The Surprising Way I Learned to Accept My Body
In my recovery, I have learned to shift the focus away from the need to love my body, and instead, to do something way more powerful.
I’ve learned to respect and accept my body.
Yes, like many of us, I’m drawn to the ultimate idea of loving my body. It sounds amazing. But honestly it’s always felt so far out of my reach that it seems as though it is make-believe.
I’ve tried looking in the mirror, performing affirmations. I’ve said, “Body, I love you.” “I LOVE you.” “I love YOU.” Scanning my body, including the dimply parts, I affirm them with love.
I admit that the process to love my body has been tough. But respecting my body is something that I can more easily get on board with.
Loving our bodies for what they do
When I had an eating disorder, I abused my body. It was not good. In fact, if I had witnessed somebody else doing to others what I did to my body, I would have reported that person to the police immediately. I would have screamed of injustice, begging them to stop inflicting such pain on another individual. “Off to jail with you!” I’d shout.
Now that I have children, I see the gifts of their sweet bodies every day. I see their little beings and spirits grounded and supported by their bodies. I look at how their legs carry them and how their arms are able to reach out and hug me. I notice and delight in the joy their bodies bring to them as they dance during our often-spontaneous morning family dance parties. I am fascinated by all that our bodies can do.
I have to remember this: my body helped make these beautiful children! How could I not respect and accept my body — the body that made these people, the people I love so very much!?
My daughters have been my biggest teachers of what it means to respect our bodies. I see their unabashed sense of self and how it relates to the body, and I nurture their respect by nurturing my body. Because of this respect, I have a new found love for my body.
Please join us on the blog next week as we share ways that will inspire you to respect, accept and even love your body as we celebrate National Love Your Body Day.
Robyn Cruze, MA is National Recovery Advocate and the online community manager for Eating Recovery Center.