I wrote a few days ago about how I’ve experienced a shift in myself. An influx of love and a grounding in myself as I feel well in my skin, full of love for who I am physically and as a spiritual being.
Since this shift, I’ve experienced an acceptance for by body.
I’d go even further than that actually.
I like who I am physically.
I find myself looking in the mirror and, instead of listing all the things that I’d like to change, – the extra fat on my sides and stomach, the grey hairs on my head, my chubby cheeks and dimply bottom – I find myself looking at myself with pleasure.
And instead of pinching the bits of fat on my body, sucking them in or hiding them away, I find myself stroking them, showering them with love, getting them out on display.
Getting into a swimming costume at the beach as I’m on holiday in Wales, I’m fine with not being ‘body perfect’ because I find my body perfect as it is.
I don’t mind when my tummy wobbles as I jump into the waves.
I don’t mind when I sit down on the sand with my son and my stomach bunches up.
I notice a curious echo of the past as I’m in the moment which says ‘you would have sucked your stomach up as this point‘ or ‘you’d have sat back to make your stomach flatter‘ but that’s not me anymore.
I feel the same wonder with my body that I did straight after I gave birth to my son but it feels different.
I don’t feel wonder for it because of how capable it is of creating another human being (although that is an amazingly spectacular super power!).
I feel wonder for it because it’s the house for my self. The vessel for the inherently precious and imperfectly perfect individual that I am.
And I find it to be enough.
More than enough. I find it to be beautiful.
I look back on the Christian messages I received about my body ‘your body is a temple’ and feel sadness for the Amy who read these words and felt that I was failing at another area in my life – not treating my body as a holy temple and instead of feeding it ‘good’, nourishing food, stuffing it full of cakes and sweets that weren’t ‘good’ for me.
For me, knowing my body is a temple is nothing about what I should do. It’s a fact that it is holy, whatever I do to it.
As I sit in a cafe tucking into almond butter, banana and maple syrup on toast, it is holy.
As I run along the beach in Abersoch, it is sacred.
As it brings my son comfort and enables me to show love for my husband, it is perfect.
And the irony is that as I shower my body with love, knowing it is enough just as it is, I feel fewer impulses to gorge myself with sweets.
I’m able to take or leave food if I’m not hungry.
I find myself wanting to nurture my body with nourishing food alongside the delicious desserts that I also enjoy.
With no ‘shoulds’ about what I need to do, but out of love and kindness and respect for it.
My body is beautiful and so is yours, dear friend. No matter whether it is fat or thin, wrinkly or smooth, short or tall, disfigured or untarnished.
It is perfect.
Thanks to Jess, who supported my writing and paid for the chai latte I enjoyed whilst writing this post.