When I look back on all my favourite people in my life, I love them for the way they make me feel. For their smile, their grace, their energy, their spark. I remember feeling loved and cared for by my primary school teacher. A gymnastics coach in high school had a way of making me believe I could tackle difficult skills. My university lecturer marked in a way that highlighted the strengths in my writing and had me wanting to work even harder. When I think of a particular work colleague, I can’t help but smile – he has a way of lighting up every room he walks into.
I didn’t mark any of these people as special in my life because of their bodies. I didn’t choose them for their shape or their size. I am just as confident none of these people chose me for my body. We were attracted to each other because of the stuff inside of our earth suits – our heart, our soul, our essence.
In my eating disorder a little voice would whisper, ‘yes, but I want to have all those qualities AND be skinny’. The truth is, I can’t have both. In order for my body to be anything but the natural size and shape it is, I would need to do funky things with food and exercise. If I was restricting or purging my food, the smile on my face would be forced.
If I was exercising while under fuelling, I would not light up a room but be home in bed because I would be too exhausted to attend a social function.
My clients don’t choose me for my body. They choose me because of how I make them feel. Because I offer hope. Because I will ask them consistently to listen to their truth.
If I tried to have a smaller body, I would have not just a smaller life but a smaller essence and a smaller presence.
Marianne Williamson in her book ‘A Return to Love’ captures this beautifully in response to Oprah Winfrey’s question ‘why do you think I’m having such struggles with my weight?’ She said;
"Until you accept the magnitude of your function, your unconscious mind will sabotage any attempt to show your full magnificence... You want a shift in your belief about who and what you are. This is the miracle you seek."
What you give your attention to, looms larger. When you want to buy a new car, you suddenly notice the makes and models of the cars you are interested in. Where were they before? They were out there, your mind just wasn’t primed to see them. Looking to renovate your kitchen? Suddenly you take extra notice of every kitchen that you see. In the same way, when we focus on our bodies, in the mirror, on social media, on other people’s bodies...our bodies literally loom larger in our vision and our thoughts.
You are so much more than your body. My wish is that you will come to love and value yourself not only for your body, but for the gift within.