Appetite in Light

I’m not a vegan. I’m not gluten free. I’m not vegetarian and I don’t abstain. I don’t juice and I don’t fast. I don’t know who Mr. Atkins is and I don’t binge or purge. I’ve never been to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. I don’t have a gym membership or a physical trainer. I don’t always eat dinner before 7 and I don’t measure my portions in relation to a deck of cards.
I am a happy, healthy, fairly well adjusted size 10. My life is full of lots of unconditional love and I don’t feel the need to be something else. I’ve had ups and downs with my weight in my life. Two kids and a few too many ice cream sandwiches. But, I’m active. I’m super, duper active. I just go, go, go. I like a number of physical activities and rarely go a day without working up a sweat. At least once.
I eat when I’m hungry. I eat what my wonderful husband prepares at night for dinner. I try to be moderate with my portions. Salad on my dinner plate. Pasta in a small side bowl. No to that delicious smelling garlic bread. I try to count how many chips I had with my sandwich and make mine open face.
I’m strong and I’m flexible. I’m short and I’m curvy. I’m 44, but I feel more like 30. I’m more comfortable in my body now then I was 24 pounds lighter at 21. My kids have seen me naked more times, I’m sure, than they could ever count. I’m comfortable in my body. I know my body doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
I practice yoga. I look at myself in the mirror and I practice loving what I see. And what I see is beauty and grace. I just want to love myself, because time is always passing and I don’t want to waste a precious moment beating myself up. I can hike and I can run. I can’t bench press my own body weight, but I can do a black belt push up. I can swim 60 laps right now if you like and I can almost always get a full bind in parsvakonasana.
I have a healthy appetite for food and for exercise. I crave love and I crave friendship. I indulge in the here and the now and consume every minute of my day. My life is very satisfying and I feel most full when I am giving to others.
All this talk about appetite is making me hungry.

– Julie Tuomisto-Bell, Yoga teacher and blessing to all who know her. (Thank you again for all you are)