I often talk about my body and me being a team. Often people ask why, and sometimes they let me know that it bothers them because they like to think of themselves as an integrated whole. First, of course however you view yourself and your body is totally fine The Underpants Rule absolutely applies here. Thinking of my body as separate is actually the result of a conscious choice for me.
If you are a regular blog reader you may remember that my journey to body love started with my decision that, not matter what it took, I was going to learn to love myself as I was. At that point I wasn’t able to see that my body was beautiful, and it felt disingenuous to say that I did, so I was looking for ways to shift the way I felt about my body. As part of that journey, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I treated my body and why. One day I was sitting in my mechanic’s waiting area as my car got an oil change. I realized that I treated my car way better than my body. Unlike my body, I always took my car in for preventative maintenance and necessary repairs, and I would never have given it a fraction of the fuel it needed and then become angry when it stopped working.
I also realized that I treated my friends way better than I treated my body. If I got into an accident and a friend had to do everything for me, I couldn’t even imagine responding to that by spending all of my time berating them for how they look. But that’s how I was treating my body every day.
So I made a conscious decision to try treating my body at least as well as I treated my car, and preferably like I would treat a close friend – which meant that I would love it regardless of how it looked, take care of it, and defend it from detractors. I decided to treat my body like a partner in everything that I do, rather than treating it like an adversary. The first thing that helped me do was take the last steps away from my diet mentality as starving my body by feeding it less food than it needs to survive in the hopes that it would eat itself and become smaller was no longer an acceptable way to treat my body.
That, along with a shift in focus to appreciating all the things that my body did for me, helped me become motivated to take really good care of my body, to appreciate what my body did for me, and to decide that, even if I didn’t love the way it looked, my body was still amazing and deserving of love, respect, and excellent care. I would later learn to love the way my body looks – actually, it would be more truthful to say that I unlearned the idea that there was something wrong with how my body looked – but for me that was the icing on the self-esteem cake.
I continue to think of my body as an incredible friend and partner because it works for me to think about it like that. Of course that’s not better or worse than thinking of myself as an integrated whole and, as always, your mileage may vary. For me, seeing my body as separate helps me to see my body as worthy of love, respect and excellent care. It helps me remember that my body deserves nothing less than my unconditional love and full-throated support. It helps me respect my bodies boundaries when it comes to sickness or injury. It helps me be in a place of peace and love and joy with my body, a place that – before I started to think of my body this way – seemed like somewhere I could never get, and now is somewhere that I never want to leave.
Two Cool Upcoming Events!
The Size Diversity Task Force retreat is open for registration. We’re going to Vegas in October! It is designed to be a fun, laid back weekend with a couple workshops and group activities, and a whole lot of hanging out with fun and fabulous fatties and friends. Registration is just $35 and includes a one-year membership to SDTF, snacks, casual lunches, beverages throughout the weekend, as well as the workshops/group activities during the day on Saturday. The hotel has amazing deals and scholarships are available. Check out all the details here!
In November, I’ll be keynoting the Abundia Conference! This fantastic conference takes place near Chicago and the focus will be “Finding Joy in Your Body” I’ll be giving talks, workshops, even dance classes and hopefully hanging out with super cool people and meeting my awesome blog readers in person!
Like the blog? Here’s more of my stuff:
Become a member: Keep this blog ad-free, support the activism work I do, and get deals from cool businesses Click here for details
The Book: Fat: The Owner’s Manual The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details
Dance Class DVDs: Buy the Dance Class DVDs – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details