A Note on Body Love

I think that anyone with a history of disordered eating can agree that quarantine has stirred the fucking pot. Even as someone who is ‘recovered’ + helps other women on their health journeys, I’ve still found myself triggered as hell (on more than one occasion, might I add). Maybe it’s the combination of limited access to the healing spaces we rely on, the social isolation, and the general sense of chaos that surrounds us constantly these days.

Perhaps it’s felt extra tough because this time of uncertainty has pushed us to revisit a lot of painful stuff. Without the distractions, the busyness, and the fronts we put up, what’s left is usually pretty messy. Messy in a raw + overwhelming way, but also in a beautiful + hopeful way. Amidst the heaviness, this time has driven me to do some deeper healing work that I’ve been avoiding for a loooooong time. And I know so many of you are feeling this, too.

For me, much of this work revolves around a loving connection to self. When I was newly recovered, I was in a complicated relationship with body love. After so many years of hating my body + feeling like she wasn’t mine, I truly didn’t know how to befriend her. Although I wanted to accept + adore her unconditionally, many of our interactions felt awkward + misaligned. There was a ton of hurt + disconnect between us still, but we would sometimes catch glimpses of pure contentment + blissful union with one another. Slowly but surely, as we became more in-sync and started to repair the relationship, I realized something major. I loved my body, yes, but it was more than that. I loved it in the abstract, but I was also beginning to like it in the concrete. And that, for me, was so revolutionary. Loving my body was what gave me permission to ask for help + catapult my healing. Liking my body was what ultimately enabled me to take care of her better.

Without a doubt, the whole practice of being intentionally compassionate toward my body + nourishing her well got a teeeeensy bit lost in quarantine. Remember the whole ‘doing deeper healing work that I’ve been putting off for years’ thing? Yeah, that happened. And in the midst of that unfolding (a very necessary + liberating unfolding), I briefly forgot how to nurture myself. Luckily, I was able to quickly catch it and be like - GIRL, get. it. together. Which only reminded me how far I’ve come and how resilient my magical body actually is.

Currently, loving my body looks like waking up every day with the continued desire to fight for myself (because, trust me, recovery is a daily + active choice). Liking my body looks like feeding her nourishing/yummy foods (kale and cookie dough both essential), making sure she moves/stretches/laughs, and letting her rest. Even with the passive loving + the active liking, I still have hard days. Whatever I’m experiencing, I try to remember that I can live in the grey - I can be both/and. I’m recovered + I’m a work in progress, I love my body + I have days where it’s challenging to like her, I’m vulnerable with my story + I’m scared shitless of how people might judge.

Befriending your sweet bod is a journey, not a destination. So, for all of my babes who feel shame in their struggle, or who wish this shit was easier - I. fucking. see. you. You’re not alone + your hurt doesn’t go unnoticed. Be easy on yourself, find a little grace, know that you’re exactly where you need to be. I love you and I’m so damn proud of you.