How do I love my body again after I feel like it let me down?

Q&A

I love this question and I have to admit this is a question that I once asked myself so I can definitely relate. The challenge here is did you really ever love your body? Did you have a good relationship with your body? With your health? With your weight? With your thighs? 

The answer that I have found with my clients and with myself was a resounding NO. No, I did not have a healthy relationship with my body. I did not appreciate that my body was something that I needed to look after, that my body was something that I needed to take care of, instead I took my body for granted and treated it badly without ever really giving it any thought. How about you? 

Far to often, we all have tons of responsibilities and people pulling you in a hundred different directions, that we forget the basic principal of taking care of ourselves first so that we have plenty to give to everyone else. Sure we have all heard about self care and yes once in a while you might schedule a massage of do something for yourself but what I have come to realize is simply that is not enough.

When we don’t even find ourselves on our own to do list and we constantly make everything else more important to us at some point we are going to break down. Our bodies will be screaming for help, screaming for attention, screaming for us to stop and make some positive changes or truthfully the other shoe is going to drop, at the most inopportune time. Why the most inopportune time, you may ask? The simple truth is there is never a good time for your body to demand your attention. There is never a good time for anyone to get sick. There is never a better time when we have chosen to make taking care of ourselves a chore and not a privilege. 

Unfortunately, it usually takes a real health scare or finally being diagnosed with a sickness to stop us in our tracks. To give us permission, to make ourselves a priority. Sadly, not everyone learns the lesson the first time either. Far to often, we think by popping a few pills that everything will be okay when in truth you have only slapped a band-aid on your real issue.

Getting diagnosed with celiac disease or with non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not a punishment, it’s a wake-up call. Yes, you have been eating the wrong things for your body and you didn’t know. Yes, your body has broken down. Yes, it is going to some time (in some cases years) to rebuild your body. But what I think we far to often forget is thank God our bodies have protected us, through this process. It typically takes decades before a diagnosis is usually discovered and your body kept working, kept sending you clues, kept you here. The question is how long have you ignored your body. And, how long after you found out have you fought your body? How many times, have you tested your diagnosis thinking maybe you could have just a little? How many times have you decided it is too hard? How many times have you given up? How many times have you given into the sickness and felt stuck?

The real truth is, far to often we don’t value ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. We don’t value our bodies, we just expect them to always be there for us. Rarely do we think about putting in the best fuel to make our bodies run efficiently, we just grab for what is most convenience. Learning to live a life that has to be gluten free requires you to make yourself important enough… because quite honestly your life will ultimately be shorter according to medical research if you don’t.

So when you don’t value yourself, how can you value your body? And if you don’t value your body, you do not have a good relationship with your body. Doesn’t matter what you weigh, doesn’t matter what you look like in the mirror, doesn’t matter how many times someone tells you - you look pretty, when you don’t value yourself, you don’t believe it. When you don’t value yourself instead you beat yourself up and you get really good at making up excuses for all the reasons that you can’t. There are not enough hours in the day, everyone else’s needs are more important than mine, your too tired, whatever your excuses may be.

It really all boils down to you, making a choice. You making yourself a priority. You creating time in your schedule for you everyday. 

When you get sick, like this person referenced - she feels like her body has let her down. Like her body has been ill for so long that she has “lost faith” in her bodies ability to heal and to take care of herself. And, my question would be to her and to all of us really, when did you first lose faith in yourself? When did you, decide that you weren’t worth making the effort for yourself. Our bodies are magnificent machines that work mainly without us having to think about our blood circulating, our heart beating, breathing, etc but why is it that we have never learned how incredibly important it is to be in tune with our bodies. To understand and listen to our bodies cues that it is sending us. Why is it we never learned what the best fuel is for our bodies? Why is it we have never learned how important it is to create some space and time for ourselves?

In order to have a good relationship with our bodies, we have to respect our bodies and with that comes respecting ourselves. Yes, we can have a beautiful relationship with our bodies but only after we stop being angry at it. Only after we stop blaming ourselves. Only after we stop focusing on what is not fair. Only after we stop our pity parties. You can’t get well, when we are stuck in these places. You have to separate yourself from the story around why this happened to you and create a new story about how fabulous your life gets to be now.

We can’t change the cards that we are dealt. We can’t change the sickness that has happened. But, we sure as hell can change the outcome. It all starts with believing in yourself enough, to start taking care of yourself every day. Not six months from now, today! Pull out your schedule and find that time. Wake up earlier, learn to say NO to someone else and learn to say YES to yourself. You get to chose the kind of relationship you have with your body and with yourself. And, everyday that you chose yourself is a step closer to your goals. Be true to you, make time for you and value yourself enough to take care of and love your body you have been given. It’s your vessel!