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Let It Go

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I suppose I can admit that I must have been living under a rock for the past year or so, as I have yet to see the Disney movie Frozen. Yes, I know. Shocker. But I’m not so out of the loop that I am at least familiar with / have heard the popular song “Let It Go.” And yes, I love it too.

What does this song have to do with anything on this blog? Well, I think that the central chorus and title have particular importance in my life, and probably yours, right now. So I’d like to explore that idea.

As you have probably noticed in my blog writings to date, whatever I write about tends to deal with something I’m currently experiencing, have been pondering, or have dealt with personally in the past. I believe that unlike reading about studies, conflicting diet and nutrition information, or arguments for or against a specific way of eating, the most impact comes from relating to another person’s reflections and experiences. That is why I share them here today.

Last week, while I was between running high-intensity bursts on the treadmill, I was huffing and puffing my way through an article in O Magazine. It was an outdated issue from before the New Year, but had a good feature on how to live 2014 to the fullest, and increase your happiness. Part of what struck me so in this article was the tip to practice letting go. The author wrote about the practice of mentally and physically letting go of negativity, behaviors, and lines of thinking that keep us paralyzed in self-doubt and loathing.

Huh. Panting and sweating away, I slowed down the pace on the treadmill. I was irritated that just one minute of running 8 mph was seemingly killing me. Wiping sweat from my brow, I decided to give this notion a little practice. Here I was in the middle of pushing my body in a workout, and my mind was obsessing over how inadequate I felt, worrying about how gross I was looking, and that my butt jiggles as I run.

Breathing in, I thought to myself, Let it happen…and as I exhaled I thought, Let it go…

Again, let it happen… let it go.

Let it happen… let it go.

This small shift in my mental energy helped me push through the rest of my workout and focus on being glad for what I was capable of, rather than critiquing what I felt were my inadequacies.

Over the past week, I’ve been trying the implement this little practice. Breathing in, let it happen, as I catch myself in a negative, self-abusive thought, and breathing out, let it go, as I release the thought from my mind. Amazingly, it has helped me to not dwell over the little insecurities I still harbor with my body.

A couple instances in the past few months have me reeling in self-doubt and easily slipping into some derisive and abusive thoughts about my body. Last month, while shopping for my evening gown for the International Pageant in July, I was insulted by a rude sales clerk when he told me that I should “lose some weight in my hips and butt” to help my dress fit better. It has been hard for me to not obsess over this stupid and inconsiderate quip, even though I know better and see his words as a reflection of his own obtuseness and not my health or attractiveness.

With these words ringing in my mind, as a million other more important things demand my attention each day, I have felt trapped back in a pattern of belittling my body and not appreciating all it is capable of, merely from the verbal critique from one stranger. Stupid, right?

As I go forward, attempting to refocus and direct my energy on mental and physical health and happiness, I’m trying to let it go… I see how wasteful this mental energy is to harbor each day, and how counterproductive it is for me physically.

When I mentally abuse or mistreat my body, by way of thinking negative things or saying things about myself like, “My belly is so swollen” or “I wish I had bigger breasts” or “I hate my thighs,” I begin to manifest these statements as my reality, and turn back to my old vices. Like many of you, I have a history of emotionally eating, eating for escape, eating to feel happy, eating to feel nothing, eating as a substitute for dealing with whatever really needs my attention. Being emotional abusive to myself in any way lowers me to the level of one who is verbally rude or abusive to anyone else… because I do it to me.

Looking in the mirror, I’m practicing positive affirmations, acknowledging that my body is a good body, that it is capable of doing so much and affords me a wonderful vessel in which to experience this amazing life. My body gets bloated sometimes, it feels sore oftentimes, it gets tired, it gains weight, it loses weight, it gives me unbelievable pleasure and sometimes inescapable pain. My body protects me from harm, cleanses me from toxins, and keeps me moving and speaking and thinking and breathing every single day.

My body is a good body. And so is yours – in every way.

So when I start feeling those icky, negative thoughts bubble up inside, I will breathe in, let it happen…and breathe out all that yucky stuff, let it go…

Maybe after that I will burst into song, Frozen style. ;)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I couldn't but notice the date of your posting. That period was the bleakest in my life - personally, musically, financially... I've worked hard to scramble up out of most of those pits. It's taking care of my body that remains to be undertaken. You were always very inspiring during my earlier "tenure," and it's nice to be back!
    1985 days ago
    Let it go is for you not the other person! :)
    2222 days ago
    In the bathroo this morning I caught a glimpse of thhe stretch mark on my hips.

    I looked at them, smiled and said "Ahhh, to be a teenager again!" Funny how age changes your perspective!

    Letting go is the key to winning the battle of the mind! Choose what to think about and choose it wisely as the power of the human brain is infinite!
    2565 days ago
    2603 days ago
    Love it!!!!
    2616 days ago
    Hey Whitney, So excited to see you blogged and a great one at that. I loved it. I'm thinking of eating a little more clean and remembered you had some great recipes and meal plans you blogged about so I thought I would stop by. So glad I did. That salesman was inappropriate in his remarks. Regardless of anyones shape he should be finding a dress to flatter someone rather than telling someone to change their shape. On a side note you are in fantastic shape to begin with.
    2679 days ago
    Love this blog so much!
    2684 days ago
    You are beautiful inside and out! I Liked your Facebook page. I wish you the best with your healthy business to guide others on the path to helping others "Let it Go!" emoticon
    2686 days ago
    2686 days ago
    I myself have been working on Letting go! and the song is definitely an inspiration and reminder when it's stuck in my head, to take a step back and let it go. You reflect many of the same thoughts bouncing around my brain! Great blog!
    2687 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3692258
    Excellent blog. I still like the 38 Special song "Hold on Loosely" for many things in my life. I have dreams and aspirations and goals that I want to hold on to but not so tightly that if I falter or don't keep the path of my expectations that I let go of them completely. Holding on tightly to my will often leads to resentments that drive me back toward bad habits. Do let it go, but hold on loosely.
    2687 days ago
    Very well said! It is so much easier said than done, but the reminder always reignites the desire to love myself more.
    2687 days ago
    emoticon emoticon

    That sales clerk should be reported ..... so ignore and think positive thoughts.
    You are a beautiful person!

    2687 days ago
    hi whitney,it is great to see you bloging on here again.yes that sales person was an idiot to make such a thoughtless remark.good job it hit you imagine how it would be if his tactless remark had hit someone who had an eating disorder.maybe someone should point that out to him for future referance.it is easier to let other peoples thoughtless remarkes get to us than our own common sense.in england we have a saying which i love and have used to say to other people who make uncalled for remarks.
    it is whats suits the wearer not the starer
    means it what suits you and what you like and feel comfortable in not what other people think about it after all our main reason for wearing clothes should be first and foremost for ourselfs.well done for getting yourself back out of your old rut with your breathing mantras.take care and keep smiling and above all keep on keeping on.miss you love how are you doing?i am resting between operations at the moment got a big one coming up 14th of april and afterwards will have to learn to walk all over again.dr´s said i wont be able or shouldn´t run again even after the operation which is a real bummer that i am having to work on.otherwise nothing new my end. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2687 days ago
  • GINA180847
    Great blog! That salesman won't be working there too long. Not exactly the king of tact.
    2687 days ago
    What a wonderful blog !
    emoticon for the emoticon pep talk !
    2687 days ago
    POSITIVITY: that is the one "vitamin" I never forget to take daily!!! If a statement made to you or a lifestyle you are living is not a reflection of YOU, let it go!!!! You are so right; LET IT GO!!!! Have a great week, my friend and continue doing well!!!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2687 days ago
  • KONRAD695
    I'm glad you put your feelings into words. Sometimes sharing also removes the toxins. Chin up and keep smiling. emoticon

    PS- there is a bloated, tires and sore guy in Michigan who's got your back. also, he's strong enough to pick you up if you need it. emoticon
    2687 days ago
  • no profile photo ELRIDDICK
    Thanks for sharing
    2688 days ago
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