Body image is a big deal for most women. When you throw a thyroid disease into the mix, or hormonal imbalances that cause weight fluctuations, it can be really difficult to “love the skin you’re in.”
I have Grave’s Disease and my weight rollercoasters up and down so fast that I can barely keep track of it. It doesn’t matter what I eat or how often I exercise. I will go from being practically skeletal to a little chubby within the same month. Weight issues come with the diagnosis.
The shape of my body is beyond my control at this point in my life. I never know what “skin” I’m going to be in from one day to the next. When I get up in the morning, I can never be sure which clothes are going to fit.
It’s taken a very long time for me to find loving compassion for myself and accept this strange body of mine. I do my best to treat it like an old, dear friend who is going through a rough patch. I try to be kind and accepting.
I’m beginning to believe that having self-compassion might be more important than having good self-esteem. With compassion, I can be tolerant of the changes taking place within me that I have no control over. I can accept and embrace the “imperfections” and be okay with them.
I can show myself deep love without the need for pride or acceptance from anyone else. I can be grateful for my legs that get me from point A to B. When I’m having a particularly difficult day physically, self-compassion helps me get through it with a little grace and dignity. It makes it easier to allow the spiritual aspects of me to shine through without relying on the physical so much.
We do get obsessed with the body, don’t we? We worry whether we are feeding it properly, what it looks like with or without clothes on, if it’s too skinny or too fat, strong or weak, healthy or ill.
We can be quite prejudiced against it, and extraordinarily unkind. It’s no wonder that it doesn’t often behave the way we want it to. If someone spoke to me the way that I used to speak to my body, I’d ignore them too and go on about my business.
If you are having body issues, maybe it’s time to treat yourself with a little more loving kindness and compassion. Exercise because your body craves it, not because you want to eradicate the bumps and bulges that you’ve grown to hate. Eat healthy because it’s nourishing, not because it’s necessary. If you’ve got some pounds that just will not come off, use that compassion to be okay with it. Embrace them.
Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information about her, please visit her website at www.theomancollective.com. Check her out on the Happy Empaths Twitter feed @the_empath.