Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Body Image Woes

Positive Thoughts for the Morning

 An Affirmation and Quotes About the Body and Self-Worth

I woke this morning with terrible body image yet again. These past few days have been really rough in that sense and my urges to restrict have been absurdly high. But I know I can't afford to restrict. Not only will it cripple me physically and land me in treatment...yet will inhibit the functioning of my mind. Even if I don't love my body I do at least appreciate my mental abilities and I know I owe it to my mind to remain nourished and in good health. To help me this morning I went digging around (metaphorically of course) for some encouraging words. I started with an affirmation-

My beauty cannot be defined by my physical appearance. My worth is constant and undeniable. Today I celebrate the beauty of my mind and my spirit. Today I appreciate the amazing and unique individual that I am.

As always the key to utilizing affirmations is to repeat the words even if you don't believe them at first. The more you repeat and acknowledge the words the more likely it will be that you can embody them and carry them with you through the rest of your day. I like repeating the mantra "I am worth it" and "I am enough." These mantras help me get through difficult situations and moments of self-doubt and I feel that they are exceptionally related to the above affirmation. The following are quotes that I came across that speak to all different elements of the body, its functions, its worth, and our duty to protect and care for our own bodies. The first two speak directly to the functionality of the body and how crucial it is in order for us to not only be alive but fully live.

"It's also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that's sitting right here right now... with its aches and it pleasures... is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive."

- Pema Chodron

"Our body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care." 

- Buddha

If we neglect to care for our bodies properly we end up doing a disservice to ourselves. This body is the only one that we will inhabit in this life time. If we destroy it now we are bound to live with the repercussions for the rest of our lives. Imagine throwing a huge rager in your apartment and then realizing that you have to live in that apartment with the surrounding mess for the rest of you life. You would be outraged! How could you continue to live in such a disgusting and untended space. Now think about your body. Every time we mistreat or neglect it's needs it's like throwing a huge party and then having to live in the mess. We are given one body, one home for our mind and spirit, we must care for it or suffer the unfortunate consequences. The last quote I chose stuck out to me immediately and is directly connected to my recent urges to restrict or use other eating disorder symptoms.

"Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense."

- Henry Miller
You know that I love to add some humor-

For me this statement rings loud and true! My body tells me hungry, hints at cravings, begs for sleep yet I often choose to ignore these messages. I'll starve it or deny it the food it is desiring. But why? My body is telling my mind that it needs a specific things. It's when we think about it too much that the messages get muddled and we experience anguish and confusion. If only we could separate the mind from the body and listen purely to our bodies' physical needs. Of course this an impossibility. Reading these words said by others has not helped much with my bad body image but it has helped me to put things in perspective. I can recognize, at least in this moment, that my body is precious because it is the only one I have. Likewise yours is precious as well. If we don't care for them now we are bound to suffer negative repercussions in the near or distant future. My feelings of bad body image are in this moment but I know ultimately they will pass. The damage I do to my body is sadly forever. Lets not allow momentary feels of insecurity direct us in negatively impacting the course of our life and our future. Lets try to listen to the voices of our bodies today. They may not be loud right now but they are there. We just have to listen closely and not allow the loudness of our minds override the keen wisdom of our bodies.

Be good to yourself today,

Your Body is a Wonderland, John Mayer

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