So today I get an email at 5.47am with my self-love diet requirements. I groan out loud as soon as I see the first two words. Dear Body.
It goes like this.
Dear Body, when I think of you as an instrument instead of an ornament, these are the things I appreciate that you do for me: (required)
Thinking of you as an instrument rather than an ornament is difficult. When I saw the title of this I immediately thought urgh. I want to be one of *those* women. The women that know they should love their body no matter what. I want to be one of *those* women that know I shouldn’t judge my body based on the pressure of society. Awkwardly, for the first thirty years of my life, my severe poor body image was really down to my father. Despite his abusive domineering and cruel traits, I actually very rarely blame or vocalise his behaviour to an audience. However on this occasion I do (it will come as no surprise that he is no longer a factor in my life). He spent the best part of my teenage years convincing me that every male was a predator. Waiting in dark corners. I then spent the first thirty years of my life wearing jumpers that not only covered my top half entirely up to my chin but also covered most of my hands to the tip of my fingers, along with baggy but colourful trousers and a short non-descript haircut. I guess I thought I’d be safer.
When I got to thirty, worked with victims of domestic abuse, experienced the strength of my mother and men I liked, when I became aware of power and control, I threw the baggy trousers to one side and found mascara. Because I could.
So what do you do for me as an instrument body?
You gave me a powerful, sensitive, angry, feisty, loving, questioning mind. That makes up for all the stretch marks you sent my way.
These are the things I love about your appearance: (required)
Love about my appearance?
I’m afraid that’s simple. I don’t love anything about my appearance and I didn’t know that until I was asked just now.
On a good day when my hair is shiny (er) and the grey has been masked I quite like my hair. My hands were quite nice but now they are getting older. I hate my feet. My legs are ok, I like them mostly because they remind me of my Nannas. My lips were better a few years ago as were my eyes.
Having said all that I do like myself and I often believe liking is more powerful than love. Love is sometimes something that just happens involuntarily. Liking is an altogether different emotion that requires thought and effort.
I commit to love and honor you by: (required)
I know how to answer this easily. I commit to love and honour my body by being a bit nicer to what goes in it. I’ll commit to feeding you less wine, pringles, cheese, yule log and mince pies and more water, de-caf tea, bananas, rocket and veg.
Happy 2016 to my body. And to yours x