“As our body journeys through life, and life journeys on our body….life will leave marks on us, too.” ~ Lauren Klarfeld
In this phase of my life – married 31 years, three children, multiple surgeries, menopausal, running my own business, part of the sandwich generation, and constantly on the go – it’s rare that I linger in front of a mirror. The way I feel inside and what I see as my reflection does not match, and that in-congruency creates stress. How do we heal the negative language and the behaviors around our self-image that so many of us learned from our mothers, grandmothers, and significant women in our lives?
I can still remember the flavor of this “treat” that I ate when my mom and I were in Weight Watchers® together. It was a banana and cocoa powder mixture and then frozen. It was horrible, but I ate it because I needed to lose weight. That was the message I got from my mom (and subtly from my dad). I was nine years old.
I’ve been trying to lose weight for 45 years. How ridiculous is that? 80% of my life was spent hyperaware of my weight, my body image, and what I wear to cover it up. I have said and thought some very horrible things about my body - the same body that has supported me through all my years of school, the intensities of my career, having three children, moving countless times, traveling and walking hundreds of miles in different parts of the world, half a dozen surgeries, and grief - it has held the grief from decades of loss.
I woke up this morning and stretched while still in bed. I could feel all my muscles fire, and every part of my body cooperating as I asked it to stand up, make the bed, wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed, and move into the day. I am thrilled that for as long as I’ve been in this body, it has done what I asked of it. And today, something shifted. I said thank you, I watched with amazement instead of criticism, and I smiled, feeling emotional and sorrowful about how I’ve treated it.
Take a moment to evaluate how you feel about your body.
💪🏼 How have you been treating it?
💪🏼 What have you been feeding it?
💪🏼 How are you speaking to it?
💪🏼 When are you putting it to rest?
💪🏼 Are you giving it enough time to rejuvenate (6-8 hours)?
❤️ What is your heart telling you?
I speak this mantra often, and I created it over 20 years ago (you can see the faded spots as I’ve moved it from one location to another:
Think about what you have done with your body. Thank your body for showing up every day and working to keep you going. It is the only piece of this life that is 100% truthful. The body never lies, even when we ignore it. So, thank that body of yours. I think we’ve all been a little too hard on ourselves, and we can start healing our relationship with our bodies by simply saying “Thank You!”
Make it a strong day! 💪🏼❤️