Inspiring Thoughts & Resources

Thank You, Body

Thank you hips for carrying me forward this morning.
Thank you legs for being strong enough to push on through the distance I choose to go.
Thank you feet for holding me, lifting me, supporting my every step.
Thank you ribs for sheltering my precious lungs.
Thank you lungs for taking in the sun-filled morning.
Thank you arms for embracing my life, for grabbing onto what is important to me.
Thank you face for feeling the wind and the sweetness of the day.
Thank you eyes for taking it all in, for keeping me centered, grounded, and here today.
Thank you brain for coordinating this amazing journey.
Thank you fingers for being able to stroke my child’s back, fingers, face, hair…
Thank you mouth for swallowing my morning tea.
Thank you heart for being so dedicated, so loyal, so loving.
Thank you soul for wanting so much more.
Thank you stomach for sorting out all that I put in, good and bad.
Thank you intestines for clearing out all that I do not need.
Thank you endocrine system for keeping me balanced, healthy, alive.
Thank you skin for containing me in one miraculous package.
Thank you hair for blowing free and helping me to dream.
Thank you neck for keeping all the communications in my life flowing.
Thank you womb for making me creative, life-producing, feminine, changing, growing.
Thank you teeth for enabling me to bite off what I like and growl at what I don’t.
Thank you ears for listening to the higher voice.
Thank you tongue for helping me to sing.
This is my beautiful body today and always.


*From Rebecca Ruggles Radcliffe, Body Prayers: Finding Body Peace--

A Journey of Self Acceptance

Copyright©1999 EASE. Reproduced by permission.

No matter where you were when you started this book, you now know that the desire for a perfect body is not an immutable force of nature. In fact, it is not even a true desire. The search for a magic shape is in our own heads and in the toxic values of the Body Myth….

Whether or not we have an eating disorder or body image problem, we can help one another by challenging the Body Myth, refusing to speak the language of fat, and showing each other that the shape we are in is not determined by the shape of our bodies.

I am not my body. You are not your body. Each of our bodies is an important, lovable vehicle, but it is not the journey or the destination. Nor are our bodies the enemy.

Your body is worth respecting and appreciating, no matter how it looks or how you think it looks. Even more important, your life is worth respecting and appreciating. So let’s agree to embrace our bodies and our lives—along with the bodies and lives of every other woman.

From The Body Myth, Maine & Kelly, 2005, p. 256.

Exercise Your Own Bill of Rights

Pick some of the rights listed here, add some of your own, and personalize your own “Bill of Rights.” Review your rights periodically and be sure that your life reflects them; if it doesn’t, make some changes.

 

I have the right to:

  • Speak my mind

  • ask for what I need

  • ask for what I want

  • change my mind

  • make my own decisions

  • have my own values, beliefs, and priorities

  • express my feelings, even if others won’t like this

  • experience a whole range of feelings

  • be honest

  • expect honesty from others

  • be angry

  • make mistakes

  • not be perfect

  • only be responsible for my behavior and no one else’s

  • set limits

  • say no when others ask or expect me to do things that interfere with meeting my own needs at that time

  • feel safe in my relationships

  • feel respected by others

  • be healthy

  • be in charge of my own life

  • be happy

  • pursue my own dreams and desires

  • change and grow

  • live my life to the fullest

  • feel good in my body and about my body

The Body Myth, Maine& Kelly, 2005, pp. 246-247.

20 Ways To Love Your Body

Compiled by Margo Maine, Ph. D.

1. Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
2. Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
3. Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
4. Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
5. Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
6. Don't let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like and that feel good to your body.
8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
10. Be your body's friend and supporter, not its enemy.
11. Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months. Your body is extraordinary--begin to respect and appreciate it.
12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
14. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don't exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good.
15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Tell yourself you can feel like that again, even in this body at this age.
16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself--without mentioning your appearance. Add to it!
17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, "I'm beautiful inside and out."
18. Choose to find the beauty in the world and in yourself.
19. Start saying to yourself, "Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way."
20. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.

Words of Wisdom:

“The most important relationship a woman has is the relationship with herself. Our self-talk can diminish or empower us. In a culture so demanding and dismissive of women, we need to rebel and stop apologizing for not being perfect, and start telling ourselves we are good enough as we are- SIMPLY GOOD ENOUGH!”

Margo Maine, 2016 Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Honoree.

The best approach to recovery is one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time or one meal at a time, just putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next right, healthy thing.

Margo Maine, PhD, FAED, CEDS – In Pursuing Perfection p. 161

Women need to feel safe telling the stories of their bodies. Just like breast cancer, eating disorders are a life-threatening and treatable disease, not a character flaw. As a society, we all have a role in addressing this critical public health issue. It’s time to approach eating disorders just as openly, seriously, and compassionately as we approach breast cancer and other public health problems.

Margo Maine, PhD, FAED. CEDS – to read whole article click the link below.

https://www.edcatalogue.com/body-image-eating-disorders-women-beyond-midlife-nine-truths/

Inspiring Thoughts and Resources:

You yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and attention.  -Buddha
 

Imperfection is not our personal problem; it is a natural part of existing. -Tara Brach
 

You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control.  -Elizabeth Gilbert

Unless you feel beautiful inside, you will not see your outer beauty, let alone believe it or enjoy it. Feeling lovely is more central than looking lovely. The inner shift precedes the outer change. -Marcia G. Hutchinson

Perfectionism doesn’t make you perfect. It makes you feel inadequate. -Maria Shriver

Mindful Breathing:

 

Most of the time, our bodies are doing one thing and our minds are thinking about something else. Through mindful breathing, we can bring our minds and bodies together. Here’s a simple technique to begin this process. Sit or lie quietly, and then:

  • Breathe in slowly, deeply, and say “in.”

  • Breathe out slowly and say “out.”

  • After doing this for a few minutes you will feel calmer and clearer, more mindful.

  • Or, upon breathing in, say, “Breathing in, I calm my body.”

  • And upon breathing out, say, “Breathing out, I smile.”

Pursuing perfection p. 181