“If we make self-love or body acceptance conditional depending on the size of our bodies, we'll never be happy.
The reality is that our bodies are constantly changing, and they will never remain exactly as they once were, they simply weren’t designed that way. And if we base our self-worth on our bodies we will forever be on an emotional roller coaster of obsession, guilt, and shame.”
I like to journal frequently and recently took the time to write a letter to my body, because honestly, since I retired from professional dance my body has naturally changed. I’m no longer doing 8 2 hour shows every week for months on end. My work and training life is a very different now. I’ve spoken to many other retired dancers and their own bodies changing has been a real challenge for them. I get it!
Over the years I have made not very kind judgements towards my body. This topic could be a novel all of its own, but throughout my career as a dancer exercise was mostly about how I looked. I’d look in the mirror each morning to make sure the six pack was still there. It’s no longer there and truly, I no longer strive for it. I’m learning to love this home of mine (my body) and appreciate everything it has done and continues to do for me.
I have set some training goals, but I am dropping the “I’ll be happy when” story because quite simply it’s a silly story as I’ll not be happier when I’m 20 pounds lighter, that’s not how it works. I’m going to enjoy the process and be kind to my body along the way.
In my mind and heart, I’m happier and more content now than I’ve ever been and I do hope that if you struggle with your own body image that you can find some gratitude in all the good your beautiful body does for you!
What would you write to your body?
Thank you. You are my home and the first part of taking care of you is by truly loving you ♥️ I realise this now, it took some time!
You have gifted me with the ability to hear, to see, to touch, to speak, to laugh, to cry. You allow me to feel - to feel happiness, sadness, fear, love, desire, confusion, joy,
muscle aches (lol) .
You’ve enabled me to breathe, to walk, to run, to dance, to live!
You’ve allowed me to experience this world in so many ways and you continue to do so,
And in-spite of the abuse I often give you, you’ve always held me up.
I certainly owe you a few apologies.
I’m sorry for the times that I exercised so incredibly hard and with little fuel in me. The times that I believed my face and you were what gave me value and that in order to be liked, to be loved, accepted and even employed, that you must look a certain way. I decided that if you didn’t look a certain way that you were not good enough.
My complex mind does like to take over 🙃
and I recognise that you would struggle to help and communicate with my mind when it was harming you so much - even though you are connected , you have often felt extremely disconnected.
The overwhelming emotions that showed up throughout the years I now realise were trying to tell me something, YOU tried to tell me things and so often I wasn’t in a position to listen my head only loved to take over and wasn’t great at connecting with you.. But it certainly tries now!
Although, not an easy task, I will do my very best from now on to not compare you to others, I promise to listen to you more and to treat you better. I exercise now not to punish you but to make you feel good.
In spite of everything, you haven’t given up on me and for that I’m immensely grateful.
Although this society is screaming at me to have you look a certain way, I’ll do my very best not to fall into these new “norms” that we so often witness and are told is what real beauty is!
This is for certain, I will not take you for granted again. My mind is healing and learning to treat you from a place of love and health.
I hope that you’ll allow this complex mind of ours (we are connected and now communicating) to continue to heal, to un learn and to love!
Without you, I wouldn’t be me and for that I am Extremely grateful.