Monday, October 6, 2008

Love: the body politic?

Who’s your best friend in this world and why do you love them? Is it because they’ve stood by you through some of life’s most exciting and challenging times? How do you express your appreciation for their friendship?

I did a quick impromptu poll around the room recently and everyone cited a person as their best friend. No one could begin to consider their body as their best friend. My body!?! I hear you cry in disbelief. Yes! Your body as your best friend - think about it.

Your body reflects everything you are feeling, going through and believe from deep within. When you live excessively, it shows. When you live a balanced, joy-filled life your body responds with super energy, great health and emits a magnetic glow that everyone notices.

You could say the body is a no-holds barred mirror that never lies. Can you truly say the same for any of your relationships with friends no matter how loyal? They love you yes, but they could never love you the way you could love yourself.

I know two people (living in two continents) who came to learn this simple truth through their amazing weight-loss journey. Both were vivacious, highly successful career women who had the world at their feet. Both decided they wanted to radically change their curvaceous body shapes. So, they lost over half their body weight and have, against the odds, kept it off. A success story on the surface but deep down, both devastatingly reveal they lost not only the weight but some of their ‘closest’ friends.

Their friends, who come packaged in various body shapes and sizes from and walks of life are united by a shared but muted desire. All of them, women, wanted to change something about their body. Only some however, were courageous enough to voice and reflect on their deep seated woes as the body shift they saw in their closest sista friends sparked uncomfortable and unexpected feelings of resentment. Others veiled the same issue as caring concern for health, not stopping to realise that they never showed such concern when their friends were double the weight and at increased risk of heart disorders, strokes, diabetes and the like.

As they saw their friends rapidly morphing into beautiful butterflies and becoming (in their eyes) even more successful, the friendships suffered strain. Through tear-filled eyes, both women caution that such responses were unforeseen and they have never felt so alone. Intense as it was, they came to the radical conclusion that nurturing their love for self and their bodies was the not only the catalyst that changed their friendships but ultimately, was also the only way to diffuse the pain.

So, to the question; statistics show that dieting is the highest ranked obsession for women over 25 years of age. We also know that over 95% of diets fail. Ever thought about the possibility of loving yourself slim as opposed to starting from a basis of rejection?

Think about how many times you’ve insulted, abused and hurt your soul by storing up heavy and negative emotions about your body. Would you do the same to your best friend?

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