I recently came across this article about a beautiful, though not what one would call a 'typical' yogi. Being 10 months post baby, I still haven't gotten rid of all the extra belly jiggles, and lets face it, the hips and bootie haven't thinned down like I've told them to. It has nothing to do with the amount of chocolate I've been eating, or the amount of running I haven't been doing. Ha. But on the rare occasion that I go to a public yoga class here in Paris, I certainly feel eyes on the large girl (erm- me) in the room. Especially when I go to a level 2 class and the teacher asks me, in that tone, if s/he's seen me before... and I'm not -that- big. I'm always thankful that my 13 years of practice allow me to block out everything around me but the voice telling me what to do.
I took a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) called "The Body Matters" about exercise and the one thing they stressed - a million times over- was that being medically healthy doesn't matter how much you weigh, it only matters how fit you are. Which (to me) means you can eat all the chocolate you want, you just have to get up off your butt and do moderate activity for at least 150 minutes a week. All the research says that this reduces your chances of everything from breast cancer to blood pressure to heart disease to depression. With the massive amount of walking I do here in Paris, the classes I teach, the prep for those classes aka my daily (mostly) practice, I think I fall into that category.
The 'normal' here in Paris is much smaller than in any city I've been in the US, and not just by weight. At 5 feet 7 inches or 1.7 meters, I'm often the tallest woman in the room. Smaller being normal is a good thing, people walk more, and a bad thing, I've never seen so many walking skeletons in the developed world and I think it's so sad that so many women look hungry. As I told a friend of mine who was lamenting about eating an entire bag of chocolate, don't worry too much about it, just make sure you get up off your butt and walk for at least 150 minutes a week. So, shall we all make a pact to judge less, move more, and eat as much chocolate as we like? I'm in.
And here's some pop goodness to get your daily dose of moderate exercise started for the day.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.