TW for weight/body image issues. So I signed up for this yoga class at the college this semester as a way to help me gain flexibility and increase my meditation practice. In no way has it turned out to be what I expected.

I actually had signed up for the same yoga class last spring, but had to drop it mid-semester because I ended up having to move home temporarily and the extra 2 hours of commute for that one class on tuesdays/thursday wasn’t going to be worth it. For the record though, I really enjoyed that class last spring. The instructor placed a lot of emphasis on the breathing/meditative aspect and I got a lot out of that. I’d also taken classes at a number of different yoga studios in my area and really enjoyed almost all of them.

The teacher I have had this semester I guess has taken a more sport-oriented approach to teaching yoga and it honestly hasn’t been enjoyable for me in any way, at all. She’s extremely intense- she teaches powerlifting, zumba, and a boot camp class and that’s really evident in her yoga teaching style as well. There’s been a lot of...yelling, and pushing, and drill sergeant-ish attitude and it just doesn’t work for me.

Despite my efforts to step back the intensity I have left in pain on several occasions, and last week she had us doing this intense pose that involved bending our whole torso in half over one hip and wrapping our arms under our spread legs, with very little warm up leading up to it. I got half way down and my back said NOPE so I just stood back up. I was looking around, and no one, not even the more advanced students seemed to be able to achieve it, and one guy actually fell over, pulled something in his leg and screamed out in pain. He had to be helped out of the room by a few different teachers. :/

Anyway, I mean, I know that her approach just might work for some people and not me, but the thing I’m upset and worried about is that tomorrow she wants all of us to take a fitness assessment exam in front of the rest of the class, and the thought of doing so is seriously fucking with my head. It’s stuff like doing sprints and push-up/pull-up tests (think those presidential tests you had to take in elementary/high school) and then being WEIGHED publicly and having your BMI taken by her.

Guys, I don’t think I can do it. Seriously, I don’t mean to be a huge baby about it, and I am not trying to make excuses, but I have a long, long history of disordered eating and body image issues and this is triggering me. I don’t weigh myself today for a reason, because when I do, I can easily slip back into some fucked up behaviors and patterns of thinking. I can’t count calories any more because next thing I know, if I’m cutting down I start wanting to see how low I can go per day. I watch how my clothes fit, and if certain things become too tight I just cut down on sugar and start going for more walks. All of the time, I try to eat a lot of produce and cook 90% of my meals at home. That’s it. Anything else and I become obsessive and the self-hate voices start screaming in the back of my head.

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Part of it too is that I am fully aware of how bullshit ridden the BMI system is. Years ago when I was passively suicidal and eating one meal every other day, I had a visible ribcage, wore xs or small t-shirts, and my eyes looked cavernous, but my weight still said I was bordering the upper limit of “healthy” and “overweight” according to bmi. My best guess is that I’m 20 or 25 lbs heavier now than I was back then, but again, I honestly feel like it would not be serving me in any way to find out for sure. That’s just how I’ve come to accept it. I work hard at telling myself that I look nice the way I am and have had a pretty good string of days/weeks in terms of healthy body image, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a fucking battle still some of the time and that it can feel very fragile, and I don’t want to do anything that could potentially fuck that up.

I just don’t really know what to do. I don’t want to just disappear out of cowardice or skip out with no explanation, and this whole fitness assessment thing is part of the grade, but honestly, even if it busted me grade wise in this one class....it’s one credit hour, and I’m taking 10 other credits and making A’s in all of them. My GPA would survive. To be fair, I probably should have dropped the course before it got to this point, but the assessment was something she announced last week and it’s already past the drop date.

I guess what I am thinking of doing right now is just sitting down with her and telling her straight up what my issues with being publicly weighed are, and if she docks my grade, so be it. What would you guys do if you were in my position?