I was recently chatting with a friend about her body, post baby, and the weight gain that comes with it…
“Most days I feel really great”, she said. “I feel so strong and beautiful and then I’ll see a picture of myself in this new body and I feel uncomfortable, incongruent, even. Like my outside appearance doesn’t match how I feel inside.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this sentiment from a woman.
It’s not always pregnancy that’s the culprit for said weight gain, it can be another facet of life that alters a woman’s appearance. To name just a few:
- A break-up
- A death, loss, or illness of a loved one
- A traumatic event that rattles the very core of her being
- A move
- Changing careers or getting a new job
- Taking on the care of a parent or other family member, or
- Having an additional person move into her home
Or, the most common:
- An insanely busy schedule that leaves her head spinning and little to no time for herself
Whatever the event (or buildup of events) may be, I’ve noticed that women are typically able to manage how their “new” body looks and feels day to day, until something like a photo, choosing clothes for an event, or a comment from someone else, sparks a breakdown of shame, guilt and self-loathing for “letting herself go”… Sprinkle in a mix of immediacy and a dash of desperation to “fix it”, and a woman’s self-compassion and patience can fly out the window.
By this point, she’s so uncomfortable, she just wants to be out of the pain of her experience and into the body she wants, NOW, yesterday even, without much acknowledgement for where she’s BEEN, when the journey that’s brought her to this new way of looking is no small thing.
Unfortunately, our human nature often prohibits our acknowledgment of the journey and challenges of our lives and instead, forces us to constantly look ahead, comparing and discounting our progress along the way.
Most, if not all humans, will have life experiences that change the trajectory of who they are, including their bodies. For some people, it may be multiple times within their lives. Often, our body is simply responding to these circumstances.
Your body is not the enemy…
I support ambitious women all over the world who have, up until our work together, let life get in the way of how they show up for themselves. Their body image is often the first thing that alerts them to how and why something in their lives isn’t working.
The body doesn’t speak English, but it does speak subtlety, physicality and energy. Softly at first, and then more and more loudly until we actually pay attention.
Perhaps you’ll notice a depletion of energy, weight gain, skin conditions, or injury…
Or maybe your particular body speaks in anxiety, depression or insomnia…
Our bodies are very simple in that they are always responding to their environment. The key is whether or not we’re actually listening to what these communications are sharing.
If we don’t water a plant and it dies, we don’t question what went wrong. But when it comes to ourselves, we’re much trickier. We feign confusion or frustration, when we often hold far more wisdom as to how to course correct than we give ourselves credit for.
Instead, we berate, shame or guilt ourselves into perceived submission. This doesn’t work long term. It doesn’t really change anything, but instead, creates an energy of rebellion that typically backfires, spurring feelings of helplessness, bouts of emotional eating, lethargy, or other behaviors that do not serve us.
If you find yourself in this place, gasping at how your body looks in pictures or embarrassed of being seen in a cocktail dress, my invitation to you is this:
How can you honor and acknowledge all that’s brought you to your current state?
Can you actually see everything you’ve gone through up until this point as a testament to your resilience and success, not failure?
Can you invite in more compassion for your journey so you can begin anew from this point forward instead of clinging to the past?
You are a strong, intelligent and powerful woman, surrounded by love and support. You are capable of all that you desire in this lifetime and so much more.
I invite you to love the body you call home.
P.s. I’d love to support you in creating true freedom from your struggles with weight, your body and food. Helping women heal these issues is my super power. It would be an honor to make magic with YOU. If you’ve been looking for support around these areas, I’d love to invite you to schedule a 1-hour Body Love Breakthrough Session ($150) so we can explore options, availability and whether partnering together feels like a good fit.
In this session, we will look at your biggest challenges, what could be stopping you from feeling truly at home in your body and my professional recommendations for the next steps on your journey. You’ll walk away with greater clarity and inspiration on your next steps whether we decide to continue our journey together or not.