Dear Body Image,
I would love to say that you and I have been good friends for a while now, but the truth is, you are more foe than friend. Over the years, you have made it difficult for me to accept compliments, and often push me to places where I compare myself to others around me. And not just those around me, but you tell me that if I want to be beautiful I need long legs, six-pack abs, and a Hollywood smile. Even during times when I am feeling good about myself, you come in with your ugly words and tell me: No. What about this…Work on that… You often say things that make me want to slump and hide, cover up, or make excuses about who I am. You would never say offensive things to another person, why do you say them to me? I believe in treating others with kindness, love, and encouragement. You should treat me the same. I remember when I first became aware of you hanging around. I couldn’t have been more than 11 years old. The thing is, the older I get, the more I like the person I am becoming. I am not perfect, and I really don’t want to be. I keep learning and growing and the inside change often manifests itself on how I carry myself on the outside. You see, I just don’t want to deal with your negativity anymore. I think that you have had a bad attitude for a while now, and it’s time for a change. If you are going to stick around, I really need you to recognize the creature I am and what I am capable of. This body is actually a complex and intricate design. The more I learn about the human body, the more I am amazed at all of its functions, abilities, and innate response to care for itself. You see Body Image, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe that life it not about hyper-focusing or obsessing on anything, but rather about taking care of ourselves, each other, and our surroundings. Balance is the key, and it’s a principle I need to live by. If that is the new norm for me, your pessimistic thoughts will take this vision off course. So from now on there is no room in this relationship for unfavorable, rejecting, or toxic words. From now on you will say things like:
What a privileged it is to move, work, and play. I am grateful my body allows me to do this.
I am a beautiful wife, my husband adores me-believe him.
My legs are short and stubby, but they are strong and able!
It feels good putting wholesome food into my body for energy and vitality. My body is looking for its happy place with habits like this. It is a journey.
I will enjoy a splurge on pizza, chocolate, or the like-life is about health and enjoyment.
My friends are beautiful on the inside and out. They love me for who I am, not what the scale says.
I know it will be difficult at first adjusting to this new attitude, but I believe in you. This is real beauty Body Image-and from now on, you are going to keep telling me that. Kapeesh?
Dear Body Image…
Dear Body Image,