“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this." Nayyirah Waheed
As women, we’re taught from a young age to be dissatisfied with our bodies. We’re expected to fit into an ideal of beauty that is impossible to achieve and have so much pressure placed upon us in today’s society because of it.
This constant battle can leave us feeling emotionally drained and exhausted…as I know all too well. But instead of continuing this vicious cycle, it's time to put down the weapons, stop fighting, and start listening to what your body has been trying to tell you all along.
My story is not that different than many of you reading this.
I think about the times I’ve been so hard on my body and how I’ve fought to stay thin because, I too, bought into the cultural expectation that thin is better.
I went on extreme diets in my 20s and 30s because I panicked after I gained 15 pounds one summer. And then I thought I was fat. I wasn't.
I think about countless times when I’ve overridden my body, not stopped when I was exhausted pushed through and kept going even though I knew I needed sleep and rest. I just kept going.
Sometimes I've been unaware of how much I’ve criticized myself for having big thighs, cellulite, crooked teeth, and belly fat. Even now I look in the mirror and try not to hate the lines on my face even though I know I have earned each one of the wrinkles. I've focused way too much on what I look like.
In my best moments...
This body that’s given birth to two 9-pound babies.
This body that has walked thousands of miles and traveled the world. The one that has kept going through dark moments, through intense workouts, and even humored me to be able to do headstands around the world.
My body shows up for me every day. How could I not love my body?
How many times a day do you stop and acknowledge how wonderful your body is? It's an amazing treasure.
When we love our bodies, we don't care what anyone else thinks about us.
Your body knows so much…it has answers to what we don't know consciously sometimes. I’m sure of it because this is my story from just a year ago:
I woke up one morning with vertigo. It was awful. Every time I tried to get out of bed, the room swirled around and I had to lay back down. I felt nauseous. I couldn’t do anything except lay on my side and not move.
It lasted three days…I couldn’t work or get out of bed, otherwise, the room would spin. It was not fun at all.
On the 4th day, I was able to go for a walk. I sat down on the grass and started talking to my body.
I asked my body..."What happened? Why am I so dizzy?"
I heard the sweetest answer. One I did not expect.
I heard this…"well, we tried to keep up with all the things you were doing, but we just couldn’t. We really wanted to do what you wanted." I was touched that my body wasn’t angry just simply saying to me...“You blew out all the circuits because you didn’t stop.”
Since that time, I’ve been careful to keep things in balance. I think of all the years when I didn’t listen to my body and when I was so critical of my body. Never again, I said to myself.
In the morning before I start my day. I say thank you. I take time to thank each part of my body and think about how hard each part works.
It may sound a little strange but this is what I do and I invite you to do this with your own body:
Before you get out of bed in the morning, touch each part of your body and thank it. Thank your eyes for adjusting to the light to help you see. Touch your hands and fingers and marvel at how they pick up things all day long. Thank your feet for walking hundreds of miles over a lifetime and thank your digestive system for digesting thousands of meals.
Listen carefully to the wisdom your body has.
Have a headache? Talk to part of your head that hurts and ask what is it I need to know right now?
You can do this when you’re not feeling well…just get in touch with the part of your body that hurts or aches and see what it says.
Emotions are stored in the body. We can access old traumas, old hurts, and just about any kind of wisdom the body has if we just ask what it needs. This asking can lead to new insights and help us be able to let go of trauma and find new ways of thinking.
It's time to start loving your body and casting off the hate. Start by taking a few moments each day to appreciate something about your body. No matter what it is, find something each day that you love about yourself and give thanks for it.
Be kind. Talk to your body the way you would talk to a friend or loved one because that's exactly what your body deserves - love, care, and respect.
Embrace yourself just as you are - your body is unique, beautiful, and worthy of love. Take the time to appreciate all of your amazing qualities. Together, let's celebrate the beauty of your body and you.
How much do you love your body?
Have a conversation with your body today. Journal with your body. It's the only one you get.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic. Email me at [email protected]
Need some help with loving your body? GO HERE to sign up for a free 15 min consultation to see how we can work together. You deserve it!
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.