I had my first inkling that I could heart my body about five years ago. I'd never really considered it before. Well, I take that back. I'd actually done more than considered it; I'd obsessed about that shiny day in the future when I’d finally be thin and fit, radiant and happy, loving my body to the max. That future always felt simultaneously right around the corner and light-years away. I really wanted to believe it would happen -- really, really wanted to believe it. But loving this body as it is, right now? No, thanks.
People don’t love bodies like this one, right?
That was my truth for most of my life. But gradually, probably around my 65th diet (not making that up!) to no avail, a thought so random and unbelievable bubbled up that I pretty much instantly dismissed it: maybe hating my body into submission isn’t the way to go. Maybe, in fact, it’s completely counter-intuitive.
What I’ve found to be the most difficult part of learning to heart my body, and what I’ve heard from many other people, is that it’s hard to shake the black-and-white thinking. In my case, my black-and-white thinking was myriad: I can either love my body and totally stop caring for it or hate it and be thin; I can’t be happy until I’m thin; everyone has a messed up relationship with food; and on and on. Years of dieting had trained me (very well!) to always be putting my hope in the future instead of the present and to place my fate in the hands of something external (like the newest diet book) instead of, well, my own hands.
This black-and-white thinking would now have me rattle off a how-to list for you to start loving your body -- in the next five minutes. Since I know how counterproductive that is, though, I will share what has helped me. These are options for you to consider, regardless of how/why you are wishing to heal or change your relationship with your body.