Love her.

My body changed.

 

My 50th year was the year of Decadence and, even though at one point I put a ridiculous amount of miles on my bike, at 51, I had gained a few pounds – 15 to be exact. And, since I didn’t work out much and I’m done with menopause, I also lost muscle – mostly in my upper body.

I had a moment near the end of last year where I looked in the mirror and thought “WTF?” and then I got cranky. Cranky with my body. It had forsaken me. It was out of shape and out of control. It no longer met my standard for “attractive”.

 

It must be Menopause, damn it. I wasn’t doing anything different.

 

Or was I?

Actually, as I looked back over the year, I had done some things differently without being aware or considering the effect on my body.

For the bike ride, I trained hard – harder than my body could handle – and trashed my adrenal system. I consumed more alcohol (mostly champagne) than usual. I ate more high-end food (translate to high fat, salt & sugar) than I had in the past. I drank more coffee, too.

I used to say I had two bodies. One was “Tamara at rest” and one was “Tamara in motion”. This body was “Tamara has forgotten about me”.

So, I started working out again and cut out (some) of the decadence – a battle against the bulge. Nothing changed. Sure, I built a little muscle but the scale stayed exactly where it was. I was sad, mad, disappointed and frustrated.

 

I had turned into a woman who hates her body.

 

Unacceptable.

I believe that when you become aware of something that needs to shift, the resources show up. It’s the “when the student is ready the teacher appears” Zen Jedi thing.

One morning I was browsing Facebook and I found it. One sentence and my whole body consciousness shifted. Seriously. One sentence. It was something along the lines of:

 

“Are you working out because you love your body?”*

 

No! I was working out because I HATED my body. How sad. How awful! I thought about it and I cried. What was I doing?! I live in this body. She’s done some amazing things! Birthed two amazing children, hiked to Machu Picchu, played a lot of fun sports, and created a lot of pleasure, not to mention getting me through all those airports! I dropped into my body for the 1st time in a long time and realized I was neglecting her.

I’d love to say “And then the weight fell off”. It didn’t. What did happen was much more profound.

I started living in my body – bringing awareness back to the relationship between what I eat, how I move, what I spend my time doing and how I feel – in my body – and how she feels.

I stopped exercising because “things needed to change” and started exercising because I love my body and want to take good care of her. This way of moving is sometimes less intense, varied, and includes things like playing tag in the pool with my grandson and hula-hooping to Beats Antique.

Asking questions of my body like “What would she like to eat?” “How would she like to move?”  “What would make her feel decadent?” or “How much rest does she want?” shifted my perspective from estrangement back to love.

As with all of life, body love is a journey. I’m not perfect. I lose the trail and then find it again. Then lose it, then find it – hopefully spending more and more time becoming conscious.

Where are you on the body love path?

If you have been less-than-kind to your beautiful body lately, apologize. She’ll forgive you. Take a few minutes to appreciate all she has done, and does, for you.

 

What would you do for your body from the space of caring deeply – like she is your child, your lover, or your very best friend?

 

She is, you know.

 

Love her.

 

*Big Love goes out to Sarah Jenks who wrote the line that made all the difference. Thank you, Sara, for your perspective, for being real about your body and for sharing it all with the rest of us. Deep gratitude also goes to Nisha Moodley, Angelina DeWeese, Sarah Reed and Jennifer Zlacket for their inspirational writing on body, self-love, relationship, and honesty.  All of these women are raising feminine consciousness daily. If you aren’t following them, do.

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You are welcome to share this article on your blog or in your newsletter. In fact, I would love it! All you need to do is include the entire statement below:

This article was written by Tamara Cameron of Health Harvest Holistic Wellness. Tamara is dedicated to helping women raise the bar on their daily health, through diet and lifestyle shifts, so they literally grow younger. You can read more about Tamara at: www.health-harvest.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Then, please send me a link. I’d love to see what you’re up to!

 

2 Responses

  1. Dianna Ellis says:

    Great message Tamara !
    Really makes me think.
    I have almost never liked my body. So sad !
    She does deserve better than that !

  2. Tamara Cameron says:

    Yes, Diana. She does. Please learn to give her the love she deserves. Let me know if you need suggestions! 🙂

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