I’m tired of not liking my body. I’m tired of comparing myself and of feeling “less than” someone or something else. I don’t respect myself with the amount of energy I spend thinking and being consumed by issues of my body. It’s a forbidden secret I tell very few. Why? Because I find that not liking my body to be morally dishonorable. After all, I have a body. I’m lucky. And I have a body that keeps me enjoying so many important moments on the planet. Each day, if I want to notice.
Not liking your body, hating your body, are all just distorted thoughts. We know in other cultures, body beauty comes in ALL SHAPES and SIZES. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. And what if our eyes are just distorted? Do you really want to dislike yourself for the next amount of years you have left? Do you really want to make a part-time job out of the time you spend loathing yourself, trying always to look better, more attractive, more something?
Perhaps for some of us, loathing this one body seems so familiar. After all what would we do with our time if we weren’t spending it in shaming ourselves? What would we do if we weren’t trying to exercise obsessively and eat nothing but lettuce? What COULD we do instead?
It is a lot easier to love your body and then decide to move it and eat right. I am speaking of an energy shift. If I hate myself and then I’m trying to be healthier, that loathing I feel uses up a certain amount of energy I cannot use for the betterment of my life. I literally run out of steam.
So I’m working on a recovery plan. How do I recover? Instead of focusing on what I don’t like, I want to focus on being in-love with myself. What would I do and how would I think differently? I’m calling it: Body Kindness Recovery.
If I were completely kind to my body, I would make this body move everyday. I would stretch it. I would breathe it deeply. I would rest it completely and I would laugh all the time. I would smile.
I would cook or find delicious wholesome meals to not only nourish myself, but to fully enjoy; after all, eating is pleasure. But eating without regard to my body and the consequence of eating too much of anything is not regardful. And I want to regard and honor my body.
I would eat every color and I would eat with my eyes, my nose as well as with my mouth. I would notice, notice, notice how the food goes in and how my body feels.
I would only eat enough. Never overeat. Even if it’s delicious. Because I wouldn’t want my beloved body to suffer any discomfort.
I would stretch everyday. I would make sure my body was limber and had good balance. I would drink water. Lots of water. Everyday. I would stay hydrated and satisfied.
I would tell this body everyday how grateful I am for it taking this journey with me. I would admire it’s strength and endurance; Its ability to get me from here to there.
I would have orgasms with this body whenever I felt like it. I would allow this body to shudder in complete satisfaction and release.
I would meditate everyday. I would center my body, spirit and mind daily. I would allow full breaths in and allow my body to renew itself.
I would reduce my cortisol levels and not put myself into situations which amp up my levels. I would train my mind to rethink of times and places which aggravate me and instead just practice letting those situations pass.
I would speak softly and kindly to it. Never a bad word come from my mouth. I would notice it’s curves and it’s scars and thank it for keeping me on the planet. I would hold it as a precious sacred gift and give it pleasure, love and warmth, grateful to my body and it’s magnificence. After all, it is my one body. Only one.
Only lovely thoughts and words come out of me whenever I look in the mirror. No degrading, self-deprecating loathsome words would I ever think at throwing at myself. Only love and sincere compliments. I would practice literal self-love each day.
Eating excess sugar and fat is not honoring. And while it can promote pleasure, we know that excess promotes disease. How we get our pleasure is an important consideration in the Body Kindness recovery.
I would not put down anyone else’s body either. I wouldn’t criticize what they are wearing, what they look like, knowing that their body is also beautiful and helping them to stay on the planet another day.
I would STOP COMPARING myself to anyone else. I would “catch and release” every negative thought that compares me to someone else or to someone else’s idea of beauty.
Actually when I reflect on this list, I am doing many of these practices already. I see how I’ve started to change, how I’m doing better with myself. This practice is perhaps one of the most important ones thus far, and I’m grateful to myself that I’ve already started the practice. I am not there yet, but better, definitely better. And that reflection of moving forward towards self-love feels very, well satisfying.