Do you feel fat when you work out?

We spend most of the day mesmerized, taunted and eluded by the endless chatter in our minds. Most of us don't realize this as we take the mind talk (our thoughts) for who we are.

Sometimes the internal conversation is nice and other times it’s downright cruel.

The cruel days can be the hardest.

“You’re fat! You look old and old is bad. Why can’t those jeans fit you the way they fit your sister. She was always the prettier one anyways. Fatty, fat, fat!”

I think I spent most of my 28 years here on earth hating myself, which is interesting to note. The part that hated “me” is also the same part that loved “me”.

We laugh when we see dogs barking at their reflection in the mirror. Silly dog, we think. Can’t they see they are barking at their own reflection?

Humans are not so different, which is evident by the nature of this question.

Can’t we see our love/hate relationship with our own reflections? Reflections, by definition, are embodiments or representations of something else; but, of what?

Unlike the pooch that may forget that the “sliding glass door dog” was ever there, our bodies and nervous systems remember the impact of the endless, and at times violent, tauntings of our mind. Over time, we take the thoughts in our heads as some sort of truth.

In Episode 2 of #AskJuanita, Juanita talks about self-love, taking care of yourself and the epic abs of one Janet Jackson. Yes, that bitch did have a 20 pack.

#AskJuanita’s Best Advice?

“You gotta make yourself feel good. No one else will.” (tweet it)

How can I feel better about myself?

First, identify who you are.

There’s a practice I once learned that entailed writing down all the things we are not. 

Your job title. That devastating heartbreak. Your hairstyle. Your Youtube video that went viral. The man that loves you. The woman that doesn’t. Your neighborhood. The new dryer. Your father’s rage. The ever-painful relationship with your mom. Your resume.

You are not those things.

To put it simply, you are not anything that can change or die (tweet that!).

When you have exhausted your list, reflect on what remains, which shouldn’t be much. That is the direction of who you truly are.

Space.

Peace.

Ever expansive silence. The humming of the stars. A presence than can only be known through your body. A sensation and knowing that the mind cannot possibly rationalize, for it goes beyond the capabilities of thought.

This is vastly different than believing you are the sum of your accomplishments or the people in your life.

You may very well have some extra pounds to spare or you may have weight to gain. Or, go figure, you might be just fine.

But how do you know?

You listen. 

Not to the endless chatter of your mind. Let that go. Learn to watch your thoughts and recognize them as as the renegade Wild West that they are. Don’t try to find solace there.

Sink deeper.

First you will feel, maybe for the first time in your life, and at first it may be uncomfortable. Learn to sit with that. It’s just something that needs to be released.

Over time you will witness and the nature of your question will change.

Namaste.

I'm curious to know. What are three things that would be on your list of things you are not? Share in the comment section below.