Did your body come with an operating manual? Neither did mine.

We exist in a body yet are taught very little about how to best live there. Because of this we are often unable to understand our body’s symptoms of distress. We lack respect for its limitations. And we have shame over its physical presence.

The predictable result is dysfunctional eating and body image, inadequate self-care, and difficulty experiencing emotion without food.

I started the Body Club guidelines to remind myself of how to best live in my body. With the Body Club “rules” in my pocket I’m able to stand strong in the face of harmful diet culture. I hope they will help you too.

Like Fight Club, the first “rule” of body club is to not talk about your body or other bodies. The goal is to interrupt obsession and judgment and turn your attention to more interesting things.

The second “rule” is that you do need one trusted friend, coach, or counselor with whom you can share your body vulnerabilities.

The third “rule” is to value your body for what it does, not how it looks. In the words of Dr. Lindsay Kite, your body is an “instrument not an ornament.”

The forth “rule” is that your body is exclusively for you and doesn’t owe anything to others or the world. Not beauty, thinness, youth, nor sexuality.

The fifth “rule” is to always show your body kindness. Kindness is where healing starts. And kindness is the answer to our confusion and overwhelm around food. You can never go wrong by choosing the kindest option.

Which brings us to the sixth rule of Body Club: Bodies are for living in

For those of us who live in distress about our body, it’s easy to dissociate and view our body as a bothersome appendage. After all we’ve been at war with our bodies for a very long time.

My own disconnection was so extreme that it was as if I dragged my body along only because it was attached. I judged my body harshly and resented its needs. I viewed my body as a traitor.

This is part of the damage of repeated diets.

When you are constantly wishing and striving for a different body it causes you to envision your body as separate and over there – not a part of you. You lose sight of your body being a wondrous container allowing your soul to live a human life. And beyond that, you lose sight of the biological fact that your body and brain are a single functional unit providing the intelligence to live your best life.

Your body is you. To find peace you have to move back in.

This is the essence of embodiment and making peace with yourself and food.

When you live in your body, you naturally practice the other Body Club rules. You claim your body, you respect your body and its boundaries, you listen, and you are kind because you value your body for what it provides for you. And when you do that the healing begins.

Your body is waiting.



*** *** ***

These links will take you to the first rule of Body Club, the second, the third, the fourth, and the fifth.

Are there any other “rules” needed in body club? Have I missed anything that you think is important? Use the Contact form to let me know.

I’d love to get to know you better. To get on my schedule for a no charge/no obligation informal talk with no agenda other than understanding your struggles and helping you get unstuck click here. If you need other times, use the contact form linked below.

For more resources, check out our Resources page.

Join the conversation on Facebook at Women Eat Community.