There seem to be two basic approaches to health:
1. Discipline the body into obedience to one’s goals.
2. Love the body with complete abandon.
I will be writing about the first in a couple weeks. But, I wanted to take some time and address the second in a two part series. I will be touching on some ways in which I resolve my own frustrations with each.
I am a Holistic Lifestyle Coach and have a degree in Health Arts and Sciences from something of an alternative college. I was a massage therapist and yoga teacher and also walk the Wise Woman path and I love me some wheel of the year celebrations. This information should lead you to believe that I stereotypically fall firmly in the camp of “body love”. (Spoiler alert: I do…well, mostly.) However, there is so much that
annoys intrigues me about this approach.
One: It is announced as a prescription. Morbidly obese? You just need to love your body. Fibromyalgia? Love your body. Feel breathless after walking up a flight of stairs? Love your body. Wow, that’s frustratingly useless advice, isn’t it?
Two: It is assumed that you know your body. Do you love anyone that you don’t know? Other than Robert Downey, Jr., I don’t either.
Three: Love has lost a lot of meaning in our modern world. I say that I love chocolate. I say that I love my son. I say that I love the sound of the Kardashian empire starting to crumble. But, love is only truly appropriate vocabulary in one of those sentences.
Four: Love is not only qualitative on the spectrum, but it also differs in degree. The love that I have when I first fall in love and the love that I have after being in a relationship for a while. It is qualitatively the same romantic love, but it has increased in depth.
Five: Love is a process. You will not wake up tomorrow morning loving your body if you’ve spent a lifetime (or even a few years) not loving it.
Six: Your body is not just one thing. Since you are your body and you are so many things, so is it. (From here on out, I will not distinguish between the two, so firm is my belief that you are your body.) You are the actual anatomy: muscles, kidneys, liver, bone, lungs. You are the reflection of cultural values. You are hormones and neurological information. You are contextual. (You are your environment.) So, do you love it all in this model or just the width and breadth of yourself as summed up with a scale and tape measure?
I would love to hear from you, no matter where you are on this range of viewpoints. Through discussion is knowledge pushed forward. And, now, it’s time to dance.