Many years ago my beloved collaborator, Julie Kesti, made a sticker that so radically affected me that 7 years later I'm still thinking about it, writing about it. How revolutionary those four words are: I love my body. When you put that sticker on your chest you're telling everyone who can read that you love your body! But when they read it, they read "I love my body!" Woah, that's a powerful message! Do I love my body? Can I love my body? How can I love my body? What does it even mean to love my body? Does it mean losing 20 pounds? Does it mean I have to start running?
No. It means loving your body. Right now, just as it is.
It's just not that simple, though is it?
So I've been thinking about these things and chewing this message over for years. Recently, I realized that all the science I've studied, all the metabolic pathways of nutrients I've learned, all the supplements, diets, and conditions mean nothing if my client doesn't love themselves enough to get better. Every physical symptom is attached to an emotional experience.
Today my neck hurts. It hurts because I was at a show last night (Lake Street Dive: drool) and I slouch when I stand. Always have. Because I'm 5'11" (over 6' with shoes on) and I'm a woman. I'm not meant to take up that much space. I'm not supposed to be taller than men. I'm not worthy of "looking down" on someone when I talk to them. So I tuck my pelvis, I round my shoulders and I jut out my chin taking a good few inches off of my power. When I stand that way I also breathe into my chest, because my abdomen is compressed by my posture. So I'm not breathing into my organs and my neck pain is accompanied by bloating and constipation the next day. Rinse and repeat and it's no wonder at 20 years old I was diagnosed with IBS and all because I have low self-esteem.
My point in sharing any of this with you is to set an intention for myself and for this space. I co-opted Julie's brilliance in branding my tagline "love your body, love your food" several years ago when I opened my health coaching practice and in subtle ways that's the soul of the work I do. Yet, my exploration of body positivity, self-talk and self-care has been thwarted by other projects like opening Wellness Minneapolis last fall. It's time to take it on. I need to for myself and for my practice, but also because it's the mark I want to leave on this world. If I can teach one person how to genuinely, authentically, unabashedly love their bodies I can rest easy.
So. If there are specific topics you'd like me to take on, send them my way or leave a comment. This blog may look like a modern dance for a bit as I get into my flow with it. I have a laundry list of pieces I want to write, people I want to interview, projects I want to take on. Today, I start.
You might be surprised that this nutrition nerd doesn't actually write about nutrition all that often. Here's why: in 10+ years of studying food and nutrition, I've concluded that knowing about kale and vitamin K doesn't make me want to eat kale or care that it contains vitamin K. We need to dive into what it means to nourish and nurture ourselves. Once we discover that we're worth it, choosing healthy food is the most obvious option on the table. So get ready to dive into body image, self worth and whole-person (body, mind, spirit) healing. Once you change that tune, you change it all.