31. What it REALLY Means to Be Friends With Your Body
Welcome to episode 31 of the Mindful Weight Loss Podcast. I am your host and your coach, Emily Erekuff and today I am talking about what it really means to be friends with your body.
And why I want to talk about this is because I think so many of you are so far away from being friends that you probably don't really know what that might look or feel like. And I don't expect you to guys to become best friends with your body overnight, but it is necessary to know where you ultimately want to go. You need to orient yourself to your final destination as much as possible before you take that first step forward.
And I want to tell you why I feel compelled to share this now. I just had a call with my own coach and it was mind blowing in so many ways. And the thing we talked about was money. And I've never talked to a coach about money before, but I'm at a time in my life where I feel like I understand now how to have a good relationship with my body.
(And I do want to emphasize that it's by no means perfect. I still cringe when I see certain photos of myself and criticize myself at times. Nothing is perfect and there will always be something to work on. And I mean work on my thoughts, not my body.)
But I largely feel like I'm pretty good friends with my body, especially compared with how I used to feel about it.
And so now I'm at a point in my life where I want to learn how to be better friends with money. Because I know I have some limiting beliefs there. And so I sat down with my coach and she asked what my intention was for our session. And I said that I wanted to explore my money beliefs and come away with a way to begin to address them.
And what came through in our session was truly mind-blowing and what astonished me the most was how similar the relationship I have with money is to my former relationship to food and to my body.
Even now I'm awestruck thinking about it, because on the one hand it's so obvious. I am someone who teaches that your relationship to food mirrors your relationship to life. And yet, I have been holding money up as this sort of special entity that somehow doesn't fit that pattern AND I was completely unaware that I was doing that.
And this is the incredible power having a good coach. We are so often stuck in these boxes of our own thinking and we don't even know we're in the box and so we don't step out of it to see that there's an entirely different perspective that is possible and is waiting for us.
And a good coach is able to ask questions that help you see that box plain as day and gosh, what a revelation it is to finally see it on your head and be able to take it off. The world is anew and it's closer and so much more precious. That story we carry around, that box on our head it really does prevent us from engaging with and appreciating the world and our lives for the incredible amazing things that they are.
Gosh and we have so many boxes. It is like peeling the layers off of an onion. Our growth in life is like taking off one box and then another and another and another and we get closer and closer to what is real.
And I so want you to have this experience with your relationship to food, and to your body, and with money and to everything else in your life. And I want to emphasize too that having a breakthrough in one area will absolutely help facilitate that breakthrough in other areas. I am 100% certain that the work I have done with my relationship with food and my body has paved the way for me to have this breakthrough that I am now experiencing in regards to money. And no, I'm not exaggerating when I use the word "breakthrough".
And why I say that is because I want you to know how important this work is. It's easy for us to write off the work we have to do about food and our bodies. We tell ourselves that it's not important. We criticize ourselves for being vain. You think why am I spending so much time and energy on this?
But let me tell you, especially if you've connected to the content I've shared in other episodes. This work that we do is THE work. This is not a shiny new paint job on your old car. This is rebuilding the engine. This is personal growth and spiritual discovery. And it is some of the most rewarding work you will ever do AND it will affect every other area of your life. It will open doors that you had no idea existed. It will help you take that box off of your head so that you can breath easier and experience more freedom. And sooner than you know you'll start to realize that there's another box and you can take that one off too.
Your desire to lose weight, it's not really about losing weight, it's about getting closer to the real you, to the amazing person who isn't limited by anything, least of all her weight. And it's by getting closer to yourself and having a good relationship with yourself that you lose the weight in a healthy, sustainable way.
We think it will happen backwards, that you will lose the weight and then become friends with yourself, and, because hold hold that belief, you likely torture yourself to lose weight because you think right now doesn't matter. You think that as long as you are overweight that your experience doesn't matter.
And you have to stop and ask yourself, would a friend think that? Would a friend think that it's ok for you to suffer? Would a friend think that you don't matter because you're overweight? Would a friend think that you're not good enough to be friends with because you're overweight?
If so, that's a really bad friend.
And yet, that's how we act towards our own bodies. We expect our bodies to be friends with us and give us all the things we want, and yet we offer very little if anything in return. And we're really demanding. We expect our bodies to fall in line and look a certain way, fit in some box. And when they don't we criticize them, accuse them of betrayal. And we don't trust our bodies. We don't listen to them - to their hunger signals or other signals, like when they're tired, when they have to pee, or when they just want to unwind and have fun. We don't listen when our bodies are asking for us to meet their needs, and much of the time we're resentful of those needs. We wish those needs weren't there. And we'd swap this body out for a new, better body any day.
Can you see how one-sided and awful this is? Imagine if this is how you treated one of your best friends. They certainly wouldn't be your best friend for long.
And meanwhile, our body may not look the way we want or feel the way we want, but boy is it working to keep you alive, even while it deals with all of your stress and your bullshit. That's probably because your body doesn't have a choice.
Ah, but you - you have a choice. You can choose right now to step up and give a shit about this relationship. You can choose to really look at how you treat your body and acknowledge if you are being nice or if you're more than likely being a mean girl, maybe even a complete asshole. And then you need to step up and figure out where YOU need to change.
Because it's not your body that needs to change, it's you. Your body is doing it's best to give you everything. In fact, it's by means of this body that you are able to experience anything at all; it's thanks to this body that you have a life. And are you even grateful, or do you just demand more without giving anything in return?
And I know this may sound harsh, and I don't say it that way to make you feel guilty, I say it to wake you up. You aren't a bad friend to your body on purpose. It's something that we learn. We watch our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and friends criticize their beautiful bodies and we start to see that we're supposed to look for our own deficiencies and cover them up before anybody else dare point them out to us.
And nobody ever taught us that we even should be friends with our bodies or that there was even a relationship there that we needed to pay attention to and cultivate. But there is. Life is relationship. Our identities are formed by how we relate, not just to other people, but to objects in the world, to ideas even. You literally are made up of the relationships you have with all that is in the world and, and your relationships with you, with your body, your mind, and your spirit, those are the most sacred, the most precious, because they are the closest to you.
But we tend to forget about the body. Especially in the west, we idealize and identify so readily with our minds and our thoughts, and we completely take our bodies for granted, and worse as I've already talked about.
And how you do one thing is how you do everything. These relationships that we have with all that is in the world, they reveal our patterns and our judgements. If you mistrust your body, ask yourself what else in life you mistrust. If you don't listen to your body, ask yourself who else aren't you listening to.
If you criticize your body, look around and notice who and what else you criticize. Notice how you treat your body and you will most certainly find that you treat other relationships the same way.
And the wonderful news about that is when you create an intention and take action to be a good friend to your body, you will naturally carry that practice to other areas of your life. Growth in one area leads to growth in all areas.
So I want to challenge you today to step up and do some real work. Get out a pen and a piece of paper or sit down at the computer and block out some time and consider how you can be a best friend to your body. Write down all those things you would want as part of a deep and satisfying friendship. What characteristics does a good friend have? What does a good friend say to you? What does a good friend do for you? Get as detailed as possible as you can with that picture.
And then ask how you can be that friend to your body, and then do something. Take that first step. Your body is already meeting you more than halfway. It's time for you to start doing your part.
I hope you enjoyed this podcast. If you did and if you want to have a breakthrough of your own, schedule a free coaching call with me. Check the show notes or visit mindfulweightlosscoach.com.