Body Club is my make believe way of countering the negative influences of the culture we live in. The “rules” of Body Club are our reminders that this is a place we can retreat to be at peace with our body. I envision it as a psychic sisterhood that links us to our self and each other.
There’s nothing to click or fill out. Membership in body club is your birth right. It’s open to everyone, and doesn’t cost a thing. To join all you need is a body, and the desire to live in it more comfortably.
Do you often feel at war with your own body?
Efforts at food restriction can set up a battle between what we think we want and what our body wants. Over time we begin to see our body as the enemy, not to be trusted or listened to.
You may win the battle at hand but you won’t win the war. In the long run your body’s biological drives will undermine your conscious determination every time. This is why diets don’t work for long term weight loss. The body has a way of fighting back and ensuring regain.
But there is a way to win.
To win we have to step back, put down our swords (diet plans, scale, etc.) and seek peace. Which brings us to the fifth rule of Body Club: Always be kind to your body.
Bodies need to feel safe and protected. They need to know they will be listened to. Just like any partner, your body will respond favorably to this appreciation.
Stress physiology is triggered when the body doesn’t feel safe. Your body prepares for fight or flight by shutting down all functions not essential to immediate survival. Without safety we can’t optimally digest, repair, or rebuild immunity. Our ability to access creative problem solving or willpower is impaired. And eventually our energy is depleted.
Stress physiology also impairs our ability to let go of excess weight. And dieting adds to the problem. Confusion over food choices, hunger, or emotional deprivation all put your body into stress.
Every time you meet your body’s needs physically and emotionally you create a relationship of safety. Your body learns that it can relax because you can be counted on to provide food and nutrition, rest, and pleasure. Without the specter of another famine around the corner in the form of a new diet, your body can begin to feel safe. And it’s this safety that will reduce the need for using food for emotional comfort, the need for pain or digestive distress, the need to reduce energy and metabolism, or the need for fat as a form of protection.
Be a friend to your body and let it know it’s safe in your care. Listen to it. Respect its need for rest, pleasure, and nutrition.
When you step back from the war you will be able to see that your body is you, one and the same. When you show respect and kindness you may be surprised at the ways it will support you.
This is where the healing starts. And it’s the place to come back to whenever you are confused or overwhelmed. It all starts with kindness.
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