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How to be a body ally

Updated: May 23

Spam Filter for Your Brain Episode 13

Where do your politics not quite align with how you speak to your body? Speak about your body. The way that you treat your body as it moves around the world? It's really interesting, I think, how many of us know how we want other people to be treated out there in terms of justice, equality, and equity. But it's tough sometimes to bring these messages home to ourselves in the way that we speak to ourselves, the way that we treat ourselves.

This week I'd like to encourage you to think about where you could become an ally to your own physicality. How do you treat yourself when your body responds in a way that it's trying to protect itself, but you judge it as not behaving in a way that aligns with what you've decided it should do? How do you speak to your body when you're talking to other people? Do you make little sarcastic jokes here or there? Do you make casual asides about how your body should be a different size or different shape, or how you know that things would be different if you could revert back to that body shape that you once knew? How do you treat your body when it tries to repair itself, shut you down, or stop you from doing so many things all the time? Because frankly, it just needs more rest than you're allowing it.

All of these things mount up to sometimes treating the vehicle with which we traverse this life like some productivity machine without looking at how we can befriend and be on the same side and be on the same team as the place we are inhabiting.

How can you make your body feel more at home? What kind of things do you think someone who does feel like their body is an ally would be saying to themselves? What would you like to be feeling towards your body? All of these things are crucial questions in how we try and reclaim our bodies from these old stories, which are quite often taught to us by people who are trying to sell us things, to try and change our body or manipulate our body or change some frameworks to try and sell us stuff. And we don't have to buy into that.

And the more that we can learn to not try and change our body in a particular way in order to make it more worthy of love, the more that we can bring more peace into not only our personal space but the more time we have out there in the world for the really important things, like creating more justice, more equity, fighting the causes that are creating the kind of systems that mean that people don't have equal access to the things that we know to be so important.

And there are so many things that distract us from these missions when we get all caught up in how our body should look different, be different, and respond differently. And we can take all of this down a step by acknowledging that your body is probably trying to protect you no matter what you're doing, whether it is in storing fat in your cells because it feels like you've been restricting food or whether it is giving you the flu the second that you have a holiday, because it's like, "oh, yes, I remember to rest, let's do more of this!" Whatever is going on for you, your body is on your own, on your side, because your body's main aim is to try and keep itself alive.

So if this is something that resonates with you and this is something that you would like to see more of, I would love, love, love for you to join the body image course that we're running in March and that this is helpful for you to hear about. I have a Free Body Image workbook that I will link to you in the show notes.

I hope that's been helpful this week.


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