A letter to my body
Updated: May 7
I find it so easy to be generous and loving to those around me. I see beauty in all of you. Considering that I look at women's bodies every day, I am not great at noticing if you have lost or gained weight, as I don't see your size, I just see your loveliness.
Sounds so corny but it's true ❤️
This week in the studio, conversations have ranged from sad and serious, such as eating disorders and mental health, to the ridiculous, such as why underpants come with so many tags, and maybe sock puppets on our feet could be a great way to encourage ankle mobility. A work in progress :)
The serious conversations made me aware of how often women quite flippantly say things such as 'I need to lose weight', 'my body is a wreck' and 'I look so terrible today'. It is something we all do from time to time, but I began to think that it is not the sort of thing we would ever say to a best friend, so why say it about ourselves?
It made me aware that I wasn't always walking my talk of being kind about my own body. One of my favourite things to say at the end of every class is 'feel the kindness of your hands upon your body', and when I say it, I feel it with every pore of my being.
I truly believe that self-compassion and kindness can be life changing.
But I don't always practice it. I know that I am fine as I am, but it doesn't stop that little voice creeping in.
Today, I said 'Enough'. I am who I am. No more trash talking, no more self-deprecation. I am 50, and gravity is a thing.
We are in a constant state of change - from baby to toddler to teen, all the way through to our wise older years. All the changes are a reason for celebration, as they mean we are still here.
I decided to write my body a letter, as if to a best friend. If you try it for yourself, let me know how it feels.
Thankyou. Thankyou for housing me, for without you, I am nothing. We are forever entwined, yet so often it can feel like we are on different journeys. I have been thinking lately about what a magnificent job you have done, and continue to do, but often my internal dialogue is at odds with this. Sometimes it feels like we are back at high school, and I have to say nice things about you out loud, but inside and behind your back I am talking trash, picking you apart.
I have decided not to do that anymore. Years of conditioning, expectation, comparison - it has to stop. You have been through so much, and deserve to be celebrated - a fractured arm, a broken leg, a broken thumb, whiplash, shoulder disfunction, mild scoliosis, 3 pregnancies, 2 births, breastfeeding, recurring mastitis … you’re quite the trouper.
You are not a collection of parts that I get to pick and choose - you come as a complete package. You are perfect in your wholeness. Flaws are only flaws because someone else has decided that they are. There is absolutely no perfection in life - we are all a work in progress.
So, this is my promise to you. I promise to love all of you - the soft bits, the dimply bits, the freckly bits, the crooked bits, the bits that are changing as we grow older together. I promise to listen when you tell me ‘Enough, it’s time to rest’. I promise to dress you in clothes that are comforting and cosy, and that make you feel good. I promise to look at you with soft eyes and an open heart, and continue to appreciate all you have done for me.
Some days, this may be a little harder than others (PMT is still a thing). On those days, I promise to do my best to see the ridiculousness of wanting to be with anyone else. Because you are my one and only, without you, I literally cannot survive.
With love from the bottom of my endlessly loving heart,