Okay, confession: I’ve missed a few days of yoga and technically have “failed” the 30 day yoga challenge. In full transparency, I’ve missed a few days because I had a really bad eczema flare up last week and the excessive heat and sweating during hot yoga exacerbates the itching. So I took a few days off to help with the healing process. Now that I got off my chest, let’s get to this week’s Thankful Thursday reflections.

Recently, I’ve found a new appreciation for my body. Yes, you heard that right, my body. You see, like many young women growing up, I had a very negative body image and perception of myself.  Too fat, too short, too ugly,–you name it–I’ve probably thought that about myself. My perception of beauty was largely shaped by the community I grew up in, the images I saw on television and magazines (hello, lack of representation), and of course, my Asian family with very particular beauty ideals. I never fit the mold of what it meant to be traditionally beautiful in Western culture and still, to this day, do not.  At an astonishing 5 foot, with a muscular and “a little more to love” body type, it’s been tough to love the body that is mine.

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But recently I’ve been thinking about how incredible the human body is.  Since I’ve embarked on my natural healing eczema journey, it’s strengthened my mind and body connection as I’m paying more attention to the things I put into my body, the way I take care of it daily through movement, and the mindset I adapt about myself.  I’ve been waking up and finding gratitude in my ability to move.  Despite the physical appearance of my skin (which is healing, slowly, but healing!), my body is capable of so much and I am grateful for the way that it carries me through my day. The body is amazing and capable of healing if we allow it to, fuel it with the proper nutrition, and treat it as the temple it truly is.

Instead of nitpicking all of the things I used to perceive as flaws, I have found myself in awe in the way that my body pushes itself in yoga class.  As I stretch out my leg to extend up and out, I notice that my legs are reaching higher each time.  I’ve been slowly working on my split and am getting closer to the floor (!).  I think about how my body has endured so much over the years; I began my fitness journey about 5 years ago and have since lost and kept off 25 pounds.  In 2015, I ran my first half marathon. I can squat, lift weights, run, and have full range of mobility. I’ve tested my body’s strength in so many ways and so instead of being frustrated my current skin condition, I’m choosing to find gratitude in what it can do. I’m learning to nourish it and put the time to take care of it. I’m learning to think and say nice things about my body. My body is strong. My body is healing. My body is capable. My body is beautiful.

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And while some days it’s easier said than done, I am learning to find a better balance with the relationship I have with my body. I am thankful for this body because it is mine. It’s taken some time to get to this place, but I can truly say that this healing journey is more than just about healing my skin.  It’s about healing the wounds from a negative relationship with my body in the past. It’s about finding a love for my body that didn’t always exist.  It’s about being comfortable, quite literally, in my own skin and to have the confidence to know that my worth is not measured by the way I look.

Sweet friends, what are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments!

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What I’m wearing:

Velvet blazer from Ross (mine was $12.99)–here are some alternatives!

Black Jeggings from Loft (Not sold anymore but here are some options!)

Black turtleneck blouse from Target (not sold anymore but here are some options!)

All weather boots from Target (On clearance!!)

Some other great options: