Is Body Love Possible?
I really think it is.
That does NOT mean I have it (body love) each and every day, by the way.
Nor have I any way of knowing whether even the most famous celebrity body-love advocates feel absolutely zero pressure from the thinness-focused culture we live in.
Nor is it really any business of mine whether they do or not.
But I have had periods where I have really hated my body (the 15 year battle I had with anorexia and bulimia springs to mind) and also periods when I fell so in love with my body that every day felt like Valentine’s Day (like after my surgery in 2010, when I watched in awe and disbelief as my body knit itself back together in record time after being split nearly in half).
My mentor often reminds me that where there is hate, there is usually love too. And vice versa – it is the strong feelings that are the dead giveaway, not so much what those feelings are called.
At any rate, I recently happened across yet another Woman’s Day article (those post-40 monthly free magazines really come in handy sometimes) and this one claims that it can teach me how to love my body in 9 easy steps.
I was psyched. But then I started reading them, and realized yet again that while the steps themselves might be easy to list out, they are a lot tougher to put into practice!
I also realized that I already knew these 9 steps, and have been working my way through each of them (in no particular, or particularly linear, order) on an ongoing basis ever since I kicked my eating disorder to the curb a decade ago.
It takes the time it takes.
What seems to work best for me is to stop comparing body-to-body as if that is the sum total of the two people being compared. Would I trade my WHOLE LIFE to have that figure instead of this one? So far, the answer has always been a resounding “no”.
I also find great success with appreciating my body for what it can do, not just what it looks like. Looks are great, but since I find I can look very different to my own eyes from day to day, and from mirror to mirror (PMS, ladies?) focusing on the amazing multi-purpose usage we can get out of our bodies is pretty much a guarantee to rock your world with body love.
And I love verbalizing my commitment to body love when I’m out to eat with friends. If I start out our conversation with something like “I am just so committed to experiencing life where beauty can be found in every shape and size” I find that positive peer pressure automatically calms the “I shouldn’t eat that” comments that otherwise might be made.
Today’s Takeaway: What works for you to cultivate body appreciation, respect, and love? Where are you allowing impatience with the process of deepening your experience of all three talk you out of noticing that you ARE making progress?
Cutts, S. (2012). Is Body Love Possible?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 1, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2012/02/is-body-love-possible/