Originally published by Claricha Evans on Ohcae.com 

I’m new to Bikram (hot) Yoga, but I consider myself an official yogi. And when I practice, I practice in shorts and a sports bra.

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Yes, I have excess fat. I’m technically obese. My stomach is round and hangs down and I don’t care.

I was the fat girl who got teased in elementary school. The last time I weighed fewer than 200 lbs, I didn’t have acne yet. I weighed more than my fifth grade teacher and I have vivid memories of visiting the fat doctor in the second grade. So I guess you can say this is how I’ve always been or for as long as I can clearly remember. But this is not how I’m choosing to be forever. I want to have a slim body. Not bc I’ll be healthier, bc according to my doctor I’m in great shape. Not bc I’ll be prettier, bc according to my Facebook and Instagram likes and comments (lol) I’m pretty cute. But I wanna do it bc I don’t want to be defeated by ANYTHING. I want to do it just so that I can say that I did it and to encourage others that I can be done.

But to my original point, why do I practice yoga shirtless? People in bikram come in bikinis and swim trunks and I started out fully clothed in a room that’s around 105 degrees before we start moving. But just like I told my auntie when I was in second grade when she asked about my ballet and tap class, (yes, i did ballet. Shut up!) I have the BIGGEST thighs of anyone in the class. So I don’t feel comfortable dressing like everybody else but I practice shirtless because I want to prepare myself for my new body. I don’t want to go into my new body with the same forever fat girl mindset.

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I know that eventually I will have my new body, but since I’ve been obese for so long I’ve picked up some habits that women with slimmer bodies don’t have.
So now I make myself avoid the handicap restrooms. I make myself sit in the middle of rows in auditoriums. I try my hardest to not have an anxiety attack when I look at chairs that look flimsy.

I don’t wanna get my new body and keep my old habits. So I’m practicing now.

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