I've recently embarked on a new project with CTWorkingMoms.com's founding mother Michelle Noehren. Michelle and I share a passion for wanting women to reclaim their love for their bodies, no matter what shape or form. It's not an easy task, as Michelle and I both have struggled to varying degrees with our body image. I posted my story along with a picture of my cellulite-ridden thighs almost two years ago, wanting to come clean about my vulnerabilities, hoping it would inspire others to do the same. It was incredibly liberating to post my imperfections on the Internet, as was being a part of our now-famous Goddess Gallery. Being authentic, being vulnerable, being real -- that's what makes you relatable, inspiring and even incredibly lovable!
Am I totally over my body-image woes? Well, not exactly. My third baby is almost 14 months old now, and I find that the weight is coming off a bit slower this time. I still find myself looking at my stomach and saying, "What the hell are you still doing here?" I still find myself longingly looking at the majority of clothes in my closet willing them to fit. So no, I'm not totally at peace with how I look. But there is something that's missing -- and that's the self-loathing. I don't do that anymore. Ever. And it's such a relief!
Do you know what changed it? I started talking to my body. Not only that, it started talking back.
Now before you make the call to have me admitted to the closest looney-bin, let me explain: I learned that our bodies have wisdom. Every single cell of ours has intelligence. It shouldn't be that much of a surprise given all the things our body does without us even thinking about it, like breathing, pumping blood, making breastmilk, etc. Of course our bodies have intelligence! Children understand the wisdom of their bodies and are very good at following the promptings of their bodies -- they know exactly what they need to eat, when they're full, when to move and when to rest. It's only when well-meaning parents step in and supplement children's body intelligence with our own neuroses and screw up the natural order. Strong statement maybe, but absolutely true (and I'm also guilty of it).
I've been spending the past few years unlearning all I was told by all the "experts" and trying to relearn my body's natural wisdom. To relearn this I look to my childhood -- what was I drawn to eat, how did I like to move. It was in looking back through the years that I discovered that cheese and bread are my power foods and have been ever since I was little. These are the foods I'm drawn to eat, that I've always been drawn to eat. If I listened to the experts I'd be throwing my power foods away, and that would be this body's biggest nightmare.
I'm certainly not telling you to eat bread and cheese. I'm simply suggesting you listen once again to the innate wisdom of your body -- the wisdom you didn't even have to think about when you were a kid. Talking and listening to our bodies... that's when we will find peace with them.
If you like even a little bit of what I'm saying, then I encourage you to like our new Facebook page, "Love Notes From Your Body." Along with inspiring quotes, there will also be love notes just for you from the perspective of your body.
Here's an example:
So, let's talk about what we should eat. Let's finally get to the bottom of it after all these years. I'm going to tell you exactly which diet out there is the best one for us to follow. Are you ready?
Wait for it....
None of them. Yes, that's right. Don't follow any of the diets out there. In fact, don't listen to anyone who tells you what to eat, no matter how many degrees are listed after their name. There is only one expert who knows exactly what we should be eating and that's me!
I know exactly what we need to feel nourished, to be healthy, to be energetic, to feel comforted. I know all of it. And if you listen to what I'm telling you, you'll know it too. The only caveat is that you have to trust me.
Can you trust me? I trust you totally. In fact, I trust you with my life. Without you, I'm nothing.
So, let's figure it out together -- what we should really be eating. For now use this affirmation: I trust my body knows what it needs. Repeat often for many days until you believe it.
I love you,
Are you in? Your Body sure hopes so.
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