Truthfully, I despised my body. I felt like I looked hideous.
When you first start losing weight the praise is wonderful. You get so many people telling you how great you look and then slowly the comments become less positive. You hear things like “You’re wasting away to nothing.” “Do I need to buy you a cheeseburger?” “You’re turning into skin and bones.” Not to mention the comments about how you MUST be starving yourself or vomiting up your meals.
It’s terrible. It’s crushing. It’s a sledge hammer to your self-esteem.
It made me feel ashamed. It made me hate my body, and it made me want to eat, eat, eat, and gain the weight back so that people would just be quiet. I started wearing the clothes I used to wear when I was heavier so that it was harder to see my weight loss.
When I was 200lb no one said things like “You’re so fat you need to stop eating.” “You’re looking especially heavy today.” “Do I need to buy you a muzzle so you stop eating?”
It’s not okay to make negative comments about other people’s weight no matter WHAT size they are. I’m not saying you can’t be concerned if someone is being unhealthy, but when you are talking about how someone looks, be kind. Always be kind. Something that you mean as a joke can be hurtful.
The book The Body Sacred by Dianne Sylvan helped me start to accept my body. This book will help you feel good about your body regardless of what size you are, and that’s the point! There are so many things that I love about this book. It challenges your ideas about body-image, society’s image of what the “perfect” female body looks like, and your relationship with food. Even if you don’t agree with some of the things Sylvan writes (there were a few things I didn’t) it allows you to figure out what you do believe.
This book is 287 pages of awesome. There is heartfelt wisdom, thought-provoking exercises, rituals, and meditations that will help you come to a place of body-acceptance.
“There will come a moment when you must decide whether to continue hating your body and allowing others to decide your beauty, or to step up and claim the sacredness that is rightfully yours as a daughter of the Goddess. Perhaps you will find that moment while reading this book; perhaps you won’t be ready until after the last page; perhaps you’re starting at that moment now.” The Body Sacred – Dianne Sylvan, page 60.
That paragraph is right before a ritual that I have marked with a star-shaped post-it note and I think it was a turning point for me. It is a choice to feel bad about your body and it is also a choice not to. The ritual has you consecrate and bless your body, and with tears streaming down my face, I felt so much power in my body at that moment. I began to realize that I was Divine. I realized that my body was made from God and God is beautiful.
The body sacred is beautiful.
There are six main sections in this book and I thought I’d outline them a little bit for you.
The Reflection: This is all about getting into the correct head-space. Looking at yourself and seeing who you really are and becoming comfortable with your body. Acknowledging that the media is not truth and does not speak for you.
The Mother: is about nurturing yourself and your body. Pampering yourself and taking time for you. There’s also a significant section about eating and how to have a better relationship with food.
The Healer: allows you to acknowledge the health of your body. It suggests things you can do to be healthy – breathing, grounding, getting in touch with your chakras, meditation, and healing yourself.
The Lover: A juicy section about getting in touch with your sexuality which is a big one! When we feel bad about our bodies our sexuality is something that suffers. Embrace how sexy you are and love your body, literally!
The Dancer: This was probably one of my favorite sections and it’s about moving your body. Movement can be healing, it can connect you with the Divine, and it’s good for you. Sylvan gives great suggestions on how to get moving even if you’re not into the exercise thing and she suggests GREAT music. This introduced me to one of my all-time favorite artists, Krishna Das.
The Crone: This section is all about the wisdom and cycles of our bodies. There’s a lot of wonderful knowledge about celebrating menstruation.
So all in all, an extremely well put together book, and one you should definitely have on your bookshelves. It is one of my favorites and combines all of the things I love. Self-love, magic, and wisdom. So let’s say yes to loving who we are, how we are.
You are gorgeous and magical just the way you are.