Yesterday I wrote a post (that you can read here) about my history with shame around my body. It was really powerful and had a huge response. Apparently (no surprise here), so many women have felt or do feel shame around their bodies. Why? Because we’re taught to. From our parents, society, teachers, peers, magazines, we are primed from a young age to feel shame about our bodies.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on this topic after last week after I had the opportunity to be coached by one of my favorite coaches Christine Hassler. On the call, I explained to her that I’ve done so much work on my learning to love my body but I was still not treating it right. For the first time in my life, I stopped having anxiety around food, the number on the scale and my pant size, but it was like I had become unhinged. I just started eating everything in sight and stopped caring about what I was doing to my body.
Christine listened to my story and then told me that the reason I had become so unhinged and was eating whatever I could get my hands on was because I have a long history of hating my body.
There it was.
The thing that I couldn’t see. That deep down I intuitively knew, but needed someone to show me.
I was stunned.
Hate my body I thought? How is that possible?
But when I really started thinking about all of the things that have gone on in my life, of course, I hate my body! And what happens when you hate something? You treat it really poorly, which is exactly what I had been doing.
My body has always been a giant source of pain. From feeling like my worth was based on what I looked like, to feeling uncomfortable and awkward in my skin, to feeling deeply ashamed of my curves, and throw a sexual assault in there, I have a long list of strikes against my body.
When she said that it felt like I had been slapped across the face and woken up all at the same time. I was overcome with emotion and immediately burst into tears. I felt raw, vulnerable and sad. I literally felt such a sense of grief. How was this possible? But it was. It was as clear as day.
Christine recommended that I write an apology and love letter to my body. At first, I was really hesitant. But as I was writing I felt a huge shift. For the first time, I didn’t feel like I was living outside of myself. I felt like my body and I had become 1. I stopped blaming my body for all of the bad shit that happened to me. It was like we reached a mutual agreement and at that moment I felt such a deep sense of love and adoration for it. It was like I finally understood that my body never meant to hurt me. My body was trying to protect me and keep me safe.
Since then I’ve felt a huge shift and my inner critic and inner rebel have quieted down. Now I hear a voice that feels so loving and compassionate. Instead of being constant enemies I feel like for the first time we’re on the same team.
So if you’re struggling with body shame, know this…
You are so loved. You are so worthy. Your heart is so beautiful. Your soul is so beautiful. You are so beautiful exactly the way you are.