Recently my anxiety lifted its head. Like a guest who has been long gone and…
When I was a teenager and a young adult, I had various complaints about my body. I didn’t like the pimples (or the scars from the pimples), especially those on my temples and on my back. I thought my breasts should be bigger. I wanted my hips to be smaller and my body’s shape to be less of a pear and more of an hourglass…
I feel tightness in my stomach while writing this and I’m recalling how harsh I used to be on myself.
Now I’m 47 and I like my body more than ever. Not only through having done work on accepting and loving myself as I am and loving others as they are, but also because I’m now caring for my body in a loving way. I routinely dance alone at home or with Pete or with workshop participants. I stretch at home. Oftentimes I walk instead of taking a bus. I walk or run in the forest. I go to the gym. I cycle when I’m in Amsterdam.
Sometimes I make moving my body a should for myself though most often it’s something I want to do. I have a monthly pass to the gym for entry from morning till 3 p.m. and I tend to arrive at around 2:55 p.m. I imagine if I had an all-day pass, I’d postpone going until it was too late at night. The afternoon workout / sauna is a welcome break from my work. In the morning, I tend to have my coffee and read a book, then I work and do skype coaching sessions, go to the gym and maybe to library or a grocery store, cook and eat at home, work some more…
When I was younger, I either didn’t do much exercise or I did it without enjoyment. In my teen years, I used to run so much that my body didn’t like it and my period stopped. Nowadays, I listen to my body: Does it feel like moving and if so in what way? I also allow myself just to move a little. I say to myself: “Let’s start and you can stop at any time.” When I get moving, I tend to go on with my movement. When I dance, I don’t want to stop!
How do you feel about your body? How do you feel when you move? Do you ever dance alone just for the fun of it?
I love the naked and body-shame work we do in the 8-day intensive Radical Honesty workshops. For me, standing in front of other naked people while talking about my body and my sexual history can still be a little nervy, though I also like it. By doing this naked work, I have got over many of my negative judgements about my body and have let go of many desires for it to be different. I started to appreciate and love more my body as well as other people’s bodies.
I now have more weight than I did when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. My belly sticks out a bit. I have a double chin (which I try not to show in photos). A few months ago, I didn’t like how my weight had been increasing and my love handles growing. I especially didn’t like that I couldn’t fit into some of my clothes anymore. So, I went on a diet to lose weight. I enjoyed the 8-week diet. I ate a lot but ate healthfully and didn’t feel much hunger. I ate lots of veggies and berries every day, tofu, fish, egg and other healthy proteins, some good quality fats like olive oil, seeds, feta cheese and nuts. I enjoyed eating and my colourful plates with bell peppers, strawberries and greens.
At 47 years old, I’m grateful for my body: it’s quite healthy and it moves fluidly. I get physical and sexual enjoyment out of my body (and my mind). My body carried, gave birth and breastfed a child. My feet carry me places and my arms and back carry stuff. My body has recently done a lot of physical work at the cabins: building a new terrace, building a deck for our new yurt, carrying firewood and water, collecting kindle for starting fires…
What do you thank your body for today? What are you able to do with your body?
Two days ago, I looked at myself in a full-sized mirror and smiled. I was surprised by how much I liked the way I look.
P.S. We have an upcoming opportunity for doing naked work! Join us at our Radical Honesty 8-day Intensive Retreat on the beautiful Canary Island of La Palma (29 February – 8 March). Enjoy naked work, connections, sharing secrets and telling the truth in the sunshine during the midst of the European winter!