You Are Real, Beautiful, and Perfect
What you measure is what you get. I've talked about this in yoga. If what we pick to measure is getting into poses, we'll get some poses. Or, if what we pick to measure is getting into our selves, wow! We get into our selves. 

Choosing what we measure, our focus, is impacting how we view health as well. Specifically, we're hurting ourselves and each other as we look at the extremely painful problem of being overweight or obese. Once again, confusing the measures has us falling short of fixing the problem, and short of the capacity we all have to create a healthy, happy life.

Two things here I recently shared on Twitter:

1) When problems seem unfixable, we can either declare they are no longer problems, or we can rewrite the repair manual.

2) Part of liking yourself is acting to change the things that aren't good for you & believing that you can.

And, two problems:

1) We should all have good self-esteem, but many of us don't. It's important to believe in your self, to like what you feel and find in you.

2) We should all have good health, but many of us don't. It's important to be healthy. Feeling healthy feels good.  

The photo above has created a great deal of discussion, which reflects the measures many people are now using to define our whole health. We're focusing on the very important first issue - self-esteem - but steering clear of addressing the second - being overweight. Neither of these issues is easy. We have the power to create what we want with both.

Everybody should like themselves. There is absolutely no value in anything different. Whether you're overweight, underweight, or anywhere in between, if you're not into you, you have no ground to stand on. Everything begins right where you are, so we all have to be into right where we are.

At the same time, this doesn't mean we can skip the problem of being overweight, on our way to securing the self-esteem we all deserve. No matter how much we say it's natural or real to be overweight, it doesn't make it feel good. It doesn't spare people from the health challenges that go along with it. We need to address both of these issues equally.  

As we give voice to feeling good about ourselves, we can't disconnect from our bodies. If we say overweight is real and beautiful and perfect, what we mean is You are real and beautiful and perfect. We all are. All that is inside us. But if we're overweight, when the affirmations fade, we're left carrying around that same feeling of not good. It's a holistic problem, as we're all one connected being, not a collection of disjointed parts. 

It's not the solution we need, to say it's real to be overweight, and then ignore it as a problem. This isn't a sustainable solution for anyone, and won't create the results we all want. We can self-affirm, but that affirmation needs to create. We need to create supportive action. If we ignore the problem, we have nothing to stand on. If we support each other, we have everything to stand on. We can do this, and every single one of us is worth it.

image via organicmamacafe
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About the Author

Mike is a guide and resident healer at Strala Yoga in New York. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen and one of Shape Magazine’s Hottest Trainers, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than three decades, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. As he got older, he happily become more interested in supporting bodies than disrupting them, and continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university.

Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. He worked at a steel mill for a while, joined a web company, and then founded a few more. He now serves on the board of Odyl, which helps people discover books on Facebook.

As Strala's co-founder, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, become their own best caregivers, and live happy capable lives. Mike is a mountaineer, runner, cyclist, skier, and snowboarder. Check out Michael's MBG Video Course, The Complete Guide To Yoga.