoga for positive body image and encourage my students to accept themselves and love their bodies. Many of my students will tell me “Easy for you to say, Jen…look at you!” They feel that because I am thin, it is easy for me to accept myself, and they assume that because I teach yoga, nothing really bothers me. I have always loved to perpetuate that image.
But today is my 46th birthday, and I’m done pretending. The truth is that I can’t remember a day in my life that I didn’t judge my body and my weight.
In college, I struggled with anorexia, where I posed as a bubbly sorority girl but secretly restricted myself and lived in fear of losing control and gaining weight. People were always complimenting me for being skinny and for having so much will power, so I clung to that and worried that my social life would go down the tubes if I put on weight. While I am now “recovered”, I still have the nagging inner voice that tries to tell me that I am not enough.
My yoga practice saves me daily and helps to quiet the voice. Contrary to popular belief, the practice is not about fancy poses and bending in half. You don’t have to be flexible, strong, zen, thin, or wear expensive yoga clothes to practice yoga. Yoga is about making a shift in perspective. It’s about turning negatives into positives. It’s about knowing that you were born enough, you are enough, and always will be enough…no matter how much you weigh, how often you work out, how many Oreos you ate, how many times you lost your temper, or how many messages you forgot to return.
I am a yoga teacher AND I am riddled with self- doubt. I teach body positive yoga AND I still judge myself by the number on that damn scale. I am a good mom AND I yell at my kids sometimes so loudly that my throat hurts. I am posting this blog and I will worry for days that no one likes or worse yet, that no one ever reads it!
Yoga is about radically accepting all parts of ourselves, and not being ashamed to talk about it. Yoga is for Every Body.