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You Really Can Love Your Body

Posted Jul 31 2013 1:21pm

Oh boy. Here we go.

I can hear you now. "You have GOT to be kidding.....really? REALLY?!? The "love your body" speech? What happened - did you just totally run out of topic ideas for this month?"

But then again, you know (or at least I hope you know) I never write about anything here that I haven't personally experienced. Which must mean....at long last.....

Not quite yet. I'm not quite there yet. So technically this month's title probably should have read "Just in - today's evidence seems to forecast that 'body love' is a very high - nearly surefire - probability some day in the not-too-distant future."

But of course that title would be way too long.

So instead, allow me to explain.

When I was sick with my eating disorder, I didn't just dislike or even hate my body. I wanted to DISOWN my body. I wanted to get as far away as possible as fast as possible (which of course frequently proved problematic).

Then I started to work towards recovery. At that point I would say that, instead of wanting to disown my body, I hated my body. Passionately. But I suspected I might like my LIFE, did I feel so inclined to keep it going awhile longer. So I kept going.

Then I started to get stronger in recovery. At that point passionate body hatred turned to mild hatred. In time mild hatred turned into anger and resentment, which after awhile gave way to intense dislike.

I remained in a state of intense body dislike for many, many years. After my abdominal surgery in 2010, intense dislike turned into a grudging admiration combined with fairly equal parts mild dislike, a newfound "live and let live" tolerance and some lingering body-related irritation.

But recently - specifically this year - the mild dislike has become so mild as to be virtually undetectable.

For instance, I can look at myself (thighs and booty and all the rest) while sitting in the salon chair, trying on skirts or bathing suits or other items that don't fit in the dressing room, standing next to a trimmer friend or colleague or even just hanging out alone in my house and feel - well - nothing. I'm like, "Oh look, there's my body" in the same way I might say, "Oh look, there's my lava lamp" or "Oh look, there's my parrot" (well, I might be understandably more enthusiastic if I'm looking at my parrot).

Sometimes I even see my body and feel - like. I like my body. I like my curves - the hourglass shape is interesting to me. I might look at my body, feel that mild dislike for just a second or two, but then remember how a friend of mine said she thinks I have a "pretty body" or a former boyfriend said he thinks I'm "beautiful."

Then I feel happy. Peaceful. At home. Imagine that. I feel at home in my OWN skin. Not my own skin-in-progress (aka the skin I'm still working hard to change.) Not the skin I imagine I might have if I dress just-so or never ever even think the word "bikini" ever again. THIS skin. Right now. The one I'm inside of - right now.

WOW. Like - seriously. Did I ever think I would be writing this column - sharing these specific experiences with you? Heck no.

But I am.

That is why I say "you really can love your body." Or at least not dislike it, like it a little, or even like it a LOT.

p.s. This post is from the July edition of Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery. To read the full edition click HERE

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