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Beautiful Words

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


  1. This post is a total inspiration to me! Thank you Em. My sister and daughter were both diagnosed with CFS / ME, it took an age to get the diagnosis and even then it was by going private! I am ready to begin tackling my body issues in the next few weeks and this has been really helpful.

    My first degree was a BSc in Health Science and I specialised in Women and Body Image and my dissertation was 'A Weight on My Mind' about women and body perception, it was so revealing!

  2. Right, flipping well on Mrs!
    Sorry to hear that you have ME, it must be awful but you sound as if you are looking after yourself.
    I am in total agreement with you about trying to love your body and it's taken me till I was 50 to get the concept. I've spent most of my life beating myself up because I'm not thin but now I've decided to give myself a break. I've been eating what I want, when I want it and in the quantities I want, when I am hungry and I have lost about a stone and a half.
    I'm not perfect but I'm not doing bad for 50!
    I love your idea of being friends with your body instead of battling against it and I am going to embrace that wholeheartedly forthwith!
    Good for you, mrs and I hope you are in better health soon.
    Thanks for inspiring me even more.

  3. I'm reading this as I sit dressed ready to out for dinner with a friend. The kids have been horrendous and I feel bloated and too big for my dress. I can't afford to go out really.
    Perfect timing to snap me out of these negative thoughts with your post!
    I lost weight in 2009, and have put most of the 2 stones back on. I'm now running at least 5 times per week and feel so much better. Sometimes when I get a bit run down I start binge eating, that happened last week, and I couldn't run.
    I'm going to try to love my body, focus on all that's right with it. The kids have settled, I feel better - thanks for this post, hope you continue to feel brighter too.

    Lucy x

  4. Loved this post......on every level :)

    Jo x x x

  5. Inspiring post Em. I need to start treating my poor ol bod with a bit of respect! Can't keep chucking high carb high fat food at it. My problem has always been making myself cook healthy for one. If anyone comes round I'm there cooking like a fiend but for me, can never be bothered. Gonna dig out my slow cooker and fill it with goodness! Lolo xx

  6. aaww Emma bless your heart life is so very hard at times i could relate to this post on so many different levels. Good on you for losing the weight and starting the love affair with your body again. Its a long story but i have had to major hip ops due to having hip dysplasia as a baby and it going unnoticed. I am now left with a very painful back due to a slight curve at the base and i suffer with joint inflammation in my hands, arms and knees. I have never known a day without pain and sometimes it makes me very low. Over the years before my operations there were many things i couldn't do especialy with my children. I only have to dance now or swim and i am in aggony for a week after but i do dance well like a loon around my kitchen ;-) I hope your health improves and you continue to feel brighter. hugs, dee xx

  7. I can totally relate to having to give up something you love doing. I had always exercised,loved going to the gym and dance lessons and then I developed a knee problem. It isn't going to go away and not easily treated and all the things I'd enjoyed have had to stop. It's been hard and I've had to adjust but you prove that sometimes a bit of positive thinking goes along way. Huge congratulations on your weight loss in such a short amount of time that really is an achievement. Well done :)

  8. Dancing has always been my life and now I am in the position that I cannot dance anymore. I truly miss it and the active life I had. No matter how much overweight I have been, I have always danced. It has done a number on my back, feet, knees - well that pretty much says it. I enjoyed your blog today.

  9. Fantastic post Em! It reels like a light bulb has just gone off for me. I don't even go swimming because I hate my body so much and can't bear the thought of being seen in a cossie! Thankyou - I feel like I can move forward now. You are so right you can't look after something you hate! No more hating!

    I am so glad that you are feeling better too.

    Hugs, Stephie x

  10. You may well already be familiar with this one, but it leapt to mind when reading this post, so just in case you haven't seen it I thought I'd drop it into the comments:


    An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

    "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

    The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

  11. It is a lovely picture and very wise words. I have had body image issues for years, despite being reasonably proportioned! I am definitely going to love my body more now. I think you are brilliant to face your illness and get the best out of life with such a positive attitude. It's a wake up call to us all to be grateful for what we have and love and value our bodies with pride but without vanity! thankyou.

  12. A lovely and insightful post, thank you.
    I think most women will confess to having some issues about their body, whether that be about weight, shape, or what it can or can't do. It's so true that being upset and angry about it won't help.
    I'm sorry you miss dancing so badly just now, but look at all the creativity you have in you, which is expressing itself in different ways. You are so talented.
    Do I love my body? No, though it's not too bad and reasonably healthy. Should I treat it better? Definitely. Have you made me think about this issue and plan some improvements? YES! So thanks again!
    Love Curtise xxx

  13. Well done for this post and I hope it inspires women to love what weve got. Its like getting older, so many women are ashamed of wrinkles etc etc, some are even suicidal at the thought, time waits for no man (as they say). Just enjoy the fact that you wake up each morning!! x

  14. I totally agree with you - love your body, listen to it, look after it. Well done for losing the weight it just proves your theory is correct.
    Love from Mum

  15. Well said. ME is a vile, debilitating and misunderstood illness. You are such an inspiration for not only remaining positive but by having a brilliant sense of humour and by being one of the most wonderfully supportive women in blogland.
    It's easy to fall out of love with our bodies, I felt let down by my arthritis for years, but by learning to love every inch of ourselves we can conquer any insecurity. xxx

  16. This is a beautiful post! I'm glad you could let go of your resentment and are now more at peace with yourself. I hope one day I can feel that way about myself.


  17. Great post, and your words really resonated with me. Well done on your weight loss x


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