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Work With Your Body – Not on it! :016

The Mantra, “Work With Your Body – Not on It!” came to me…

…as I excavated the messages from my own body and healing journey for my first book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding.

In this book I share my journey from being an unhealthy child, suffering from undiagnosed Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel- like symptoms. I was also overweight. I weighed over 100 pounds at age nine when my average classmate weighed 60 pounds. My skin also nearly constantly pained me. It felt like it was being stretched at best, and would crack and bleed at worst.

In addition to this I had the usual social pressures to look thin and be in-style, and to behave in a way that was similarly in vogue.

I tried for some time to force myself to fit in. I literally starved myself in body and stretched myself in character, hoping it would all gain me more favor. It worked initially. Although, like how a little bit of makeup can look appealing, there is always a tipping point, when too much effort becomes a disaster. Looking back, eventually my extreme measures to change my body and character looked clownish.

There are more details in my book, so I will not repeat them here, but what I will emphasize is this: in order to meet other peoples’ standards I harmed my body greatly. I deprived my body of vital nutrients for growth at a critical time during puberty for which I feel I have finally healed… twenty years later!

 

Work With Your Body - Not on It

On the other hand there are positives that have come out of this time.

Going through that Dark Night of the Soul experience that also manifested in my body, I became much more acutely aware of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition.

It is much more clear to me now what is truly healthy and health-supporting and what is just fashion. Now I have a deep reverence and understanding that what is good for one person, may not be good for another.

I have created a deep, healthy, healing relationship with my body, mind, emotions and even spirit. It’s as if these aspects are layers of my own self that can converse with and guide each other for overall wellness. I am much more acutely aware of my needs in these areas in order to be healthy and balanced.

Going through this time of deep sadness and suffering, longing to be and become accepted, tired of being teased and left-out, helped me to be more compassionate towards others suffering in similar ways.

Most of all I learned to become compassionate with myself. It is necessary, I now see, to start here. We innately treat others the way we treat ourselves- it’s all that we know, until we learn otherwise. We are our own learning-ground.

 

I urge you to learn to Work With Your Body – Not on It!

Yes, there are times that we need to push ourselves, get outside our comfort zone, even to create healthy changes!

It’s healthy in most cases to: break a sweet, run out of breath, or workout so hard you are sore the next day. Stress initiates change.

What is not healthy is when we have unreasonable goals and ideals.

When I wanted to be the same size as children my same age who weighed forty percent less than me (that was nearly half my size!) I put unreasonable stress on myself, and did not have healthy motives.

As an adult I have to remain focused on building and supporting my body with nutrition, balanced exercise and attribute training so that I am working towards the best version of me that I can help come forth; rather than the jury-rigged version that I might be able to create based on what media and my peers are promoting.

 

Here are some tips on how to work with your body:

  1. Set a goal with a health-oriented result. Setting a weight as a goals makes you unreasonably focused about weight, which can fluctuate on a daily basis and even increase when you begin healthy habits like working out when you build heavier tissues, i.e. muscle. Set a single goal like eating whole foods for a month and be surprised how the effect of weight loss just happens!
  2. When you commit to a new or renewed goal, don’t make a big deal out of it. The more you build it up to yourself (and others by sharing with them) the more emotion you put into it and if you don’t meet your goal the more of an emotional crash you’re likely to experience. Treat it like it’s something you’re doing because it needs to be done- like going to the grocery store or brushing your teeth.
  3. Give yourself time. How long did it take for your body to get to the condition it’s in? What if it took that same amount of time to heal? It more than likely won’t; but if it did, at least you would be getting healthier and feeling better all along the way!

 

The beauty of you is that there is no one else like you and we need you to be YOU! Support your body, mind, emotions and spirit so you can be the best version of you possible. How amazing would that be!