Love Your Body Well

Every day I am learning more of what it means to love my body well.

I’m learning what it looks like to listen to my body.
I’m beginning to understand when my body is asking me to rest, and when my body is saying “I’m sore, but if you work hard today I will feel better.”

I’m beginning to understand the importance of eating food that nourishes my body, but that it’s okay to eat a cookie. I’m learning it’s okay to have a glass wine with some dark chocolate.

I’m learning that weight is just a number on a scale, and inches are just numbers on a tape measure.

My body is strong. It is healthy.
I am smart. I am capable of the things I set my mind to.
I am confident and courageous.

But it has been a long journey, a hard journey, and really a journey that’s just beginning.

In the last few weeks, I have really struggled to love myself and to love my body well. I have struggled to appreciate all that I am and all that I do.

I went on vacation and came back to see my numbers on the scale and the tape measure go up. I came back with a break out on my chest. I came back feeling bloated and unenergized. I came back feeling guilty for eating all the foods I love, for splurging, and celebrating, for eating dessert, pasta, and dairy, for drinking a lot more alcohol than I was used to.

I was tempted to punish my body. I felt discouraged. My mind was in a dark place. A place that said “I am not good enough. I am not successful. Why bother trying when you’ve just reversed all the hard work you put in over these last 4 months?”

Being skinny is not the same as being healthy.

Let me say it again, being skinny is not the same as being healthy. And health, health has always been the goal.

This week I skipped my workout chose to rest more. I made the active choice to not do my workout Wednesday because my body was telling me no. I woke up Wednesday evening and my body outright hurt. It hurt and ached everywhere. I’d missed Tuesday’s workout too because I ran out of time before work. And I chose to not workout Thursday because I was sleep deprived, and my body was still telling me to rest.
Then, this morning I was able to show up for my workout and feel like I truly conquered my workout.

I was able to look in the mirror and feel strong and confident.

I think the biggest lesson this week was that I don’t have to feel guilty for listening to my body and choosing to not work out.

Growth isn’t linear. Healing isn’t linear. It’s a journey of ups and downs. It’s a process to accept and love yourself, just as you are. It is so, so important to recognize that you are enough just as you are.

It is important to remind yourself of all the good that your body has done.
When I want to shame myself for gaining back the weight I lost, I remember all the hard work my body does. I think of the way my strong legs have carried me through 3 half marathons. I think about how these arms pull patients up in bed and work to make them more comfortable, and keep them safe. I think about the way these feet carry me through 12-hourshifts. I think about all these amazing things my body does, and it helps me love it exactly as it is. My body does amazing things, day in and day out.


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