Will I Ever Learn to Love All the Parts of My Own Body?
Sometimes—not too often, but occasionally—I stand in front of the full-length mirror on my bathroom wall and ask the reflection staring back at me, "Will I ever learn to love all the parts of my own body?" This can be a complicated question for someone with an eating disorder history, and as of right now, I do not have a clear, definitive answer.
I Know My Body Is Amazing—But I Haven't Learned to Love It Fully
I understand what an immense privilege it is to have a healthy, strong, able body. All of my internal organs function as they should. All of my joints move with ease and relative coordination. All of my senses are vibrant and in tune. My heart thumps in a stable, rhythmic cadence. My breaths flow smooth and natural with no exertion on my part. My legs sustain the pace of brisk daily runs. This body of mine is an incredible ecosystem that has kept me alive, despite the measures I've taken to control and abuse it over the years.
I respect what it can do, but will I ever learn to love all the parts of my own body? Will I ever accept it unconditionally? Will I ever embrace a close, intimate relationship with it? Will I ever admire its intrinsic beauty without looking for its flaws? Will I ever show this body the same kindness that it always offers me? I hope so, but I also must acknowledge there are parts of my own body that I do not love at all. I wish my thighs were more narrow. I wish my abdominals were more toned. The list of harsh, punitive criticisms goes on.
Learning to Love All the Parts of My Body Is Still a Work in Progress
If I want to create a loving relationship with this body I live in, then I cannot view it as only worth the sum of its parts. I cannot make peace with some facets of it while condemning other facets. Relationships should be inclusive and all-embracing—love is not authentic if it comes with arbitrary conditions. I haven't quite reached the juncture in my eating disorder recovery where this level of acceptance feels like second nature, but I do know it's attainable. So will I ever learn to love all the parts of my own body? That is still a work in progress.
Schurrer, M. (2022, March 25). Will I Ever Learn to Love All the Parts of My Own Body?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2022/3/will-i-ever-learn-to-love-all-the-parts-of-my-own-body
Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
You write beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing yourself.