If you’re wondering how to be nice to your body in the face of all this, I got you.
I have collected 3 very simple practices and some of my favorite motivational reminders about bodies so you can have a foundation on which to recreate your relationship with your body.
1. Your body is an instrument, not an ornament. Find an activity that your body loves doing and do more of it.
Twin sisters who have twin PhDs co-direct the non-profit More Than a Body and are at the forefront of researching body image and the effects of objectification. They remind us that we are more than a body. I invite you to start learning with them by reading this blog.
Female bodies are given the responsibility in our culture to be attractive to everyone all the time. We learn from a very young age that it is our job to turn everyone on– how messed up is that?
But think about it. It is true. Yes, there is self-respect and respect for others and situations by looking like you took the time to prepare yourself to show up for someone or something.
At the same time, you don’t need to feel like you HAVE to be sexy and desirable all the time. The wonder of being human is that we have the capacity to hold both truths at once.
Your body isn’t an ornament. It is an instrument to connect you with the crazy, brutiful world we live in.
So, Dear One. How do we relearn that our body is an instrument?
Find a physical activity that your body feels good doing; walking, dancing, sports, swimming, or playing with your kids or your dog. Do more of that. Do it like it is your medicine. It will change your relationship with your body. I promise!
2. Feed yourself when you are hungry, pee when you need to pee, rest when you need to rest.
When I share this practice with my clients, they always have a good laugh. Why? Because it seems to be so simple and silly. “Of course, I feed myself, pee when I have to, and rest when I am tired,” they say. When we really start getting into the nitty gritty of HOW they take care of their bodies we find that this is most often not the case.
We reveal hours of holding our pee in until we are cross-eyed because we want to just finish this last email, not have to leave the meeting, or just make it home.
We are denying our body’s cues and messaging which is our body’s only way of communicating with us.
Some clients discover that they subconsciously deny themselves proper meals so that they have the binge-y crave-y feeling when they get home so they get free reign to indulge because, “I am starving.”
Why do we make sure that our kids get a rainbow on their plate, beautiful lunches, and snacks yet we settle for an iced coffee on the way to work and maybe a frozen meal for lunch?
When we talk about self-care, let’s start here! Treat your body like you would treat your little four-year-old daughter’s body…because guess what? That is the same body you had when you were a little four-year-old girl who would get hungry and need to pee at some inopportune times.
Would you like to teach her that her natural needs come second to an email?
When, dearest, did your body become something to fight against instead of something to nourish?
3. Your body is NOT an apology – it’s a movement in radical self-love.
Sonya Renee Taylor created a movement for Radical Self-love.
She says the first baby step you can take to achieving radical self-love is to realize that our thoughts and feelings about our bodies aren’t original thoughts. We didn’t come out as babies thinking that our thighs were too fat or that we didn’t deserve to eat when we were hungry.
Most of the things we think about our bodies we were conditioned to think!
That means we learned them or absorbed them through growing up in our culture. Once we realize this, we can start investigating and doing the work of untangling our feelings about our bodies.
I invite you to think about some of what caught your attention here and go on your own quest to reclaim your relationship with your body.
This article was contributed by:
Anna is currently seeing adult women & LGBTQ+ members ages 18 and up, in-person & virtually to residents of Maryland.
Let us show you what real support and acceptance feels like! If you’d like to book with Anna, you can reach her by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org, call her directly at 301-690-0779 ext. 723, or self-schedule an appointment now by clicking here.