I would love my body if….

I have made this decision that I will no longer take clients who just want to lose weight. I can’t help people lose weight. It’s a short sighted goal.

I think, instead what I want to do is to help people learn to love their body. I know, that I want to love my body and when I have those moments when I do love it I feel confident and alive. I feel rooted.

My theory is this. When we love another person we can HOPE that they will change some attitude or behavior but is our love really DEPENDENT on that change? Should it be dependent on that change? I say, no. I say either you choose to love someone or you do not. Love is a choice we make, every day.

Now, do not misunderstand me, I can choose to love someone even though I dislike their behavior. And in so doing I can also choose to not engage that person. I do not have to factor into their bad behavior just because I love them. If my brother is an alcoholic I can love him without buying him beer when he’s down, yes?

Loving ME, though, my physical body…that is something else. I cannot separate myself from my body. I cannot walk away from it. It is the only body I have been given in this world. I cannot trade it in. I cannot “break up” with it and choose another. So each day I wake up and I have to choose to love it or not. Each moment of that day I continue to either choose to love my body or not. Each moment of each day I have to make this choice.

Ask yourself these questions…in those moments when I choose NOT to love my body how do I treat it? What messages are better able to filter in? How does mass culture wreck havoc on my perception of my own body in those moments?

Do most of us even KNOW what it feels like to love our body? Do most of us even KNOW our bodies?

So, today I was thinking about this piece of advice I gave to someone recently, actually I called it “homework.” I asked her to take a body part, everyday and focus on it. Throughout the day she was to be aware of that body part, to acknowledge it. Throughout the day as she is aware of it she was to “own” it by making a statement like, “Mine” or “This is a gift to me from my Creator.” I’ve been doing it this week to see how that feels and you know, so far it’s good. It feels right. It feels comforting.

I’m giving you this homework as well then, if it feels like this issue fits for you. Just be aware this week of your body, how you move, how you react, how you feel and own it…embrace it.

Let me know how it goes.

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7 thoughts on “I would love my body if….

  1. Very thought provoking Mrs. I love my body most of the time, but then again we all have our off days. The times that I really don’t like my body is when I am dancing around like a whirling dervish in the swim suit shop fitting room trying to put on a bathing suit, this usually doesn’t do much for my self esteem and it is those moments that I don’t love my body.

    I think people have to accept that their bodies change at each stage of their lives and we have to do our utmost best to stay healthy and active. Some may not be able to ‘love’ their bodies, but if you respect it I think that might be a good compromise.

    I hear ya,HH….AND yet…here’s the thing. In that moment when you look in the mirror and decide that you do not love your body because of how it reflects in a bathing suit are you REALLY not loving it or merely not liking an aspect of it?

    Think about your children. Would you ever say or think, “I don’t love you when you do this?” No. You would think and say, I don’t like this about you or I don’t like when you do this but you’d never frame it as a withholding of love…or at least, we should never frame it that way.

    This is my point. It’s about changing the language we use both outwardly and inwardly. It may seem inconsequential but in reality, it is not. Language is important. Messages are important. So to mean that you “love” your body includes respect but is much much deeper. Since we cannot be separated from our bodies it becomes vital, in every sense of the word, for us to LOVE it…not just respect or like or treat with kindness…but to learn how to act in a loving way towards it no matter HOW we may feel from moment to moment.
    -mrs m

  2. You would like this, I think.

    I agree with your decision about your clients. The company you keep is important to your sanity and your body image.

    FW- that is a GREAT post….thanks for that!
    I think my decision to not just train people for a singular goal is less about my sanity and more about not wanting to be part of the cultural problem, you know?

  3. I agree MRS, but sometimes its hard to change that self talk, particularly when you have been engaging in negative image feelings since teenage years. I do love my body, its what makes me, me, but some days are harder than others. I also think my mood has a lot to do how I feel about my body, if I am stressed or unhappy it seems harder to appreciate and love these old bones. So I keep on trying, and I guess that will have to be good enough for me.

    It is amazing how as mothers we use positive talk with our children, even when they exhibit less than enviable behavior. Our love is never a question for them, and yet we find it difficult to do this with ourselves. Hmmm something to ponder on a cold rainy July day.

    Yes, indeed…which is why we have homework this week. : )
    -Mrs M

  4. This reminds me of Anne Lamott learning to love her baggy tummy and ‘goosey neck’. One of the things I’m really looking forward to about my new season in N. is getting back to exercise (particularly yoga at the Y. Yay!) as I find that I love my body the more I use it; the more healthy and flexible it gets, the more we enjoy each other. It’s like putting face-time in with a friend – the more you talk the better you get on.

    That said… I need to learn to love my fat-lady-arms. These old girls aren’t going anywhere.

    Oh, Jude…those arms need a new name…they are BEAUTIFUL ARMS of BEAUTIFUL JUDE from here on out. Remember Anne also said that she would begin to treat her oft maligned thighs as beloved aunties…lol…so there you go.
    Mrs M

  5. Think about our babies and kids. Do we ever think their chubby, skinny, whatever-shape bodies are anything but the absolute cutest things in the world? I like to think God looks at all of his children exactly the same way.

  6. I have no idea why I have never stumbled upon your blog before. It’s lovely.

    I’m fighting the good fight with myself in regards to loving my body. I’m at this point where I’m taking care of myself (I’m improving daily) and I’m treating myself how I used to treat others.

    I’ve suffered from disorderd eating for a good portion of my life coupled with no positive role models, I can remember more times of NOT loving my body than the other way around.

    This post was a welcome breath of fresh air!

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