“I didn’t say it was good, I said it was beautiful.”


When I was a dancer, I took an Alexander Technique workshop at a festival in Colorado. During class, about thirty of us were lying on the floor circling our arms and rotating our torsos exploring the economy in our movement.
The instructor walked by a fellow dancer and said, “That’s beautiful.” He replied, “Oh, that wasn’t even a good one.” The instructor snapped, “I didn’t say it was good, I said it was beautiful.”  Twenty years later, this comment still resonates.

What words do you use to describe your success and missteps in healthy living? What is your body image vocabulary? “Good, bad, fat, skinny” is very limiting. Couldn’t we use some descriptions that are less stringent and arguably more accurate? As I’ve stated before, progress is not a straight line. All of us evolve in our own way. That dance teacher wasn’t evaluating whether the student was doing it right or wrong, she was appreciating beautiful movement. How brilliant. We all need to view our efforts and complex bodies with a wider lens. Grab a thesaurus and step away from “good and bad.”  It just might offer a fresh perspective and renewed appreciation on our paths to live healthfully and happily.