I can remember being in the fourth grade and being embarrassed about wearing shorts. The memory of my legs feeling like they were too fat to show my thighs is still one I can remember vividly. I was only 10. Needless to say, my negative relationship with my body started very young.
Before the age of 10, my family members used to lovingly warn me that I had “bad genes”/I’d always have to watch my weight. They thought they were doing me a favor by saying these things (so they could prepare me), but instead it left me feeling like my body was defective and there was nothing I could do about it. Not surprisingly, I grew up with really bad body image issues. I noticed very young that my body type wasn’t like either of my sisters (one is 5′ 7” and 115 pounds and the other is 5′ 0” and petite), who I had never heard given any “warnings” about their bodies by family members.
As a result, I grew up feeling like my body type was “wrong” and there was nothing I could do about it. I started to resent my body as I went through puberty and grew to be only 5’2”, with double D breasts, and “thick” legs. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t overweight growing up, but I thought that because I wasn’t “naturally skinny” that something was wrong with my body. Instead of learning to love my body for its curves, I loathed everything about it because I was never taught that my curves were OK. I truly feel like when I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t accurately seeing myself. I felt so disgusted with myself and my body, even though any outside person would not have been able to physically see why.
Many of my clients relate to this when they look back on their younger selves…they don’t understand why they felt so negatively about their body at the time. It’s because how you feel about yourself at any given time is a mindset. If you don’t work on shifting your mindset, you’re never going to permanently change the way that you feel about your body. No matter how much weight you lose, surgery you get, clothes you buy, or make-up you purchase. How you feel about your body is an inner game.
As I got older, I began to “diet”–I put this in quotations because I never made it past a day (really). I had a pretty extreme binge-eating disorder, largely do to being an empath (and not knowing how to manage my sensitivity) and having an unhealthy relationship with food that was created by obsessing over my body. When people would comment on what I ate, I’d just want to eat even more. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was betraying my body big time with what I was saying to it and what I was putting in it. Within 4 years (18-21), I put on 100 pounds. And the whole way there, I degraded myself in ways that absolutely break my heart now.
Could you imagine saying the things you say to your body to your best friend? What about if you ignored all the messages she was trying to send you? How do you think she would respond? She’d probably shut down and not want to communicate with you, am I right!? The same goes for your body!
It’s no wonder when we spend so much time making our body wrong, she starts betraying us through gaining weight and giving out! In order to heal my eating disorder and lose the weight I gained, I had to repair my relationship with my body. Not once, but twice. I’ll be writing more about how I did this in later article, but for now, I really want to talk abut the first step: forgiveness.
In order to move to where we currently are (disconnected from our body, overweight, etc.), we have to love our circumstances to the best of our ability. When we don’t, we remain stuck in them. We have to realize that our body is exactly where it supposed to be, given what our soul is trying to learn in this present moment. One of the greatest soul lessons we can learn this lifetime is unconditional Love of self. In this day and age with all the conditions the media puts on our body, our body can be one of the greatest ways to learn this lesson of unconditional love.
A great way to start repairing your relationship with your body is to write a forgiveness/love letter to it. Even if it sounds cheesy now, bear with me. It has the potential to open up the connection with your body again so you can access her messages. This will help you repair your body, lose weight, and regain your health. Worth the try, am I right?
How To Write The Forgiveness/Love Letter:
Let me start off by saying you can write this letter in whatever what you want. Here are some guidelines to get you started, but feel free to use your intuition and stray from this format.
Step #1: Start with closing your eyes for a few moments and connecting inward. Let your body know that you want to connect with her. Then write (I recommend pen to paper) at the top of a piece of paper, “Dear Body,”.
Step #2: List every way that you have felt like your body has betrayed you. This can be anything from gaining weight, to a health condition, to not looking the way that you wished it did.
Step #3: Apologize to your body for making her wrong for these things and let her know that you are ready to open up the lines of communication with her.
Step #4: Go back through all the “betrayals” and ask your body the higher purpose of it happening. What are the lessons from your experiences? What did you learn? What was your body trying to tell you? Be patient, as the answers may not come right away, especially when you are just starting to practice communicating with your body. Feel free to use your mind to guess on this part if you feel like nothing is coming up for you.
Step #5: Call a truce with your body. Make a promise that you are going to make your best effort to be kinder to her and that you are done tearing her apart (physically and verbally).
Step #6: Ask your body if she has any messages for you. Again, be patient while you are listening and feel free to use your mind to guess. Remember that if what you hear is helpful, it’s aligned with your soul!
Step #7: Sign the letter with Love and your name. The lines of communication with your body have officially been reopened!
Step #8 (optional): For greatest effectiveness, read it every single day. This will show The Universe that you are serious about reconnecting and forgiving your body. It also can serve as an anchor to make sure you check-in with her every single day.
While just writing this letter will provide a shift for you, don’t get discouraged if it still feels like you are struggling with this. Remember, you have probably been at war with your body for years. Like any person, she may not want to open up to you right away. I promise, with time and consistency, she will.
Now over to you…what do you think about the idea of writing a forgiveness/love letter to your body? How does it make you feel? What do you need to forgive your body for? I’d love to hear in the comments below :)