How well do you know your body? I have to admit that for forty years, I didn’t know my body at all. I totally dismissed what my body wanted as I tried to control it so I could be thin. If I felt hunger pangs, I’d ignore them. Actually, I was a bit meaner than that and told my body I didn't trust it because if I fed it, it would just go and get fat.
I was so stressed about food and controlling myself to be thin for so many years, I had sort of turned into a tightly wound person, someone who was totally focused on what I looked like. But let’s face it, trying to be something we’re not is a lot of work. It’s takes a lot of energy and quite frankly, it can make for a very ego-centric person.
Fortunately, the opportunity to learn about dieting and body image showed up in my life and I was able to see the mess I had created.
I stopped dieting, I stopped treating my body like an object, and I gained weight. But the truth is, my body was relaxing for the first time in over forty years.
And you know what else relaxed? Me.
Don’t get me wrong, as I started gaining weight, there were times when I thought about dieting. But then I’d think, what if this is how my body wants to be, what if this is its happy place? I honestly had no idea what my real body looked like. In fact, I didn’t know my body very well at all.
I didn’t know what my body enjoyed, what it found pleasure in, how much movement it liked, or even what kinds of food it liked. I only knew what I had demanded of it.
I have to say I’ve come a long way – a very long way – toward accepting my body as it is. It took time to adjust to this new way of being in relationship with it. And it definitely didn’t happen overnight, but the reward of living in harmony with my body effects every aspect of my life.
There’s so much more to life than what we look like. Some women are naturally thin, some of us are not. Some of us are tall, others shorter; some have blue eyes, some brown, green or hazel; some of us have high voices others low. On and on it goes. We’re all unique in every way and we’re all naturally beautiful – it can be no other way.
As I learned about my body, I learned there are foods that I was avoiding that my body in fact needed, like fat. My sister told me, after I did start eating fat, that she often wondered how I was alive. The truth is, I wasn’t. I was merely existing.
It's time. If you haven’t already, get to know your body. Be friends with it. Let it know you're here for it, to care for it, to love it, to cherish it. To feel alive in it. See if you can let it take a loving lead in your relationship.