I found this picture on Pinterest and it really caught my attention. Firstly, I love her underwear and her curves. Secondly, how much fun would it be to have someone drop petals all over you from a very great height, so you could swirl and twirl in them? And thirdly, I, along with most other women I know, have a hard time loving and accepting my body for the beautiful thing it is.
This is partly due to having M.E. If I'm honest, I feel a little bit let down by my body. I used to be able to do far more than I'm physically capable of now, and it's very difficult not to be resentful of that. Especially when I'm watching Strictly Come Dancing and I remember how it felt to be able to stand on pointe shoes during my ballet lessons and feel powerful, weightless and energised all at the same time. Dance was my thing for more than 20 years. My way of relating to myself. It has been hard not to be angry with my body now that dancing is not something I can currently do.
When I started my healthy eating plan back in March, it came with a decision to treat my body with love and acceptance, regardless of what it was and wasn't able to do. I was tired of fighting my body and losing. I realised I needed to be friends with my body again, otherwise I couldn't look after it. So for the past seven months I've been doing my best to love my body. Not out of vanity, but out of the growing awareness that I couldn't take care of something I hated.
As soon as I started to let go of my resentments around what I could and couldn't do, and started to accept what my body was capable of in any given moment, things started to change for me. The extra weight I was carrying started to fall away without me feeling partcularly hungry or craving certain foods. And I also found myself enjoying my own company a lot more than I had in the past.
I have lost two stones in weight since March. In the past, I have struggled to lose weight. I have seen my body as something to battle against. I've lost weight and then gained it again. This time, I let go of all the struggle attached to losing weight, and just decided to be a good friend to my body, to listen to what it was telling me and to give it what it needed in any given moment. Sleep. Rest. Warm baths. Good food. Frequent small meals. Lots of water. A burger and a bag of crisps when the time felt right.
A friend told me once that "what we resist, persists", and I didn't understand what that meant until very recently. I'm beginning to figure it out a bit now though.
P.S. A huge thank you to Annie for her wonderful blog post yesterday. And huge thanks to Annie's followers who came by to read Annie's post and leave a comment. I'm really looking forward to discovering your blogs and taking a look around! I'll also be catching up on my blog reading. If I haven't been over in a while, I'm sorry. It's just that I can't stop fiddling with my blog layout! Em x