Tag Archives: body love

Easier said than done.

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Health tips are happening on my Facebook page lately.  It’s just evolving in that direction.  Yesterday’s was the following:

“Eat when you’re hungry.  Don’t eat when you’re not.”

Yeah, groundbreaking stuff, there. I could almost hear the collective muttering, “duh” in a hushed exhale.

I concede that it’s not news.  It’s not avant garde.  It’s not the latest scientific breakthrough.

In my defense, however, chances are mighty, mighty good that you’re not following this old, ratty advice.  Chances are pretty good that you are probably trying to find ways to eat less than you are actually hungry for a lot of the time and eating way past that full signal other times.  How do I know that?  What, am I made of stone?  These things I speak of are things with which I am familiar, my friends.

Of course, in some part of your mind, or maybe a lot of your mind, you think that you can’t follow this little “rule” because there’s something quite wrong with you.  I mean, really, it’s so easy a kid could do it.  And before we cram crazy messages into their tender brains, they all do.

So if you can’t do it, what’s wrong with you?

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  That’s right.  There’s nothing wrong with you.

There is probably something wrong with the nourishment that you are receiving though.  I’ll bet a shiny new quarter on it, actually.

Here are the reasons that I think following this most obvious and simple guideline is so difficult:

1.  We’re told that the body is not to be trusted.  We get this message from early on from everywhere.  So, when it’s 10:30 on a Tuesday morning and you’re still not hungry but stuff down some breakfast because you’ve been told that “it’s the most important meal of the day” or it’s 8:15 on a Monday night and your stomach is growling but you ignore it because “you’re not supposed to eat past 7”, you do this because you don’t trust your body.

2.  You are malnourished.  You will continue to eat until you get the nutrients that you need, not the calories that you need.  This is a crucial distinction.  We’ve shifted in the past 100 years to the caloric model of eating.  You can eat a pint or more of low-fat ice cream during a commercial break.  Just TRY and eat that much liver.  And if liver is gross to you, you can change that to steak.  Your body wants nutrients first and foremost.  You understand this.  A tablespoon of white sugar is not the same thing as a tablespoon of just about anything else.  The calories may be the same but the drive to eat more will not be sated with the sugar.  There are no nutrients.  None.  And worse, foods such as sugar and white flour actually use up your stores of other nutrients to digest.  So, you’re not getting “no nutrition”, you’re getting “negative nutrition”.  And what do you need?  Positive nutrition in order to feel full, good, and healthy.

3.  Malnutrition is not just a matter of food.  If you feel agitated, you may need to go for a walk or punch a pillow.  Cake will not allow the emotion to move through.  Cake will numb it and repress it and that can feel helpful at times, but the agitation is still there, just buried under cake.  The starvation you feel when loneliness overtakes you?  French fries really don’t give a flip about your struggles.  Friends do.  The craving you have for affection will not be met by squirting the whole can of whipped cream in your mouth.  This cycle only creates more agitation, more loneliness, more cravings for human touch.  In the same way negative nutrition creates deeper and deeper deficits, using food to do something it’s not meant to do, creates deeper and deeper emotional deficits.

4.  Portion prescriptions.  Once you are able to connect with your hunger, portions are the stupidest thing EVER.  There are days when I eat 5 snacks a day.  None are big enough to be called a meal.  Others, I eat the traditional 3 squares.  Some, I eat one big meal with a steak so big it can’t fit on the plate.  Once in a long while, I only want a smoothie for the whole day. Portions as mandated from the heavens assume that you are the same, day in, day out.  They assume that your level of activity is identical every day.  They assume that your hormones never fluctuate.  They assume that you at 18 is the same as you at 45.  Yes, I know there are “formulas” that allow for variance, but, really? Formulas?  How hungry are you today?  Well, eat.  If you’re not, don’t.  You don’t have to eat 5 meals a day if you’re not hungry five times a day.

I could probably go on and on but this will dissolve into a rant instead of something useful REAL quick, so I’ll stop there.  In short, eat when you’re hungry.  Don’t eat when you’re not.  Basically, Nourish yourself into Freedom.

If you haven’t joined us for #30daymove, yet, it’s not too late.  Never too late!

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Reader question: Water?

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Larissa writes:  Water.  “don’t drink tap water.  don’t drink water from plastic bottles. use a filter. not all filters are ok., etc. etc.” are things that we hear all the time.  How is water essential to our health ? What minerals are there in water ? Is A lemon carbonated Perrier only pleasurable but also a healthy nourishing nutrient ? Salt and lemon in water to rehydrate ?

Full disclosure: Larissa is one my very best friends and she very humbly allows me to think I always know what I’m talking about.  The woman is smart as a whip, however, and keeps me on my toes!  We’re going to have to get her to do a guest post here.

There are a lot of questions in this request for an answer.  Let’s try and take them one by one.

1.  How is water essential to our health?

Well, we are, on average, 60% water.  Babies are like 80%.  (That’s why they are so plump and delicious!)  The water that we drink becomes our blood.  We use water for these processes in the body: 

a.) gets oxygen to our cells

b.) between our joints, there is something called synovial fluid, the efficacy and “cushiness” of our joints depends on the amount of hydration we take in

c.) our cells communicate with each other-water make this communication more effective/efficient

d.) water maintains normal electrical properties of cells (yep, I saw the Matrix, too and yep, we probably could be used as batteries and that’s why we are in pods of fluid in those movies)

e.) our lymphatic system’s function depends on two things: 1. movement-it’s a kinetic system that requires movement to flow and 2. water-our lymphatic fluid’s viscosity is directly influenced by our water intake

f.) we are better able to regulate our body temperature when we are well hydrated (when you  consider the incredibly narrow range of healthy body temperature that we have and the incredibly broad range of environments in which humans live, you start to understand how crucial this is.)

g.) water removes waste from the body’s metabolic processes

There’s more, but I think you’re getting the picture.  The short answer is “water is important”.

2.  What minerals are in water?

This is a deceptively simple question to answer.  Water, on a molecular level, is hydrogen and oxygen (dihydrogen monoxide for my geeks out there.  holla!)  However, the hydrogen and oxygen molecules act as a matrix (little m) for other things.  The minerals in water are incredibly variable according to the water source.  (My go-to guy for all anything water related is Daniel Vitalis, for those of you interested in a vastly more in-depth study of this.)  What that means is that the minerals in Perrier are going to be different than the minerals in San Pellegrino.  Are you still with me?

Now, once you understand that, you’ll see that water from different sources really is not the same thing.  We drink water to hydrate, yes, but it is also a valuable source of nutrition.  It is not just “wet”.  I was lucky enough to grow up drinking water that came from a spring not far from my house.  We never drank milk in my house, except on rare occasions when the farmer came by with his cow.  (You’d tell him how many jars of milk you wanted-that you’d provide-and he’d milk the cow right there in your yard.  True story.)  Why do I mention this?  Because, the water I grew up on fed through limestone rock.  I can remember waiting until the end of my meal to drink my water (as is my culture) and there would be limestone sediment at the bottom of the glass, so rich in minerals was that water!  Also, no fear of calcium deficiency, either.

So, the minerals in water are location dependent and source dependent.  

3. Is a lemon carbonated Perrier only pleasurable but also a healthy nourishing nutrient?

Yes.  It is both.  For people who live in cities and source their water (actually “tap liquid”, according to Daniel Vitalis) from the tap, mineral waters are a wonderful addition to the diet.  I love to have sparkling water on a regular basis.  I tend to brand hop.  Appolinaris is a personal favorite, but I don’t do it frequently because of the whole “I love the earth and I’m paying for jet fuel and pollution by buying this.” thing.  Water is incredibly heavy!!  So, bottled water is not my favorite way to destroy the earth.  

4.  Salt and lemon in water to rehydrate?

Yes, to both.  Of course, I’m not talking about table salt, which you should probably get rid of A.S.A.P.  Table salt is pretty much strictly sodium chloride and iodine.  It will create an imbalance in the body on a mineral level, so please, sea salt.  I vary my salt intake from different sources and every single time I go home to Haiti, I bring back a quart or so of local sea salt.  True salt is also rich in minerals.  Adding salt to denatured water helps remineralize it.  As far as lemon and vinegar in water goes, I can remember reading that it helps with the availability of the water to the cells but can’t find the reference anymore, so take that with a grain of (sea) salt.  Adding lemon and vinegar does do other things that are more frequently and commonly documented, like aiding with digestion and “stronger” blood.

5.  This wasn’t asked outright but was implied at the beginning of the question.  Water sources:

Worst: Plastic bottles.  Absolute worst.  Don’t do it.  We are becoming plastic people.  Literally.  Water is the more powerful solvent.  When you drink water from plastic, you are also drinking plastic.  

Less worse but not by much: Tap water.  Most of the water is flouridated (carcinogen), chlorinated (carcinogen) and completely ‘purified’-denatured and demineralized.  At least you’re not drinking plastic?  Well, maybe, but whatever anyone is flushing down their toilet, it’s eventually getting back to you.  I’m not talking about sewage, because that’s properly taken out of the flow, but prescription medications, etc.  Those chemicals are finding their way into the water source regardless.

Even less worse: Filtered tap water.  This is a good solution for most people.  Personally, I would filter it through a really good filter, the best that you can afford, and I would add a little vinegar and some salt to it.  Maybe a half a Tablespoon of each to a gallon.  (I’m spitballing here and saying what I would do.)

The good stuff:  Find a spring.  Spring water is where it’s at.  When I was living in the cabin, I would drive an hour every two-three weeks to fill glass carboys with spring water.  Since I’ve moved, I haven’t yet found an easy to get to source.  My old spring is two hours away.  It’s becoming more and more worth it to make the trek.  I’ve been drinking the tap water here and it is not the same.  At.  All.  It doesn’t taste right nor is it hydrating me.  I just have to get a couple more carboys to make the trek less frequently, but I will probably be doing the trip this weekend.  It.  Is.  That.  Important.  And.  That.  Different.

Thanks Larissa for a great question!  I hope the information provided was useful.

*Disclaimer:  Everything I say on this blog is my opinion and just provided for information purposes only.  What you choose to do with that information is your responsibility.  

 

Let’s talk about stress. Again.

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A couple weeks ago, I offered up an idea that maybe a lot of the problem with stress is our perception of it.  We live in a both/and universe which means that two (seemingly) contradictory ideas can coexist.  What that means is that although your perception of what is stressing you out goes a very long way it the way it affects you, stress and the hormones that cascade through you are very real, and very physical.

 

Here are some things to think about:

 

1. Stress requires a response.  That’s pretty inherent in the way we’ve defined it.  Stress is anything that requires/promotes/stimulates a response from the body.  

 

2. Get rid of the unnecessary conversations.  This both metaphorical and literal.  There are so many things that we do that we think we have to, but that we really don’t.  You don’t have to work so hard to afford a bigger house.  You don’t have to exercise 7 days a week. You don’t have to have people in your life that bring you down.  You don’t have to be on Facebook. (BLASPHEMY!) You don’t have to always be reachable.  

 

3. It’s physical.  Even “mental”stress is physical stress.  You body releases the same hormones thinking about something stressful as when you’re experiencing something stressful.  

 

4. Be physical.  Move the locus of control from your “mind” to your body.  That fatigue you power through?  The holidays that you buy your way through even though you can’t afford it and most of the stuff you buy people don’t want?  (Put down that CVS stuffed animal with the stupid plastic flower it’s holding.  Nobody REALLY wants it.)  Get a massage instead or go for a walk.  Sleep.  Listen to what your body is telling you it needs.  Stop trying to convince it that it’s wrong.  

 

5. Respond.  If you have eliminated all the unnecessary, respond with authority to the necessary.  Take back your power.  Find a solution.  Run away fast if it’s dangerous.  Do.

 

6.  Nourish yourself, nourish yourself, nourish yourself.  When we are responding to stressors, our bodies will deplete of certain essential vitamins and minerals.  Keep yourself well fed, well rested, etc.

 

 

7.  Find other ways than food to nourish yourself.  On that last note, when you are in a chronically stressed state, don’t eat so much.  The digestive system pretty much shuts down when we are acutely stressed.  Forcing food down is a bad idea.  Food is there to feed you, not take care of your feelings.  It is okay to skip breakfast.  It is okay to have just some bone broth for dinner.  It’s okay to skip a meal or two.  This is natural.  This is also much easier to do when you are really feeding yourself with nutrient density the rest of the time.  A well nourished body is one that can handle stress far better than a malnourished one.

 

8.  Play.  You can do this physically by going outside and climbing a tree or making mud pies or snow forts.  You can also do this with attitude.  The vast majority of the things that stress us out now are not a life and death situation like they were for our ancestors.  We still behave as it they are.  Release the clench you have on the stressors defining you.  It will not KILL you to be 10 minutes late.  It may kill you when you chronically freak out about traffic, weakening your heart and immune system.  It may kill you when you speed to make up for it.  

 

9.  Give it 30 seconds.  Jump up and down, shake your hands furiously, move.  But, not for long, when you are acutely stressed.  Your body is expecting that.  The chemicals that flood your blood stream are not meant to be there for long.  You evolved from the survivors.  And the survivors ran.  They ran hard.  Or they fought.  They fought hard.  But, they did neither for long.  Just enough to get to safety.  

10.  Your body is not wrong.  We have designed a lifestyle that didn’t really consult the body.  We erroneously allow the lifestyle to take precedence.  Then, we get angry when the body can’t keep up.  The body is not wrong.  It’s more than possible that the lifestyle is.  You have the power to recreate a lifestyle that honors the body.  This is how to have freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power vs Authority

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TThere has been a lot going on in the Nourishing Freedom world.  A lot of things that I’m getting more and more excited about.  (Excited and terrified often feel similar in the body, by the way, so I’m choosing to label it excitement.  Is anything scarier than having dreams become reality?)

One of those things has been doing some interviews, very casually right now as practice for the formal “real” ones that are coming quickly my way.  Listening back to them, I have noticed that I use the word authority like Madonna used to use trashy lace in the 80s.  I don’t use the word power.

I was born and raised under a dictatorship.  I grew up in that same dictatorship until I was 13 years old. (It’s no coincidence to me that we use the word regime to describe a dictatorship and it is the french word for diet.) After that, the country’s leadership changed as frequently as the aforementioned Diva.  Power is easily gained through manipulation, intimidation, bullying, money changing hands, bulk, strength, and so many other avenues.  I am sensitive to using power as a decent health model.

I am a post-wellness coach.  Wellness and the current health model is all about power.  Power over the body.  Trick it.  Hack it.  Bully it.  Buy it out.  Intimidate it.  Make it do what you want it to do through whatever means necessary.  Impose standards of perfection upon it that it can’t meet and then punish it when it can’t (and it can’t) meet those standards.  Purify it.  Clean it out.  Cleanse it.  Cleanse it.  Cleanse it.  It becomes a microcosm of the atrocities of ethnic cleansing.  Exert the power of an idealized, impossible purity onto the body and cleanse it of all hints of filth.

In short, we are living in an age where “health” is something of a totalitarian regime inflicted onto the body.  Health is a power that we try to control that winds up controlling us.

Authority, however, has always rung a little different to my ears.  I have known many, many people with very little power but with great authority.  I grant someone authority because they have earned my respect.  I acknowledge someone’s authority on a subject because they’ve done the work.  Authority is grounded in knowledge and in admiration.

When someone speaks from a position of authority, I listen and learn.  When someone speaks from their power, I listen but don’t trust a word.  With authority comes a knowing, deep and steady, that recognizes humility as valuable.  With power also comes a knowing: that power is fragile and can disappear in an instant and must be gripped through any means necessary.

There is a shift that happens when you start nourishing yourself, start nourishing your body.  It is a recognition of fragility.  It is the acceptance that our minds change, our thoughts flitter, that ideas are malleable.  These are the playthings of power.

The shift from power over the body to the recognition of the authority OF the body is one of the most radical paradigm shifts that one can undertake in their lifetime.  You will not have authority OVER the body.  This is difficult for us to accept, this humility before the body.  It is not comfortable to know that when my body says something loud and clear, it KNOWS.  It has the knowledge.  Your thoughts and perceptions about your body have been used to exert power over you by getting you to impose that power over it yourself.  The transformation that can be experienced by rebelling against this power structure and returning the authority to your body is something I could write pages and pages about but unless you go through it, it’s nearly impossible to get you to understand the depth, height, width of it.

In practical terms, health is sleeping when your body is tired.  It is eating in the way your body needs.  It is moving when your muscles beg for it and being still when you need to rest.  But, this is not on a schedule that someone decides on molding you to, it is by learning to respect the authority of your body.  What this means is that each of us will have a life that is unique to us but also just the same as everyone else that has a human body.  The details will glitter.  The particulars will dance in a one of a kind light but we will share all the joy and abundance that it really means to be a human animal.

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the mythology of the happy new you

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Happy New Year everyone!

I have been gone from the blog for a long time.  Of course, after every vacation, I feel that I need a vacation.

During my time away from here, a lot of things have changed.  I took the decision to emphasize speaking as part of my service offerings this year, I found an apartment in a new town, I will be saying goodbye to the sweetest little cabin in the woods ever that my son and I made livable, I ate a lot of cheese, and I realized how very, very much I hate being sick.  I’ve had a cold that just won’t go away but the lack of sleep and the holiday festivities don’t help with that (nor did all that cheese!).

Last night, after downing a healthy dose of magnesium and sleepy herb tea, I had a great night’s sleep.  I woke up this morning knowing what I wanted to talk to you about: the happy new you crap that springs up around this time every year.

I have nothing against changes and the daily habitual movement towards more vibrant health, more rational and expansive thought, ever more profound respect of the bodies that we each are.  In fact, I’ve pretty much devoted my life to this.  HOWEVER, it is the underlying message of the new year/new you mantra that rubs me the very wrong way.

Reading between the lines of this is a very calculated way of getting you to feel a lot of discontent.  Resolve this year, finally, to just not be you anymore.  Because, “you” is not enough.  “You” is not good.  “You” is not flashy, sexy, skinny, stylish, productive, fit, valid enough.  “You” is quite simple, flawed.  Throw it out.  Get a new “You”.

Oh, trust me, I get the allure.  I had the flashing insight a couple years ago that my greatest addiction is “starting over”.  It’s very much part of the diet mentality.  Monday morning I will just START OVER.  By, Friday I was binging on everything in sight because Monday-Thursday I had set up impossible standards.  But, that golden promise of Monday morning, the shiny perfection that would be my life started then.  Amplify that expectation by a gajillion and you have the Happy New Year/Happy New You myth.

This will be the year that you have the whitest teeth, the sharpest collar bones, the perkiest butt, the best job, the cleanest house, the most romantic relationship and the most fulfilling friendships.  (My resolution was to always have the flattest stomach!  My body shape simply will never allow for that.  I have a broad ribcage and a high waist…literally will never have the flattest stomach!)  I just feel exhausted thinking about all that pressure we’ve just put on ourselves.

1.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  Nothing.  

2. Is having collar bones sharp enough to give paper cuts in the office really one of your cherished values?  Is it possible that it’s important to you because you have been brainwashed by the diet/fashion industry to even want them?

3. How do you really want to spend your time this year?  Depriving yourself of pleasure so you can feel that you are meeting a group of strangers sitting in a board room’s expectations or nourishing yourself into greater and greater freedom?

The difference between the new you myth and the nourishing freedom way of life is that in my way of thinking, you already are the source of your greatest wisdom.  Yep, that old, shabby you that’s knocking around your un-flashy life is the greatest treasure that you have.  Nor did you have to spend a dime for it.  The body that you may find less than: not thin enough, not strong enough, not…enough, has more to teach you than any upper level college course, more than pursuing your doctorate.  It KNOWS.

The secret to empowered change is to honor your body.  Listen to it.  Respect it.  Give it want it needs and what it wants.

It may take some time to accomplish this.  We live in a world that trains us to be deaf to ourselves.  It actively has a vested interest in insuring that you are completely cut off from everything that you really know in your bones to be true and replaces it all with mirages.  My job as a coach is to act as a facilitator, as a guide on the incredibly fascinating and enriching path back to yourself.  Yes, you will most likely change your appearance, you will most likely change how your clothes fit.  You will most definitely change how you feel.  You will change your health.  You will change the way you process things.  Most profoundly, you will change your perspective and all the external noise will no longer apply to you.  You will find an inexhaustible font of joy.  You will find the true source of wealth.  And, it’s right there, in the oldest you.

So…Happy Ancient You!

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same but different

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I like to get feedback from my clients.  Yesterday, I found this waiting in my inbox.  I have the best clients in the whole wide world.  I currently have a couple open slots for distance coaching (Skype!).  Together, we can have the same results as far as your satisfaction but totally different because you are a different person with your own unique life.  

“Thursday 1:00 pm.  Every week for 3 months, I would rush to my computer for my precious Coaching appointment.  This week, instead, I’m having lunch : carrot soup cooked with homemade broth, coconut milk and cultured butter,  plantain chips, cooked in palm oil and no chemicals added, and trying cod liver.  I am also admiring the beautiful yellow flower that blossomed this morning in my room, close to my bed.

It started in my backyard.  We were seating on a colorful warm blanket, on the grass.  I was asked to briefly connect with my 5 senses.  Then, we moved to skype appointments to shorten the distance.

My feedback: Life changing and down-to-earth. Health and Connection.  Empowering, personalized, logical.  Really Nourishing Freedom !!!

I come from 20 more years of therapy, coaching and personal development workshops.  Anorexia, anxiety, depression, burn-outs, workaholism, perfectionism, control, isolation….are all in my resume.  And all the professionals that I had paid before had told me that the real remedy is to “practice self-love, connect with my inner child and take care of my self”.  Okay, I always responded.  But in my head the question remained “HOW do I f….g do  that” ?

It is so concrete, simple and natural!!!! Sleep well, eat well, have fun, breathe, relax, spend time with people that you love or that you can have fun with, spend time outside close to trees, water, the sky and the sun.  Yes, that is Self-Love-inner-child-care.  Taking care of my physical body, of my real needs as an animal-human-being.

And that answer to me IS life changing.  Nobody had taught me that before Nourishing Freedom.  And nobody had taught me the concepts of Freedom, Connection and Power in a way that I could understand and experience.

So, I learned the abc’s of sleep.  Quantity and quality.  Then, to eat for nourishment and pleasure.  To know what my body likes and doesn’t.  Sugar makes me tired and depressed, gluten or corn make be bloated, red clover flowers ease my PMS symptoms, broth-soup comforts and nourishes me.   We, focussed on specific herbs and tools to heal the symptoms of chronic stress and to break free from stressful lifestyle habits.  I went from workaholism to working part-time as an aerobic teacher in outside parks.  Gettingg paid to have Fun! Nature! and more time with my kids !

My kids ? The greatest bonus of it all.  Their health was transformed throughout my nourishing freedom journey.  They went from candy eaters to loving eggs, bacon, meat, soups, vegetables, almond butter.  As a result, these cranky-pale kids turned into joyful, energetic thick-colored-skin children.

The greatest transformation for me ? Besides my eating habits which do change EVERYTHING (my thoughts, my mood, how I love my kids) was  discovering my connection with nature and the deep impact on myself.   Walking barefoot in the wild, spending even 20 minutes lying on the grass or working along the river, feeling safe in the middle of nowhere in the mountains …is for me ABUNDANCE.  The real gift of being alive.

Am I now a 24-hour happy and perfect person? NO. Do I now everything about health ? NO. Is the sexual abused part of me healed forever? NO.  I am still this “special-needs-kid” who will always need to take care of herself and make choices to avoid certain uncomfortable symptoms and stay healthy.  I will still go through the gray clouds of life, the storms, rains, earthquakes, ….as well as the sunny days and full moon nights.   The difference lies in the sensation of freedom, connection and power.  Having the tools to take care of my REAL self = my body.  Being able to enjoy this variety of experiences.

Concretely, I am still focussing on decreasing anxiety, building a solid community, playing and nourishing myself every day.  But, now I have enough knowledge to continue the journey by myself.  Some wisdom to choose what I read, to stop believing most of the things people say and to instead trust everything my body says.

I also know that I can contact my favorite inspired Health and Lifestyle Coach if I need to.”  -Larissa G.

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body love 2, or quotation marks gone wild

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“The body, the flesh, is the source of all that it means to be human.” 

 -J. Martineau, 2012

I started talking last week about the issues that I see with the “body love” assumptions that the “movement” have.  (Let’s see what else I can “put in quotation marks”.)

Now, some true truth.  It is not love of your body/self that will get you to take care of your body/self, it is taking care your body/self that will get you to love your body/self.  I see this confused in a lot of people.  They want to put the emotion before the work.  Like I said before, if you’ve been raised not to love your body (and if you were raised on this planet in the last couple thousand years, you were), you are not going to just wake up one morning after being told that you should love your body and just love it.  (It is only for ease of expression that I call the body “it”.  “It” is you, but we’ve so long created a chasm between our “self” and our “body” that  we have a hard time understanding that “they” are the same “thing”.)  From now on, “it” and “you”, “your body” and “you” are interchangeable, okey dokey?

Back to the truthiness with a little story to illustrate:

When my son was born, I looked at him for the first time and felt something akin to shock that that little squirming thing was inside me and was now another person.    I felt protective, I felt attached, I felt a need to nurse him…you know instinctive things.  But, I can’t really say that love was one of them.  The great myth of motherhood (and body love) is that a parent instantly loves the squalling little bundle.  This isn’t true for everyone.  Then, I took that sweet thing home.  I washed him.  I nursed him.  I dressed him.  I watched him sleep.  I held him to me all day as I did things around the house.  I took him with me to work so I could hear him breathe.  I picked him up when he screamed for comfort.  Even in the very middle of the night…over and over.  Day in, day out.  I started to love him…I moved from practicing the role of caretaker to motherhood.  He’s taller than me, now, but I can tell you what every move of his eyebrows means, what he likes to eat, what he dreams of becoming one day.

To love yourself takes devotion.  It takes time and practice. .  It takes dedication and commitment.   It takes forming a relationship to yourself.  Your body, you…it is the longest relationship that you will ever have.  It really isn’t always easy.  There are nights when you have to decide between working late or getting yourself to bed so that your needs are met.  There are days when you are messy and covered in something weird, but you have to take care of it and that is how love happens with your body/self.  It is the day in/day out constancy of self care that will pay off in one day being able to tell just from the sound of your own breathing if you need a nap or a run or a square of chocolate.

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