It’s OK to grieve your body.
The body you thought you were going to have.
The body you’ve been dreaming of since you first became aware of the notion that your body was not perfect in her current shape.
The body you were visualizing every night while you were on yet another agonizing senseless diet.
The body your loved ones told you you could have if only you were more disciplined.
The body you knew you would have if only you didn’t fail at every diet you ever tried.
Not realizing that it’s not you that failed, but the diets that failed you.
Not seeing how your body was already perfectly imperfect in this very moment.
Not wanting to acknowledge that that dream of having the perfect body was ruining your life.
It’s OK to grieve that future.
And everything your thin and lean body was going to give you:
the hot sex
the afternoons at the beach
the around-the-world trips
It’s OK to be sad.
To be angry.
To be disappointed and disheartened.
Scream and rage.
And then – once you’ve gone through your steps of grieving – take a deep breath and come back home to the reality that the body you never had was the body you were never going to have.
Just like the size 6 shoes you wish you could buy were never going to fit your size 8 feet.
It was never meant to happen.
It was never meant to be.
It was never in your cards.
And that is OK.
It doesn’t mean that you are not a worthy person.
It doesn’t mean that you are not destined to live an enormously fulfilling life.
It doesn’t mean that you are not ever going to be happy and in bliss.
It doesn’t mean that you lack willpower, imagination, discipline and strength.
All it means is that your body is your body and not the body you were conditioned to want.
All it means is that you were given the chance to learn to love a body that is not the current beauty ideal – or maybe it is?
Because who gets to decide that anyway?!
All it means is that you are unique.
So, look at your body.
Really look at her.
How can you not find compassion, love and joy for this beautiful, beautiful shape?
How can you not fall in love with your exact curves?
How can you not let go of the hatred you harbored for all of the years and deeply come to appreciate the skin you’re in?
If others had treated your loved ones the way you treated your body, would you have allowed it happen?
Would you have stood by?
Or would you have intervened?
Made it stop somehow?
Knowing that this kind of disrespect is just not acceptable?
Grieve that too.
The knowledge that you were causing yourself so much pain and fear.
The knowledge that you were tricked into believing that if only you were harsh and spiteful towards your body, you’d make it change somehow.
It didn’t work.
Wasn’t meant to work.
And thank God for that.
Still, it’s OK to grieve that body.
To grieve that future.
To grieve the past.
You’ve lost a piece of you – or are about to.
You’ve lost that part of you that gave you hope.
The part that was certain that if only you had a different body, your life would magically fall into place.
That the pain would stop.
The heartache would disappear.
The boredom, the disillusion, that nagging feeling that something wasn’t right would finally lift.
And though you knew – yes, you did – that it was all BS, you kept on believing, you kept on hoping, you kept on dreaming.
A different body meant a different life.
And after all, that is what you needed to survive.
But the truth is that you can survive, you will thrive, if you allow your body to be who she was meant to be.
Loving her unconditionally is your only task.
And once you do,
once you are willing to see the beauty,
to see the fragility,
to acknowledge the desire to be accepted,
in your body’s eyes,
you will live the life you have always wanted to live.
Because you’ll no longer waste every second of every day
on wishing and dreaming of a different body,
on fighting food,
on researching diets,
on fighting the binges,
on restricting and over-exercising.
Instead, you’ll get the job,
you’ll meet the guy,
you’ll live the happiness,
you’ll make the money,
you’ll find the purpose,
you’ll heal the wounds,
you’ll live the dream.
And isn’t that worth grieving a body for?
A concept that never was and never might have been?
A desire that was put into your mind by an industry that is out for the money?
That thrives on creating the pain?
The feelings of inferiority, of worthlessness, of never measuring up?
Isn’t it worth breaking the chains that keep your imprisoned in your own diet hell?
Isn’t it worth turning inward,
crying the tears,
feeling the anger,
acknowledging the pain?
And then spread your wings and fly?
So, grieve your body and the future you were supposed to have.
And then step into the present that actually is.