Learning to Love What My Body Can Do

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East Idaho Moms partnered with Yoga London to bring you this great information about whole-body wellness!

Self-esteem and body image are difficult at any age. As I approach my mid-thirties, though, I am learning and growing at a rate previously unimaginable. I truly feel like I am maturing and learning to love previously “unlovable” parts of myself.

In this “Learning to Love” series, I am excited to explore the parts of me that have felt ugly or less than and, in some cases, foreign, in hopes that maybe you, the reader, will find some reasons to love them in yourself.

I am so grateful for our sponsors who stand firmly behind empowering women and self-love. Without them, this platform and community wouldn’t be possible.

It was almost exactly one year ago that I received concerning lab results from my primary care physician. At that time, I was at the height of my mental health improvement. I had been regularly taking my anti-depressant for over a year and was attending regular therapy sessions. I was proud of the growth I had achieved and looked forward to further improvement. When my doctor called about my concerning lab results, I struggled to reconcile my physical inconsistencies while I felt healthier than ever mentally.

The first step necessary in order to improve my health was weight loss. Quick weight loss to be exact. My doctor recommended at least a 20-pound loss in order to hopefully lower some results to ensure better health. I had learned to LOVE my body and really liked what I saw in the mirror, so finding the motivation to lose weight was difficult. Unfortunately, my physical image has always been my primary motivation for weight loss. I had only ever tried to lose weight if I no longer liked the way I looked. Sound familiar? For the first time in my life, though, I was completely in love with the way my body looked, so hearing that it wasn’t functioning at its best requiring at least a 20lb weight loss was jarring.

Shortly after that visit, I started realizing that while my body looked great to me, it did not FEEL good.

Exercise that felt good in college did NOT feel good now. Walking, running, weight lifting, swimming, and stretching were much more difficult than I remembered and were far less rewarding. I didn’t realize how far I had let my health decline and, as the words from my doctor set in, I finally knew I HAD to make a change.

My first two steps towards better physical health were walking and stretching. It seemed simple, but almost every day was a struggle at first. The city had just completed its canal beautification project in my area of Idaho Falls so I had a beautiful walking path but I still lacked the motivation to get out and walk daily. I felt so lame because walking shouldn’t be that hard! The loop from my house to the path and back was a little over a mile. Prior to Covid, I was a runner and had completed 2 half marathons and several 5ks, so struggling to walk a little over a mile was incredibly disheartening. One day, I hope to be able to get my respiratory and cardiovascular health back to where it was several years ago, but for now, I am giving myself grace.

My daily stretching slowly morphed into a daily yoga practice. I haven’t been brave enough to visit a studio regularly, but I found YouTube videos on my TV and started learning the basics in the safety of my home. Even though I felt like a chubby stick bug some days, I remembered my conversation with Yoga London about yoga being for EVERY body and their reminder that it was a “practice” and held fast to those reminders as I relearned how to move my body. Slowly, I started gaining confidence and my daily walking and stretching/yoga practice became more rewarding. I am eternally grateful for that conversation over a year ago as those words have been my sanity for many, many days. I am practicing.

Every day, I practice and, step by step and pose by pose, I am learning to love what my body can do.

Visit Yoga London’s website to find the perfect class for you!

“At Yoga London we are building a community of people helping each other reach their full potential.  We provide the space and support for Every Body on their yoga journey to peace and power.”
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GiGi is married to her favorite human in the whole world and together, they have five perfect little snack-obsessed kiddos 8 and under. They are a busy blended family and the kids run wild 50% of the time and have strict rules the other 50% because – balance. She has lived in the Idaho Falls area since 2011 and enjoys taking her kids to the park, the zoo, or playing Pokemon GO on the Greenbelt! GiGi loves to travel and experience different cultures and enjoys getting to know new people and hearing their stories. She needs to sleep 8 hours nightly and has to have alone time to recharge. It's important to know she’s addicted to the plant juice (essential oils), crystals, green tea, plants, and online shopping with fast shipping.

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