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My body didn’t mean to disappoint me. It was trying so hard to do everything right. All it knew was how to strive for homeostasis, for balance. All it wanted to do was stop me from hurting.
My body was like a golden retriever, bounding along happily beside my troubled mind, trying very hard to get my approval and maybe even a little care in the process.
It loved me unconditionally, and still I hurt it, because I wanted to see how far I could go until it broke.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then perhaps you too know what I mean. You see your body trying to heal itself, and so you push the limits. How far can you go until the balance is gone? How long can you exercise, how little or much can you eat, how hard can you push yourself until it breaks and you have something to blame for being irreparably broken?
If you’re in recovery and you still don’t have your period back, if you’ve taken the supplements and changed your diet and your acne still persists, if you’ve methylated and detoxed and your anxiety hasn’t abated, if you’ve taken a rest day or week or month and the pain hasn’t gone away…I want you to know that it’s okay. That these things take time. That it’s not your body’s fault.
Your body wants to be there for you. It wants you to feel good. It’s just gone through the ringer and needs some time to heal.
I have to remind myself of this when I get frustrated. When the chronic pain in my ankle flares and keeps me from walking (or standing or sitting or existing) comfortably. When the inexplicable perioral dermatitis keeps me from showing my face in public. When I worry that I’ll never be able to stop taking medication for my thyroid.
Because if I dwell on my body’s “faults,” on the ways that it has “betrayed me,” I nurture the damaging idea that my body is in opposition of my best interests. That is it trying to make me hurt. That I should hurt it in return.
Healing takes time. And some scars never fully fade. But if you continue to make choices based on a mistaken belief that you are not your body and your body does not have YOUR best interests and health in mind, then you will continue to inflict pain upon yourself.
It’s as simple as that.
If you want to heal—whether you’re dealing with emotional eating, hormonal imbalance, pain, or any other ailment, the first thing you have to do is remember that your body is trying so hard to be its very best for you.
And to give it a little bit of forgiveness.
In today’s podcast with Meg Doll, we talked a little bit about what it means to forgive your body and let it heal. Even those of us who have recovered from eating disorders still need that reminder, and while I know Ito and I say it on the podcast all the time, it really is *SO* important to remember to be kind to yourself, even while listening to the stories of others who are not there yet.
Because no one is ever really “there.” All we can do is strive to be kind to ourselves as much as possible every single day, and remember that healing—especially after years of intentionally hurting ourselves—takes time.
I really, more than anything hope that, if you take nothing else away from today’s podcast, you just take on the mantra:
My body is trying hard to be its best for me.
And give it the love and the respect it needs to it can heal.