REFLECTIONS ON THE NONSENSE OF “THIN”—AND THE JOYS OF TRUE WELL-BEING, FREEDOM, AND BEING AWAKE…
I love and treasure my body, my self and my life. I am grateful and I am happy. I am aware, awake and alive. I am passionate about this. Not all of this came easily or early, but it is real, true, and joyful—and utterly possible for you, too.
I am not happy because I am “thin.” I am not thin, because there is no such thing. That’s a generic subjective word that doesn’t refer to anything of substance or meaning. It’s not measurable in the least. There is no definition, there is no measurement, there is no point. It SO doesn’t matter or offer you anything. It’s a teeny-tiny, limited, illusory jail cell—outside of which is a real and vibrant world.
The fact is that many people who might be called “thin” (by some opinion or other) can be unhealthy, out of shape, low-energy or exhausted, sick, at high risk of disease, not living a healthy life, and/or not loving a healthy life. They may actually have a high bodyfat percentage. They may smoke, drink excessively, sleep poorly, be sedentary or super stressed, have elevated disease risk, negative biomarkers (ones that matter, not “weight” which doesn’t matter a whit). No random irrelevant “weight,” nor some fuzzy-vague standard of “thin,” mitigates those things.
“Thin” is a booby prize (if one can even achieve such an amorphous distinction—how do you know when you’re “there?”). It’s a sloppy, vague, thoughtless, hand-me-down codeword for something much more specific that you really want and mean. So say what that is (it could be any number of actually measurable things) and you’re much more likely to get whatever it is you want. Is it health? Strength? Energy? Leanness? Longevity? Go for THAT. Do what THAT takes. “Thin” is not equivalent those things whatsoever, nor even correlated necessarily. Let that utter falsehood go. You’ll be so much better off.
It’s not your fault that these ideas about “thin” (and “weight”) are so pervasive. It’s what’s been shoved down your throat your whole life. It’s a collective consensus trance, irrespective of intelligence. But now, today, you get to choose. You get to be conscious, you get to wake up out of the trance, you get to speak clearly and powerfully, and set your sights on something more meaningful and real.
So do it.
You know what is SO much better and juicier and healthier than “thin,” or being grimly attached to the decoy of “weight” like a ball and chain? I can tell you. I am happy because I am strong, lean, fit, healthy, energetic, vibrant, resilient. I am happy because I am completely disconnected from caring what anybody, individually or culturally, thinks of my body or my choices. AND thoroughly connected to my gratitude and joy for having a body, and respect and appreciation for what that body does for me and allows me to do every day. (Which fuels my desire to nourish it.)
I’m happy because I have figured out how to not care about what doesn’t really matter, and to care deeply about what does.
I’m happy because I (not society or the food industry or false beliefs or mindless platitudes) am in charge of my body and my choices. I am powerfully informed and discerning. I’m happy because I know how to take amazing care of myself—what and when and how much to eat, and how to move and sleep and meditate and use herbs and medicinal foods, and nourish myself in a dozen other holistic ways, in all areas of life. AND, I am totally inspired and jazzed to do it.
AND I’m happy because I get to share that pleasure and privilege and power with others, so they can experience it too. I got there, and I can take others on the same journey.
I’m happy because I am “wearing well,” aging well, whatever you want to call it…wisening, maturing. It’s not that I’m trying to be a kid, but I seem to be more agelessly youthful than many women my age. Not because I do cosmetic “interventions,” but simply because some basic healthy things (that most people don’t do, but could) provide a much better experience of aging than most people have. And I’m “well-preserved” not just thanks to physical things, but because of an outlook on life. Curiosity, openness, optimism, humor, passion, expression, spiritual perspective. As a friend once told me “It’s not even how you look. It’s how you are.”
I’m happy because I don’t feel any need whatsoever to be perfect. I don’t have any illusion that such a thing exists or matters. I’m over 50 (though that shocks most people when I tell) and I’m comfortable in a swimsuit or walking around the gym in shorts and a bra. And NOT because I have a perfect body – I don’t. I simply don’t. There is no such thing. I just don’t care. I truly don’t. I am more focused on what my body can do and how it can feel, and that seems healthy and right.
I expect to have “imperfections” (and I don’t even see them that way really, it’s just what I know they’re called culturally). Like I have wrinkles, grey hair, some fat on my belly, cellulite on my butt like nearly all women, some sagging under my arms, etc. – I mean, I’m just not a spring chicken. Some of my “maturity” shows. Just … not as much as most would expect. I’m holding up nicely. In my opinion, anyway, which is what matters.
It’s far more important to me that I am healthy and strong and fit and energetic. (Which “thin” or any particular “weight” will not ensure.) To say I would rather be those things than “thin” is no hollow wishful cliche. It’s real. My standards matter, not anyone else’s. *I* think I am beautiful, outside and inside—and naturally, without makeup, fancy clothes, or any other gilding. I don’t feel perfect; I just feel beautiful in my unique expression. My confidence isn’t brash, it’s peaceful. And I think health is gorgeous; joy is stunning; energy is infectious; a powerful body is dazzling (and strong healthy bodies do come in umpteen shapes and sizes—imagine if everyone really got that).
I love me. I love me for my body and my mind and my spirit and all the gifts I’m so fortunate to have, and even the troubles and losses and challenges I’ve had which have undoubtedly shaped and deepened and humbled and enriched me in ways I can’t deny, and made me more compassionate and aware. I’m grateful for healing and I’m grateful for my own resilience.
I’m aware that most of these things are pretty miraculous things, elusive or even unimaginable for many women (heck, men too)—especially older ones, but really at any age. So I’m grateful all over again for that.
And how could I not want this for everyone? So I’m committed to sharing, promoting, teaching and facilitating this possibility for as many people as I can—because I can. Because imagine if everyone could have this. Imagine that world. I do; I imagine it all the time. And I endeavor toward it.
That’s why my work is sometimes hard to describe, because it includes but is about SO much more than the body or “nutrition,” even more than “fitness” or “health,” although those are of course very much a part of it, and vehicles for it. But the possibility is much larger—or, I should say, more whole. Not only extraordinary health and fitness but a whole experience of it, relationship to it. It’s not even a “lifestyle.” It’s a way of living, yes, and also of thinking, seeing, being. It’s freedom, power, purpose, clarity, joy, gratitude, perspective, awareness. It’s as spiritual as it is scientific. It’s knowing AND doing. And loving.
Now perhaps you can see how anything like “thin” or “weight loss” is not only meaningless and diversionary, a knee-jerk herd-mentality stampede toward literally nothing—but also so very small, pale and dried-up in the face of the fullness that’s actually possible. Compared to how much you can know and do and be.
Robyn Landis is a “joyful nourishment instigator” (aka holistic health coach/fitness trainer/fitness nutrition specialist, and one-woman transformational mind-body revolution). She loves guiding people past confusion, overwhelm or resistance to learn exactly what they need (eat + move + sleep + unstress) to get the body and energy fit for their dreams—AND to become powerful and unstoppable in living it. Through individual/group training, consulting and coaching, Robyn empowers people to become “athletes of their lives”: super-informed *and* deeply inspired to get strong, lean, and energized—for good. Performance, pleasure and purpose. It’s possible.