Loving yourself is not a concept that I have ever been familiar with, I knew mean, angry and hateful to myself because my body had failed me my entire life. I have always been overweight, always on a diet, new plan, exercise routine only to be slammed back into reality and derailed with pain from migraines, joint, back, hip pain and then of course stomach issues and having to live on ginger ale and plain crackers. I was angry that I had no follow through, that I couldn’t stay focused physically, that I obviously wasn’t committed enough, my body and my weight was always a constant disappointment. I even had a miscarriage and was told I lost my baby because I was too big, so you know loving my body was not a concept I ever understood until I realized that celiac was the culprit all along.
Something shifted in my perspective one day when I realized that I was grateful to my body that I was still here. That after decades of verbal and physical abuse to myself as well as many others in the form of former doctors, family members and an ex-husband, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just didn’t have the energy or the desire to be anything but amazed that I have survived despite my best efforts to the contrary.
I started to appreciate the healing process my body was going through. I have learned to listen to the clues my body was sending me not as a form of punishment but as a form of, please help me with this now. My body has been transformed and continues to do so every day.
From where my body is today as to where it was five years ago, it is barely recognizable. I was so sick, so exhausted all the time, my hair was coming out in clumps, sinus infections, viral infections, deep lymph infection, migraines, joint, hip and back pain all the time to now none of that. Yes, I have a long way to go and for the first time in my life that’s okay because I am doing it with a grace, a kindness and an appreciation for my body that I never had before. I am constantly tweaking my diet, my routines and finally even able to exercise without pain. I am no longer doing more harm then good to my body and that’s a new concept.
Learning to love yourself and learning to love your body, I think comes from taking stock of who you are and not the image you see in the mirror. Loving yourself comes from what you stand for, what you believe in, the kind of person you are and who you want to become.
My entire life I turned away from the mirror and disconnected and rejected the image in the mirror. And, now I finally realize that you have to love yourself first in order to love the image in the mirror. I have learned to appreciate the way my body is changing. My body is healing and it is taking the time it needs and eventually the image on the outside will match the image on the inside.
How are ways that you love yourself? How are ways that you show appreciation to your body? Do you love who you are? Do you love the body and your image in the mirror?