Dear Body

I now see you as incredible, although it has taken me many years to appreciate you and to say this from the heart.

I haven’t always been kind or respectful. It has been so easy to divert the lens to focus on perceived imperfections and flaws. No thought of consequences when comparing you with air-brushed media images or Instagram ideals.

Weighing, measuring, poking, prodding, criticising, shaming; I have done them all at times. But to what benefit?

It prevented me from noticing the wonder of all the things you do for me every single day. The things that are easy to forget and to take for granted.

So today, I pause to celebrate you.

I value my ability to walk and run and feel your powerful energy flowing through me.

I embrace my strength and flexibility to lift and play with my children.

I breathe so freely and effortlessly without a single thought about it.

I lie in bed at night feeling peaceful and relaxed, feeling the smoothing comfort of cool sheets on my skin.

I can watch a glittering sunset or sniff a fragrant rose and my body responds with gratification.

I can walk ably through a dusty city enjoying the sights and familiar smells, feeling like an adventurer on a mission.

I can laugh until it hurts with friends and feel the euphoria.

I can feel the inner rush of joy and energy when I engage with things I love to do.

I can fall over and bash my knee and know that it will heal.

I can taste and savour delicious foods I love every single day.

I can touch and feel the warmth of skin of the people I love and connect with.

I am fortunate that my incredible body has allowed me to carry babies and bring them into the world.

I can abseil, rollerskate, crawl through a tunnel or climb a tree if I choose to.

My body gives me freedom. There is no greater gift that I would trade.

In ten years time, I will no doubt wish for the body I have now. In twenty, thirty or forty years, even more so. So dear body, I want to value you now in the present.

To not waste time on wanting to have thinner thighs or smaller teeth or smoother hair.

To celebrate the bits I really like and to enhance them more.

My body always feels like the better version when I smile; remember to stand up tall and be open to whatever the day may bring.

Dear reader,

True body acceptance is an ongoing journey. I know.

You may be reading this and not be in the best of health.

You may have experienced stresses or trauma that make it very challenging for you to love and respect your body.

You may feel very dissatisfied and disappointed in the body you have.

This doesn’t mean you don’t deserve for things to be different though. To have a kinder and more compassionate relationship with your body.

What might be a first step for you in achieving this?