For most of my life, I felt tortured by the complicated, and at times, dysfunctional relationship I had with my own body. My earliest memories of my body were of feeling dissatisfied and disappointed by it.
My body didn’t look the way I wanted it to. It wasn’t fast enough, graceful enough, strong enough. It was too big, too clumsy and too uncoordinated. I hated it and blamed it for just about everything in my life that wasn’t working out.
My body was my enemy and we were at war.
I was convinced that, once I finally conquered the villain, all of my other life problems would be solved. I would finally be desirable enough to attract and keep a perfect partner. I would book work as an actor. I would feel confident in the styles of clothing that I liked but was too self- conscious to actually wear. I would be happy!
I did everything I could think of to beat my body into behaving the way I wanted it to; crash diets, fad cleanses, punishing workouts for hours at the gym. I even resorted to popping diet pills, ignoring the heart palpitations, shaking hands and dizziness I was experiencing as a result.
Each of these “quick fixes” would show some promising results at first, but none of them were sustainable. I found myself to be completely obsessed with my body, the food I was eating and the calories I was burning. There was a point in my life where I would weigh myself an average of six to eight times a day! It was exhausting, and I was miserable. No matter how much weight I lost, it never seemed to be enough.
It was only a matter of time before I would feel utterly defeated, wave my white flag and surrender. Eventually I’d slip back into my old comfortable habits. I would often go on crazed binges as a reaction to feeling so deprived and restricted. Inevitably I would gain back any weight I had lost, and then some. It was only a matter of time before none of my clothes fit and the numbers on the scale would throw me into a rage. I would feel so disappointed with how I looked and felt, that eventually, I would prepare myself to do battle again. And on and on it went.
For years, those were my only two states of being. Both of them were exhausting. Both of them left me miserable. Neither of them felt okay with me. I was desperate to find another way of being.
I was tired of feeling shame every time I looked in the mirror. I was tired of believing that the only way I could accept myself was to live in a constant state of deprivation. I wanted to enjoy my life. I wanted to be at peace with the body I had. I knew I needed help.
I decided to get support and it was the greatest choice I ever made for myself. Once I started on this path of healing, turning inward and getting support to bring attention to the part of myself that was deeply suffering, I began to realize that I had it so backwards the whole time. My body is not a problem that needs fixing.
I am here to tell you; NEITHER IS YOURS.
“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care” – Buddha
Once I recognized that my body was not an obstacle to overcome, I learned to interact with it differently. I spent years feeling angry with my body. I never appreciated the fact that my body works incredibly hard all day every day to keep me here on earth so I can live and experience all that life has to offer for as long as possible! Once I realized that my body was, actually, my greatest gift, I was determined to honor, protect and nourish it to the best of my ability.
I stopped bossing my body around and started listening to what it had been asking for all along. I learned the kinds of food it needed, the type of activity it craved and how much rest it required. I started to relate to my body from a place of love, compassion, respect and gratitude. Then something amazing happened.
As soon as I stopped, shaming, blaming, depriving and punishing my body, everything changed!
Not only did I notice the physical results that I had been chasing for years, but I started seeing big shifts in my overall quality of life.
Once I stopped fighting the war against my body, my mind and spirit were finally free to pay attention to the things that really mattered. The things that actually DID make me happy (regardless of the number on the scale!)
My only regret was not starting this transformation sooner.
There is a small part of me that can’t help but wonder what the past 20 years of my life would have felt like if I had decided to call a truce with my body sooner.
It has since become my mission to help other people to do the same.
As a coach, it is my mission to help my clients learn to listen to what their own unique bodies have been asking for. I help them connect with their own bodily intuition so that they can help their bodies reveal their maximum potential without dieting or deprivation. I help them to incorporate sustainable change so they don’t have to suffer the extreme highs and lows that I struggled with for years. Most importantly, I help my clients see ways to stop fighting the war within and start living the lives of their dreams.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ” - Mary Oliver