Your body is not the enemy.

Your body is not out to get you. It’s not broken. Or ugly. It’s not too much or not enough.

Your body is your vessel. It’s the home for your soul. It’s your instrument.

And you’re not taking care of it. You’re not honoring or celebrating it.

It’s not your fault. We aren’t taught to love our bodies. We’re taught that our bodies are a problem that we need to fix. That complete discipline is required so that we don’t let ourselves go. We’re taught to believe in an ideal that isn’t actually real. To compare and despair. To fight our bodies. To try to mold them into something that takes incredible effort and more so to maintain – because it’s not natural. We’re taught to hate ourselves. That dieting is the only way. Fat is the devil. No pain, no gain. That nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. We’re taught to be at war with ourselves. And to be at war with all other bodies.

We’re taught wrong. It’s wrong in EVERY way that something can be wrong. I haven’t had a coaching client yet who didn’t have a f*ed up relationship with food or her body and it stems from the deep-rooted idea that she is not enough. We walk around convinced that we are broken. Out of control. Lazy. Weak. Unlovable. Fat. Ugly. Unworthy.

I recently found myself slipping back into unhealthy thought patterns and habits. I’ve gained some weight and have been judging and attacking myself hardcore. I’m stressed about every bite of food I’ve eaten. Looked in the mirror and said horrible things. Judged myself for relaxing instead of working out.

And it’s felt gross. But it’s so easy to do. Self-attack is as simple as breathing. It’s been an opportunity to coach myself and use my tools. And it’s still a work in progress (and always will be). A few weeks ago – after an especially brutal body day – I pulled out my journal and wrote a letter of forgiveness to my body. Truly, though, I was writing a letter of forgiveness to myself. Letting myself off the hook for all of it. Freeing myself from the shackles of self-attack. And as soon as I finished my letter I put on Heather Waxman’s BodyPEACE meditation and received a message from my body that I share below. I hope this peek into my private journal and experience helps you forgive yourself and love yourself more deeply.

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Dear gorgeous, perfect body,

I am sorry. Sorry that I have blamed you for everything. Sorry that I have hated you (like really hated you). So very sorry for the disgusting things that I’ve said (and the even more disgusting things that I’ve thought) about you. I’m sorry that I confined you in too tight clothes simply so I didn’t have to buy a bigger size. I’m sorry that I compared you to every other body and told you that you weren’t good enough. I’m sorry for the diet pills, the excessive workouts, the weeks of only Special K and cucumbers, the low fat yogurt, the low fat EVERYTHING.

I’m sorry for the poking and pulling. I’m sorry for going days without eating much to days of eating everything. I’m sorry for not moving you at all. I’m sorry for the gallons and gallons of chemicals I gave you to prevent wrinkles, clear up acne, straighten and tame my hair, and reduce cellulite. I’m sorry for the time spent in tanning beds because everyone said that tans make you look thinner. I’m sorry for numbing out with too many cocktails.

I’m sorry for eating things that you so clearly couldn’t handle. I’m sorry for dehydrating you by never drinking water. I’m sorry for not letting you rest and sleep. I’m sorry for the chronic stress. I’m sorry for torturing you. I’m sorry for everything.

With so much love and gratitude,
Stephanie

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Dear Stephanie,

It’s okay, I forgive you and love you. Please forgive yourself. And please, please love yourself.

Love,
Your body

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