Today is Love Your Body Day. Maybe that’s cause for celebration for you! I hope so. Maybe it’s terrifying because you cannot imagine loving in the same sentence as “your body.” Either way, this is an important day.
I hope that the first thing you’ll do to celebrate is sign the Body Warrior Pledge by Rosie Molinary. There simply aren’t better words to inspire the journey toward self-acceptance. In the depths of my struggle with disordered eating and self-hate, I came across her writing. This pledge anchored me. I’ve written before about the transforming power of committing to stop “putting off the things I wish to experience because I am waiting to do them in a different body.”
As I was healing, my counselor encouraged me to share with others what I’d been experiencing. I reacted to this suggestion like a cat to a bath, of course (arched back, hissing, etc.). This scared the pants off me. But the more I let this suggestion sit with me, the more I felt its power. I couldn’t quite figure out the words to capture my experience yet, so I printed off several copies of this pledge and gave them to my roommates. I remember gripping the arm of the couch so hard my fingers turned white as I said that I was struggling with disordered eating. I told them, with dry throat and shaking voice, that the most important thing they could do to help was to sign this pledge with me. In my next heroic act of courage, I then proceeded to flee to my room and have a panic attack.
I’ll never forget waking up the next morning and finding that one of my roommates had carefully and beautifully decorated the pledge and hung it beside the bathroom mirror.
Right then, I knew it was going to be okay. Not today, maybe not the next day, but eventually, it would be okay.
Our bodies are extraordinary. They are strong, powerful, and miraculous. If we let them, they can be the source of so much joy. The joy of walking through the woods, the joy of painting and cooking and hands-on creativity, the joy of snuggling a child. An unloved body holds so much untapped potential for joy and healing.
Our self-hatred stands in the way of this joy. Whether it comes in the form of an eating disorder or chronic lack of sleep or the running dialogue of fat ugly fat ugly in our heads, our self-hatred is like heavy iron shackles holding us back from walking the path of healing toward a joy-filled life.
I am taking down that self-hatred by signing the Body Warrior Pledge. I hope that you will too. I also hope that you might share resources that help you accept your body and welcome joy in.
Happy Love Your Body Day, beautiful.