A big block to building self-love is being unhappy with your body. Too many people tell me they’ll work on self-love when they lose weight, buff up more, etc. But self-love includes loving your body exactly as it is. That doesn’t mean you don’t prefer to lose weight, build muscle or firm up. But until you make peace with your body, you’ll have a harder time loving yourself. That’s why I’m happy to have Michelle Minero as my guest today. She’s a licensed marriage family therapist (MFT), founder of Eating Disorder Recovery Support (EDRS) , a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness about eating disorders and author of Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works. Here’s what she has to say:
Body Forgiveness Letters
Excerpted with permission from Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works
By Michelle Minero, MFT
Body forgiveness is important in the Self-Love Diet practice. Writing a body forgiveness letter is a powerful process because you’re acknowledging the hurt you have caused your body and are asking for your body’s forgiveness. By writing a body forgiveness letter, you’re making peace with your body, admitting your self-criticisms and unhealthy care and are committing to actively treat your body, and yourself, healthier and with love. Here is an example of a body forgiveness letter that was submitted to the Love Warrior Community:
There’s not really a good place to begin to apologize for all the x#^%# that I put you (me) through. I’m sorry for many, many things, indulging in snacks a bit too much, the constant pushing you to keep going (even when you’re exhausted), and my own mentality as well. I need to take responsibility for all of these things, and realize that you are not just a shell in which I live, but you are wholly a part of my psychological being as well. I commit to take time to stop and consider YOU for a few minutes every day. I trust that will be good for both of us. You are AWESOME and amazing; I know that you have been able to perform some amazing feats in the past, and you won’t let me down in the future. In return, I will take better care of you!
What do you want to ask your body forgiveness for? Write it down. __________________ ________________________________________________________________
Body Forgiveness Template
When you ask your body for forgiveness, it’s not enough to say, “I’m sorry.”
Here are the components to a satisfying apology:
• Take responsibility for your actions.
• Acknowledge how your actions affected your body.
• Try to understand how your body “felt.”
• Make amends. Have a plan so you will not hurt your body again.
• Say you’re sorry.
• Ask for forgiveness.
In the body forgiveness template, I’ve added a section for a witness. By having a supportive witness that you trust, you get the advantage of accountability and the experience of sharing your intentions with a caring person. Building a community of body love supporters is paramount to your recovery. I encourage you to write an apology letter to your body. If you are sincere, I am confident that your body will forgive you.
Here is an example to get you started:
Body Forgiveness Letter Template
I am writing to acknowledge and take responsibility for all the times I _____________________
I know this affected you by __________________________________________________
You must have felt________________________________________________________
I commit to love and honor you by (Amends)_____________________________________
I am sorry, (Ask for forgiveness)______________________________________________
If you do not think you have support from the people in your life, keep the witness section blank until you find that person who supports you in your recovery. Body forgiveness letters are one tool that you can use from the Love Warrior Community to add to your Self-Love Diet. To read more body forgiveness letters on the Love Warrior Community website, to submit your own body forgiveness letter or to download the body forgiveness letter template, go to the Love Warrior Community, hover over Create/Explore on the LWC menu, then hover over Writing and click on Body Forgiveness Letters.
Join the Self-Love Movement! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 2013 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.
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