My heart actually hurts when I hear someone hating their body. I have never navigated an eating disorder or severe negative thoughts about my body. I can't relate to the hardships those with disorders have dealt with, believing a false reality to be their truth.
I can however, relate to everyone in the sense that at some point, I have wished that I looked differently. If only I could change this one thing. If only my skin tanned beautifully like other girls. If only I looked like her. Well of course life will be easier for someone who looks like that.
What a sad waste.
Of our time, of our thoughts, of gratitude for what we have. If you think like this, I beg you to take a second look. Because you're seeing it wrong. Someone without arms wishes for yours. Someone born without the gift of eyesight has no idea what it is to even look in the mirror, or see the colors of the world. Someone who lost a body part from disease or an accident sees your perfectly healthy one and wishes for it. Someone so ill is looking out of a hospital window wishing they were "out there". Out there, with the strength to see and go and live. Out there, where we are, looking in a mirror and wishing for something else. My heart actually aches, moments of our one precious life, given away to jealousy, comparison, a lack of gratitude, or negative thoughts.
I have discovered the best exercise, that completely made me tear up and feel just about as grateful as one could feel. It is called a body scan.
After yoga, I lay with my eyes closed and "scan" my entire body. Where do you feel pain? discomfort? What is an area of your body you don't necessarily like? Why is that? Now visualize inside. Think of everything going on in there. I feel my heart beating and I thank it (in my head but you can speak out loud to your body as well, whatever works for you) for beating 24/7 since I was a precious little life protected by my mother. Some people don't have a healthy heart. I think of my kidneys, filtering my blood for me, around the clock. Some people are on dialysis for that, with diet and travel restrictions. I think of my stomach, and how it has worked through the hell I have put it through, eating nothing but processed garbage as a child. I thank it and promise that I will eat real whole foods, easy to digest, and provide it with all of the good bacteria it needs to function well for my body. I think about my liver and back to my college days when it was cool or funny to drink too much. I think about all of the products I used with toxins that had to be filtered from my systems. I apologize for the toxic load and thank my organs for all that they have done. I think of my amazing immune system, that has fought off countless viruses and bacteria, keeping me healthy. Throughout my life, there have been these intricate workings of my body that I have taken for granted.. that have been protecting me for 28 years. How amazing. Our bodies are incredible. If only we would give them credit for what they do, rather than detract from them in comparison to someone else, we would thrive.
I love my body, because it has carried me through these 28 years, allowed me to see, do, feel, taste, hear, and smell the most beautiful things that life has to offer.
Belly fat? extra weight? too skinny? Sure you could look at it that way, or you could lie down and do a body scan and give your body exactly what it needs.
Love, appreciation, and the gift of nourishment.