A few weeks ago, my mom was suffering with a health issue. We had been texting back and forth one day as I offered some guidance to help on her healing journey. Then I received this text:
I feel like I failed you.
My response: What? Why?
Mom: Sometimes I feel like I have let you down because I'm fat. :-(
This broke my heart.
I would never want my mom (or anyone for that matter) to feel bad about herself in any way.
I could feel the weight of her sadness. I remembered how I felt as I binged and starved my way through junior high and high school, hurtling insults at my body all the while, envying the thin girls who walked the halls with ease.
I'd make empty promises to love my body, once it proved to be thin enough, strong enough, flexible enough, knowing all the while it would never be "enough." I'd curse it for being hungry while I starved it and curse it for passing out before I got thin, forcing me to eat again. Then I'd stuff it with food until my stomach got sick, all the while berating it.
My self-destructive behavior finally ended years later. And NEVER came back. When old habits did start to sneak back into my life, I eradicated them with one simple and powerful thing. The one thing that has the power over EVERYTHING in your life and will determine if you fail or succeed in any area.
That's right. I said love.
When I left for New York City when I was 18, I called a truce with my body, which I had always considered my worst enemy. After all, if only I were thinner, my life would be perfect. But I gave up that belief. I cut my body some slack. I honored to love it, every curve, just as it is. I vowed to feed it when it was hungry. I promised to listen when it told me it was no longer hungry so I could stop feeding it, and stop feeding my emotions.
My body and I moved to NYC as friends. We remained friends when my (size 2) roommate reminded me every day I was fat, or when everyone teased me for taking longer to walk to class through Central Park than them. Our relationship blossomed and, over time, we released the 40 pounds of excess weight that we no longer needed.
As the years passed, I learned more about what to feed my body to fuel it. Now, we are the best of friends. As with all best friends, we have our moments and we don't always agree (like when I want to overindulge in chocolate) but we always fall back to love. We leave behind the disagreements (and the chocolate, whether eaten or not) and we move forward. I mean, you wouldn't hold a grudge against your best gal pal if she ate two pieces of chocolate cake, would you?
So, now I have a question and a challenge for you:
What are you telling your body?
And here's the challenge:
Start a sacred relationship with yourself.
Give a gift to your body to show how much you truly care.
Here are some ideas: