I hate my body. I hate my flaws. I look fat in this. I hate that I’m sick. I’m exhausted. I wish I had energy.
I don’t talk this way about myself anymore, but I used to. I hear these exact remarks and others like them all the time from people who are doing great work in all areas of their lives.
I’ve learned to appreciate my body’s integrity as I get older. I immediately feel the effects of my choices now. I can hate my body for a weight gain if I want to, I suppose. But it was my conscious choice to mow my way through the holidays.
My body so beautifully takes care of a mind-boggling array of internal functions. I don’t ever have to think about the digestive process or if I will have a next breath. I have basic health, a gift. My only job is to look after myself by eating right, sleeping, exercising, and heeding all of the other simple advice of the past ten days.
My body is a messenger that tells only the truth. I would like to deny the tremendous amount of See’s candy and cookies and chocolate mousse I consumed over Christmas break, but there was indeed a large, weeklong sugar happening on the corporeal plane. My brain is happy to pretend something different. My body, however, will not lie to me.
I would like to deny when I am angry or scared, but my heart races and my face turns red. I would like to think I can stay up until midnight writing, but when I do, my head hurts from lack of sleep.
Instead of resenting my body for being such a slave to cause and effect, I thank it for working on a basic level. I thank it for having such integrity. I thank it for guiding me towards the best possible care of myself.
I respect my body’s integrity even when the truth is embarrassing. Moving in the habits of the best possible care of myself is a lifelong path.
I am grateful for the strength of the legs beneath me.
How does your body let you know when you’ve eaten poorly? How do you know you are angry, exhausted, distracted, stressed out? How will your body alert you to imbalance in your life?
Consider the power of your spoken and silent language about your body. What kinds of things do you often catch yourself saying about your body? What complaints or gratitude do you voice on a regular basis about the way you look or feel?
For a moment consider that you were your own beloved child. How would you react to that child putting him or herself down? Drinking a soda when a glass of water is what is really needed? Fighting sleep by gazing at a screen when bedtime was an hour ago? Write a journal entry in which you address yourself as if you were beloved.