I’ll admit it. I sometimes feel angry when I think of all the time I wasted trying to change my body. At the pinnacle of my obsession, for several years, I basically quit everything. I quit singing lessons, I made almost no effort to develop friendships, and I had a constant fantasy about “someday”. Someday when I was my ideal self in every way. When I’d cleansed my body enough to be the vibrant being I was waiting to be. When I got skinny enough to be happy and free and lighthearted. When my body was unburdened enough to live joyfully. THEN I’d start really living and man, I’d be living more than anyone else. When I look back at that girl I see so many good intentions. I really thought that by developing into my best self, I’d come out of the woodwork like some Cinderella story (which I was obsessed with as a kid) and the world would love me and I’d be living in a state of bliss. Along the way though, I was adhering rigidly to a set of rules – my supposed keys to freedom! When I look back at that girl there are a few things I want to tell her…
- It’s ok to eat. More than ok. In fact, you actually do need to eat. You aren’t going to become a spiritual guru by not eating or just drinking juice. Even if you spend all your time meditating and doing yoga (which I did a lot of) you’ll hardly be nourished enough to focus. Eat. Nourish. And do your yoga and meditation too, whatever, but please! Eat!
- It’s alright to like yourself now. In fact, you won’t really get anywhere if you don’t because using body hate as motivation for the journey won’t lead you to the destination of body love.
- Your sweet body doesn’t thrive on rules- but she does appreciate being listened to. Sure, experiment. Read books, try out different lifestyles and ways of eating, but ultimately, no one knows your body better than you.
- You actually can be happy without the perfect body. I know it’s insanely hard to believe. I know you think you want this more than anything in the world and that if you had this, everything else would fall into place but…it’s simply not true. It’s good news though- it means you can be happy now!
- Just because you feel amazing when you’re drinking nothing but juice doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. I know you’re trying really hard to live on “life force” and you feel guilty when you put food in your body but by just ignoring food altogether, you’re just stalling being able to trust yourself with food.
- “Perfect” is not a thing. Or a destination. Or what you should be striving for. In fact, if you keep striving for perfect, you’ll keep disappointing yourself. Instead focus on acceptance and from there you can really grow.
- Your bliss isn’t reliant on a number. Not the number on the scale or the number of days you’ve juice fasted. Give it up, life is bigger than that.
- Food is fuel…and also pleasure. I know you sort of look at yourself like a machine and if you put just the right things in, you’ll get exactly the result you want. But guess what? The body also responds beautifully to a meal you really adore. Don’t be afraid to share meals with loved ones once in a while. Connection can be as nourishing as kale salad.