We are bombarded daily with hundreds of messages that we should be working toward that ever elusive state of physical perfection. No matter what we weigh, how we look, how much effort we put into our appearance, there is always the message that we probably should be doing more.
If you suffer from an eating or body image disorder, these messages can easily throw you off your recovery path. It is hard enough to deal with the voices in your own head telling you that if you just lost a few more pounds, had a little bit more curve here or there, that your life would be magically better, but when it is broadcast 24/7/365 into your life by the media and “friends” it can seem overwhelming. How can peace with your body be achieved in a world where peace with your body is generally seen as giving up?
In life, those people who feel most comfortable with themselves as individuals, seem to be most comfortable with their bodies. They may not always love every inch of it, or feel that they look their best, but they convey a strong message that they are lovable no matter what they look like. They may struggle with maintaining healthy dietary and exercise habits, but those struggles do not make them feel they are less deserving of love and respect.
As you walk down the path of recovery, your vision of the future needs to embrace the idea that you are deserving of love and respect from yourself as well as others. The secret to being at peace with your body, is knowing that you are worthy just as you are. By treating your body as a precious part of you, by nurturing it well through diet, exercise, rest and respect, you will find that not only do you end up feeling less tortured on the inside, but that you will be more beautiful on the outside.
Start slowly– every minute of every day is another chance to make a healthy choice. When you hear that critical voice in your head screaming that you are fat, ugly, undeserving, and unlovable– make the choice to fight back by doing one small act of kindness toward yourself. It won’t be easy or comfortable, nor will it be the entire solution, but it will be one more step in the right direction.