Sunday, January 6, 2019


On New Year's Day, I said aloud: "every time I have gained weight, my body has been protecting me."
This is a realization I came to a while ago, but voicing it has changed so many things.

2018 was the year that I decided to love my body, exactly as it is.

For most humans, this is radical self love, for those managing chronic disease and pain... it is something I don't have the words to describe.

Seeing my body as working with me, not against me, shifted something. My body and I started working together in a new way.

I thought I loved it before, but all of my love was conditional:
-I love my body, but I wish my stomach didn't have rolls
-I love my body, except for my knee/back/chest/broken toe
-I love my body, why can't it love gluten

The lists continued and I never really loved all of me. I hated gaining weight after surgery/injury/depression and saw it as a moral failing or lack of will power, or some new task I needed to accomplish. When my body was doing what I needed, conserving resources so I could heal. 

I honestly am not sure this is the space to share this, but I also know how many folks struggle with eating disorders brought on or intensified by food-related health issues (raises hand).
I also know that this time of year, we are bombarded with shame, guilt, marketing to "undo" the holidays or "regain" control over our bodies.

Diets have been proven over and over to not work to create and maintain weight loss, and weight is not the sole indicator of health. The trendy new "clean eating" is another form of disordered eating, which is very dangerous to those in recovery for eating disorders.

Today, I love my body. I love it for what it has done and what it is doing. It turned food into energy so I could think this, type this, and share this. That is truly amazing!

I am sharing with you my only resolution for this year, to thank my body for existing and supporting me every day. I take a moment every morning and evening to say it aloud, to be in a moment of complete gratitude. (I am not saying this while I am washing my face and wondering how adult acne hasn't been cured, I am not saying it while pushing on a sore muscle or painful spot.)
I am holding a few seconds or a minute of just pure gratitude.

There are parts of my body that I would like to work differently. I want to be more flexible, I excited to be able to feel stronger, and having better posture means fewer migraines. Instead of being frustrated that I am not these things yet, I am actively saying thank you for every step my body is taking working towards these goals.

Examples of gratitude:
+I am so grateful for making it through 26 minutes of yoga and am proud of listening to my body and taking 2 breaks when I needed them
+I am so lucky for being able to have learned things in PT that keep my back safe, happy, and healthy and I use them every day
+Lymphatic systems are amazing! I am so glad mine is working and clearing out this cold.

It is as simple to be upset that I was sick, or dread exercise, or be frustrated that I couldn't push through something without a break. Or, I could see the joy and accomplishment.

I am human, there are days I am going to probably get it wrong, but I am going to forgive myself and step right back into saying thank you - thanks for having a body that can make mistakes, learn, and do something new and different.

Wishing you your best year filled with love, delicious food, joy, and abundance.