In my teens and twenties my deepest wish was to have a different body. I thought being taller, thinner and cellulite-free would make me more lovable. I resented my body. I felt stuck with it—like I had no say in the matter.
I didn’t choose this body. Why can’t I get one more like Jennifer Garner or Giselle?
This was my inner dialogue day after day, month after month, year after year—for 20+ years. Every day felt like a fight—a fight I couldn’t win. I was unwilling to accept the fact that this was (and is) my body. I wasn’t getting a new one—not in this lifetime anyway.
This is where many women (and men) live their lives. I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people who feel their body has betrayed them in some way—that it has let them down.
When we live from this place, we become powerless. We become a victim to the misunderstanding that our body is bad, wrong or fundamentally flawed. This sets up a whole series of thoughts, beliefs and actions where we punish ourselves for not being perfect. We restrict, binge, ignore, criticize, berate and deny our body because we don’t see the bigger picture.
What if your body was specifically designed for you in this lifetime? What if your size, shape, body type, skin tone, and even your level of health or physical ability, was created 100% for you? What if Your Creator spent years in thoughtful consideration of the body that would best serve you?
This is what I’ve come to believe. I find comfort in thinking this way. It liberates me, and allows me to open myself to a new kind of partnership with my body…rather than fight it all the time.
This year, as I prepared for my wedding, I decided to apply this concept more deeply. When I walked down the aisle to say “I do” to Vince, I would also be saying it to my body—”I choose you”.
The Partnering Path
I’ve discovered that choosing your body isn’t that different from choosing your partner or profession. What’s required is time, devotion and loving attention. All the things I talk about inside the Rock Your Body Challenge.
I asked, “Body, what do you want from me?”
She responded, “More time on your calendar. I want to be as important as your work.”
“Excellent. I can do that. How would you like me to fill this time?, “ I inquired.
“I want to feel stronger. I want to dance more…and feel pampered. I want you to love me.,” she said.
This was enough for me to get started. I carved out more space on my calendar for my body. I scheduled pilates classes before any other appointments. I added occasional time for my nails and my hair.
I also paid more attention to what and when I ate. After a rather intense stomach virus, I stopped eating sugar. This was huge. I come from a long line of women “needing” dessert after every meal. Knowing my wedding cake would be the first bite of sugar felt sweet too.
Let me be clear, implementing these changes wasn’t easy. I was creating new habits—and in my experience, that takes effort and willingness. But, I was more committed to saying “I do” to my body and honoring our journey together, than I was to my old habits. That was the key—and is always the key when choosing transformation.
After a while, these additions to my calendar became the new normal. I considered each a date with my body—and I enjoyed them.
I’m pretty proud of the results too. See below.
Photo by the exceptional Courtney Lindberg.
No matter how you feel about your body, it’s never too late to choose it. And, when I say “choose it”, I mean choose Love. What would Love say to you about your body? How would your body like for you to love it? Are you willing to devote time to this inquiry? In my experience, it’s worth it.
Feel free to share your answers in the comments below.
With Fierce Loving,