The Muffin Top Committee

I’m on Snapchat. I enjoy snapchat. Most of the time you’ll get a dog selfie where I’m plucking out gray hairs. It’s a space where I am silly and less “packaged.” It is the most authentic version of me on social media.

Several months ago a playmate SnapChatted a woman at the gym? The 70 year old woman was changing, unaware that someone was taking a photo of her. She was nude and the caption said “If I can’t unsee this, neither can you.”  

It was a cruel display of body shaming and the ugly side of social media. Immediately the Committee chimed in. Do you have a Committee? They are the voices in my head.

The Committee sounded something like this, in that moment…

“Has someone snap chatted me? What do they want to unsee? These jeans are a little tight. I’m definitely rocking a muffin top today. It’s more than a muffin top, it’s like a Bundt cake. I should have skipped lunch. Maybe I should do 2 yoga sessions today? I’m breaking out too. Is that a pimple or an arm growing out of my face?! Yup, definitely going to die alone.”

Shall I go on? Let me introduce you to the Committee.

President of the Board, my 8th grade crush. He said he would go out with me if I lost 10 lbs.

Vice President, the (skinny) cheerleader from high school. She recommended I wear the Mascot uniform (which I did), instead of trying out for cheerleader.

Secretary of the Board, a church friend. She kindly informed me that men need sex, and if a man doesn’t get it from his wife, he’ll get it somewhere else. (She was President of the Board for several years, but I recently demoted her.)

Treasurer, the ex who said, “It doesn’t matter how many degrees you get, you’ll never make as much money as me.”

Imagine an unruly, unkind, judgmental, shitty group of people. This is my Committee.

They are the voices that say, I cannot and should not. That I am not smart enough, thin enough or talented enough. They show up in my yoga practice too.

Don’t look up. Don’t go up. Don’t take the bind.
That pose is not in your wheelhouse.
You will fall. People will laugh.
You are in your fullest expression, it’s called Child’s pose.
You’re doing it wrong.  

When I began my yoga practice the Committee was the equivalent of Century Link Stadium, home of the Seattle Seahawks. Thunderous.

Today, the Committee is much quieter. It’s smaller now, less Members. Many have been replaced. Can I introduce you to the replacements?

There’s Eugene, devoted husband and loving father. He says, “Place one hand on your heart, and one hand on your belly. Everything that you need is right here. Your heart and your breath.” In that moment I am reminded to follow my heart and the things that take my breath away.

And Kiki who says, “Look, where you want to go! Look Up! Look Up! Set your attention on what you want.” She reminds me to focus on my purpose. To put my attention on the things that I want in this life.

Then, there is Leslie. “Close down your eyes. This is a safe space.” She encourages me to remove distractions and look inward. Her class is a moving meditation that creates space for stirrings in my soul.

This is yoga. The connected place where I decide that reaching up, going up and taking the bind are within my abilities. And that I must, reach up, go up and take the bind. On and off my mat.

Maryeth A. LoriauxComment