The most important relationship in your life is the one you were born with: you and your body. At birth you were one with your body.
Not so much.
So as an infant when you were hungry, tired, cold, wet, gassy or grumpy you expressed yourself immediately to alert your caregivers to pay attention and “fix it”, make it better immediately! Sometimes your body’s advocacy brought immediate and appropriate responses to fulfill your need, relieve your discomfort, and make you feel better. Other times your body’s alerts brought little or no response from your caregivers. Regardless of the response, your body’s actions always expressed your comfort level…your relationship was pure, direct and truthful. You and your body were one, a unit always acting in your best interest for mutual benefit.
As you matured, your body’s communications to you were censored by your caregivers. Part of being “socialized” meant ignoring your body’s needs in favor of what was “expected” of you and your behavior. As the process progressed, your separation from your body increased as you learned to deny her input, ignore her physical sensations, and her “gut” feelings. Without being aware of the immediate honest feedback from your body, your estrangement widened until your best friend became your worst enemy.
At first you focused on what you considered imperfections you saw in the mirror, and then you covered them up with clothing, make-up, hair styles—or plastic surgery. Regardless of your efforts, your feelings remained the same. Your attitude, your perception toward your body increased your dissatisfaction, your disappointment, and resentment perhaps leading to hatred for parts or all of her. Your body’s response to the increasing abandonment by her best friend is to make the situation worse, by expressing exactly what disturbs you about her—only this time with exaggeration.
Do the words ‘yo-yo’ dieting have meaning?
Your body is as unique as you are. His or her personality is as individual as you are. Your life experiences helped mold you to become the person you are today. Your body also experienced the events, celebrations, relationships, challenges and opportunities that make up your history. Your body’s experience differed from yours as did his or her reaction to those experiences. Were you ever aware of the difference? If so, how did your body’s reaction affect you? Take a moment to remember a significant event in your life and then consider your physical reaction to it. Did your body support you or did he or she betray you? It doesn’t matter if the experience was “positive” or “negative” only that it affected you physically as well as emotionally or psychologically. And sometimes the physical reaction was expected because of the quality of the experience, i.e. excitement and joy at your wedding. And sometimes your body reacted in an opposite way from what you expected, i.e. nausea, headache and chills at your wedding. (So the marriage ended in divorce within the year).
The Introduction…It’s never too late to get to know your body as the personality he or she is, because it’s never too late to save the relationship that began at birth. An awareness of your connection, a willingness to risk befriending the physical self you perhaps have ignored, abused, or simply dismissed since your youth. No need to apologize for your absence, since your body has been, is, and will always be your best friend and BFFs (Best Friends Forever) accept each other for who they are with understanding, not judgment or criticism.
Become aware of your body for an hour, a day, a week. After you are comfortable with your body, that means acceptance without judgment or criticism for your body’s shape, condition, or current health, introduce yourself.
Welcome your body back into your life on a minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, every-day basis. Listen for your body’s input into your choices, decisions, and timing. Note what happens when you return to trusting your “gut” rather than the “chatter” from your ego.
When you heed the physical input from your body, what happens?
When you ignore the message, what happens?
When your ego trumps your gut, what happens?
“Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You…” (Rogers & Hammerstein, The King and I)
Awareness is always the first step to ending the estrangement with your body. An introduction requires a name. And like most names, it can change as your relationship changes, becomes deeper, more trusting, more reliable, more expressive. Communication continues through conversation. Part of the conversation is the dance when the magic of motion brings it all together.
This is the core concept of the Body Knowledge System®, my successful sustainable solution to every body’s life goals, desires, and achievements. I developed this over two decades of health and wellness practice and training. My clients revealed to me my own secret: ending the estrangement with your body, as I had. Now it’s your turn to end your estrangement with your body and get what you want in life: healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy spirit in order to enjoy love and life to the fullest.
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