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Blog

Are you being a bully to your body?

Rachel Estapa

listen to your bodyMy Monday morning started with a groan & eye-roll because the truth was burning loudly throughout my body: you totally screwed up this weekend, Rachel. And I did. I ate foods that my body didn't want and it let me know it by feeling full, sluggish and overall uncomfortable.

But I also noticed something even more troubling: I was really beating  my self-up over my weekend tour of food. I jumped on the scale and soon came another heavy sigh. Despite my normal acceptance that weight ebb & flows and isn't a marker of my self-worth, this time around it felt like defeat.

Then came the infamous pity-party:

"Ugh, seriously? Why did I eat like that? Fine, I'll just go running -- but it's cold..ok gym is open, but it's cold and I have to walk there. Ugh, I wish I didn't have to deal with all this. I feel gross. Why did I eat like that!? Why is this so hard to understand? Why does my body have to be this way?"

It's a familiar conversation, but I know enough about myself & my traps to not fall into it for very long. So I did what I normally do to start pushing back on the slip & slide of self-defeat -- I end the pity-party and go off to read something enlightening and that usually helps me move beyond my (by now) overstuffed ego.

::Listen carefully or you might miss it::

Each morning in my inbox, I get something called The Daily Love which is a lovely newsletter by Mastin Kipp who is around my age and also really into personal growth & development. That morning after reading his latest newsletter, I ventured onto his site to explore more and saw an article titled Learning to listen to our bodies' wisdom and thought "Yes, let's do that!"

The article's message was simple (and something I know already): listen to your body & let it guide you. FINE - I know, but now I'm here still reeling from defeat and feel doubly guilty for not following what I know I should do...

But the author included a little exercise to get in touch with what your body is saying in the moment:

Close your eyes, put your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on your heart, breathing in through the nose and exhaling out through the mouth. Ask yourself this simple question, “What one thing can I do to support my body today?”

I did it - and within 3 seconds an answer came from my body: Please stop picking on me. I didn't even need to question that, because it was so true -- it made me tear up knowing that all I really did this weekend was enjoy myself with friends over lunch & dinner, but somehow, felt the need to belittle and blame my body. How unfair!

Once I got over myself, I got on with my day and ventured outside for a run in the crisp air, visited the market for some new food and even became inspired to create a new section on my blog called "Self-Love & Fancy-Pants Cheese" (sparked by this very incident, actually!)

Point is -- amazing things can come out of terrible starts if you just make the choice to turn it around.

::Growing Pains::

Right now, I'm transitioning from a very different perspective in my life -- the old was all about trying to correct and repair what I thought was broken inside me regarding my weight. The new direction I'm currently developing & learning is about acceptance and unconditional love of who I am. Transitions are supposed to be rocky because it's how you push out of your old boundaries - these are growing pains, if you will.

I don't give myself nearly enough credit for the way that I've navigated this huge change regarding my body & self . The reason why I write is to make sense of it all and to help others see that looking deep inside yourself for answers isn't scary; it's the most humbling experience we can have.

Now I have an elevated viewpoint of what really was going on - I was being a bully to my body and I'm glad it had the courage to speak up and I'm also glad I had the love to listen.

<3

Rachel