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More To Love teaches plus size women how to learn body-acceptance and end dieting for good. 

You Are Allowed To Enjoy Your Body, Too

Rachel Estapa

A turning point in my body love came when I dared to believe that I was capable of enjoying life more in a large body.

For years, I poured my energy into weight-loss with one goal in mind: to be a better version of myself. Only then, would the world open up to me.

Misguided, because even when I lost a ton of weight, I still felt ashamed in my skin.

There is a difference between happiness, enjoyment, love, appreciation, compassion - and all of these depend upon a mindset, not a waist size.

How we’ve been taught to connect with our bodies is so far removed from the truth of this beautiful experience. Our bodies are intimately connected to our deepest thoughts about our worth, our value, our right to be here.

So it makes sense that so many of us - especially women - feel like strangers in our own bodies. We’re taught that enjoyment comes after sacrifice. To experience pleasure only as a reward for being good. That happiness is the currency of worth.

So when I chose to try to send love to my body, any size, I didn’t realize just how revolutionary an act it was going to be. Or how hard it would be to shake the web of lies about what my body was allowed to experience.

But for you, the More to Lovely reading this, I have one simple hope for you: in the moment of frustration with your body, take a purposeful breath. Not because breathing is some magical trick, not because you don’t know how to breathe, but because it’s the simplest way to remember that you are a whole system, alive, fragile, wading through the world with freshness moving in and out of your body.

That a body at 600 pounds or 60 is still worthy of that air. That skin crinkled with age, stretched with marks of expanse, freckled with dots of pigment - the casing of your whole does not define the wholeness of who you are.

The body’s beauty is that it can response, sense, feel, react, adjust, move. Size maybe alters how one body moves compared to another, but in the grand arc of life, this comparison is meaningless.

You are allowed to move. You are allowed to sense, and feel, and cherish the softness of a beloved pet, the freedom of relaxed muscles, the ease of a slowed down breath.

You are allowed to enjoy your body and it starts now. And now. And all the nows we are so lucky to experience.