I’ve spent hours over the last couple of days surfing the internet for websites related to body image, fat acceptance, and healthy eating without dieting. It’s certainly given me a lot of food for thought, but it’s hard for me to focus on any one big concept or “aha” revelation.
The big take-away for me is that I’m not alone. There are a lot of people out there who are like me, unhappy with body size and shape and frustrated with the standard diet and exercise solution. I do want to be healthy. Somehow, finding a way to truly love my body, just as it is right now, seems to be a big part of achieving that goal. Is it possible that I am fabulous just as I am, without losing a single pound?
Okay, so I do think that I am fabulous – in some ways. But when I list my positive qualities, none of them have to do with my physical self. For as long as I can remember, my body has been imperfect and my weight has been some kind of problem that I needed to conquer. But I’ve never been able to look in the mirror without some self-criticism or pass judgement on my body data (weight, measurements, clothing size). I’ve gotten better about catching and stopping that negative self-talk in my head, but I can’t say that I truly love my body just as it is.
One “aha” that I had recently is that I truly appreciate and value my mind, but not my body. Since I do value my mind, I take care of it by nurturing my curiosity, indulging in my thoughts, reading, and engaging in stimulating conversations. However when it comes to my body, I don’t always take care of it with regular exercise and nourishing food. Taking care of my body seems like work, while taking care of my mind seems like fun. If I love and appreciate my body, then taking care of me might be less of a chore. At least I think I’ll want to make exercise and eating well a true priority, rather than doing it because I should.
“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” ~ Carl Jung
Truly learning to accept and love my body, just as it is, seems to be a good start. All of me is fabulous, just as I am. I hope someday to really believe it.