What respecting your body really looks like

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I used to have a horrible relationship with my body. My love and respect toward my body fluctuated based on the number the scale displayed, I chose foods purely based off diet book recommendations, and if my body was anything more than “super skinny”, I hated her.

Looking back at those days, the one word to describe how I felt toward my body was… distant. SO distant.

I didn’t really want to know her.

I didn’t want to touch her.

I didn’t want to look at her (unless I was at my “skinny weight” of course).

I certainly didn’t want to listen to her.

Her and I were like really really really distant friends who vaguely knew each other but didn’t really like each other. Practically strangers.

Now, my body and I are tight.

We’re pals.

My body is my ally. She is there for me through everything. I listen to her when she needs rest, I give her foods that make her feel good most of the time, and she lets me eat ice cream and candy the rest of the time. I dress her comfortably.  I touch her all the time, even when I don’t particularly love what I’m feeling. Even when she’s a bit heavier. I admire her in the mirror, even on her bad days. I talk to her lovingly. I let her fluctuate in size and love her unconditionally throughout it all.

There is no distance between us anymore. We’re as tight as it gets. And it feels amazing.

The women I work with ask me all the time how to stop hating their bodies. And I tell them that it’s just like working on a distant relationship with a friend that you’re trying to get to know again. It takes time. It takes nurturing. It takes literally getting to know each other again. It takes being open to connection, tenderness, and love.

So I want to share with you what it looks and feels like to respect your body, to me. And if this is the kind of relationship with your body that you crave, I’d encourage you to pick a couple of these to slowly integrate into your daily life.

To me, respecting your body means…

  • Being able to look at her in the mirror, notice parts that aren’t ideal, but still talk to her with kindness and appreciation.
  • Touching the soft spots, the rolls, and the cellulite, and saying “okay this might not be my favorite feature, but I like you anyway.”
  • Touching her, feeling her, putting lotion on. Massaging her.
  • Giving her rest when she’s tired.
  • Stretching when she’s sore.
  • Asking her what foods will make her feel good and give her energy.
  • When you really want to eat something that doesn’t make her feel her best, checking in with her to see if she can handle it, and if so, letting yourself have it, and then soothing her after. For instance, if you eat a ginormous ice cream cone and your stomach hurts after, taking it easy. Giving her water, and maybe a vegetable or two in her near future. Working WITH her to find a happy balance with food.
  • Dressing her in comfortable clothes. No “too tight” pants. She deserves clothes that feel awesome.
  • Moving her in a way that feels fun, sometimes challenging, but not over the top. Moving her in a way that feels like you’re giving her a gift, not a punishment.
  • Taking breaks during the day from sitting to stretch and move.
  • Finding a way to at least accept (no need to “like” or “LOVE”) all the parts of her that you have found hard to accept in the past. All the parts you think mayyy not be lovable or attractive. She deserves YOUR acceptance first.
  • When she’s starting to feel weak or achey, giving her the attention she deserves. Picking up some weights. Going to yoga. Getting a massage. Caring for her.
  • When she feels stuffed to the brim after eating guacamole and quesadillas and nachos (can you tell I love Mexican food? 🙂 ), giving her a break. Letting her rest and tell you when she’s hungry again and ready for food. Listening.
  • When her energy is low or she’s sick, giving her high energy foods because you like her and want her to feel better.

This is what physical self-care looks like. Self-care for your body. This is what it looks like, to me, to respect my body.

And here’s the kicker… everything changes when you feel close to your body, and when you respect her.

You naturally choose foods that generally make her feel good (no willpower involved)

You naturally develop a fun, manageable relationship with exercise because you want to care for this body you really respect.

You naturally develop work / life balance because your body tells you when it’s time to push and when it’s time to rest.

It becomes natural, second-nature.

You don’t need to overthink it, analyze it, and white knuckle it.

So I am curious, what is your relationship with your body like right now? What does respecting your body mean to you? If you feel very distant from your body, what is ONE step you can take to bring that relationship a bit closer? I’d love to hear in the comments below. 

Lots of love!

Jamie

 

 

 

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  1. Hey Jamie,

    Stumbled across your website after reading an article of yours, and really enjoying perusing your articles.

    After a decade-long struggle with eating disorders, I’m finally working towards building a healthier relationship with my body. Reading about your experiences (and how you came out on the other end) has been extremely inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing; looking forward to reading more.

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