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
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
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