For as far back as I remember I have been at war with my body. It has taken an awful lot of abuse from me over the years.
I know now that my body was a convenient place to land my anxiety. Since I couldn’t name this overwhelming feeling (anxiety) and couldn’t blame it on anything, I placed it on my body. If only I was thinner then I wouldn’t feel so awful about going out tonight. If my thighs were smaller then I would feel comfortable at the pool.
Now that I know that it had nothing to do with my body, I’m trying to make amends. I’ve done the exercise of standing at the mirror and telling myself affirmations of how much I love my body. It’s never stuck before. I was never able to believe it.
I was remembering a scene in The Wedding Planner. Jennifer Lopaz’s character is speaking to her dad about his arranged marriage. He was saying that they were each in love with someone else and they resented each other terribly. Then one day he got sick. She took care of him. He appreciated her. The appreciation grew to friendship and then the friendship grew to love.
This is where I am starting. I am starting to appreciate my body. It remembers how to breathe at night. I get up and walk each day. I can speak and laugh and eat. These may seem like nothing compared to the loathing of the fat on your belly. I would encourage you to spend time with brain injured patients and stroke victims. You will see what a gift your body is.
I can buy into appreciation turning into love. I cannot buy into hate developing into love. I do not have one example where hate has turned to love. Why would a body that I despise do anything to help me get it the way that I think that it should be? If someone else treated me the way that I treat myself, I would fight to the death and I certainly would not be supportive in executing their wishes. Huh.
So for today, I say:
– Thank-you body for breathing all night
– Thank-you body for walking and talking today
– Thank-you belly for carrying my beautiful boy. Let the stretch marks remind me of the miracle of his life.