Do you think I am fat?
If I were in front of you in typical yoga spandex, would you judge me?
I wanted to use my own body as my art piece to start a conversation about identity, self-image and beauty, so I made my canvas heavy and gained weight. I was trying to prove a point that size shouldn’t matter but I uncovered fears that lay beyond my physical frame.
I’ve gained over 40 pounds in four months and I’m not pregnant.
I’ve followed the brand new, yogi-approved Seat Diet.
See it…eat it.
To me, ‘fat’ is an arbitrary word that is used as ammunition to harm another. I’m not at war.
I thought this would be an experiment in empowering people to love their bodies and not try to fit society’s mold. Instead, reality of my latent insecurities came like a football team’s kicker being put in as the center (my identity was pummeled).
As a yoga teacher, this could be considered career suicide. Instead of slaying my means of supporting myself, I want to slay the notion that people who do yoga need to look like the beauties on the cover of magazines.
Last year, my best friend said crying as she dealt with her lifelong eating disorder, “I don’t want to be known as the fat yoga teacher.”
I was taken back by this statement—I would classify her as beautiful, fit, and trim. I wanted to explore her statement. It resonated in my mind like the frequency of fingernails tagging with sound their presence on the chalkboard.
The stories I made up about what people thought of me were changing and I was emotionally affected. Suddenly, my self-worth was proving to be connected to how good I looked wearing spandex—something I completely denied giving a shit about before this experiment—and that pissed me off. Guilt from eating foods I typically considered bad for me were constant companions in my thoughts. Shame did cameo appearances in my mind’s movie reel daily.
My most shocking discovery through the process? I’m afraid of not being loved.
I noticed the self-talk was that my beauty is only on the surface. I feared no man would want me this way and that I would die alone, probably from choking on a potato chip.
There was a war going on inside of me and neither side was winning. Once I unraveled the fears and self-assaulting language as irrational, they no longer had power over me and I began to relax into my new found “goods”.
Nietzsche says the thing separating men from gods is the belly. May we all expand our bellies to digest our fears and empower our minds to think. May we all understand that we all want to be loved for who we are… however we are in the moment. And may we all find love and not die alone, from potato chip asphyxiation.
P.S.—I’m not fat; I’m fucking awesome!
About the Author
First thing you should know about Trina Hall: she is writing this bio in the third person and absolutely laughing at the notion. Second: She likes to push peoples’ buttons and have conversations about change. Thus, she got the Dallas Museum of Art to display her painting of red lipstick, oil paint and menstrual blood to create a buzz about hiding periods. Ms. Hall (how do you like that snobbery?) wrote her first book at age seven and has been writing her second ever since. After college, she had had a series of mini-strokes (called “suicide headaches” by the healthcare profession) that led her to find her creative voice. She’s passionate about far too many things to mention, but one could certainly call her a boy-crazy philosopher who loathes mosquitoes, loves a change of scenery, and would like to change her last name to “Fun”.