As women, we are taught not to trust in our bodies. We are taught that there is more value in the way that we show up physically than anything that we could ever contribute otherwise. We are taught that taking up space in a room full of people should be vulnerable because of our lack of perfectionism and that we will never be good enough regardless of what our bodies do or don’t look like. But instead of always trying to change our bodies to fit the ever changing idealism, what if we dove into our abilities to accept our bodies without limitation?

There is a quote that reads, “It is not a dream body if it is a nightmare to maintain.” And as I think about this quote, I consider so many parts of the holistic being that are dismissed when we focus solely on our physical bodies. We substitute connection, joy, and so many other meaningful life experiences, in effort to move through life in a body that is valued by the outside world. What if instead of allowing societal expectations to influence our ability to find body acceptance, we worked to challenge our own definition of worthiness and approval?

Challenging the narrative you have about your body may not be easy, but it is possible. Being able to identify negative dialogue and then reframing it to something more neutral will help improve your mood or mindset about your body. 

Here is an example of a way to do this:

Trigger: Relapsing 

Negative thought- “I always mess up; I can’t even do recovery right. What’s the point? I am not capable of making positive changes.”

Neutral thought- “Recovery is not linear; I am allowed to make mistakes. I am going to work through this and move forward like I always do.”

Working towards body neutrality may feel painful, vulnerable, or unnatural. It may go against your initial instinct of changing your body to feel deserving of happiness. But instead of the vulnerability being a sign of weakness, what if instead, it is a token of bravery? Lean into the vulnerability that comes with challenging your current thought patterns concerning your body. 

You do not have to change your body to be worthy of love, acceptance, and unity. Give yourself permission to live a life that you love in the body that you were given.