You do not have to love your body. You do not have to celebrate your body. You can declare a truce with your body. You can sue for peace in this war you were conscripted in. You can call for a cease fire.
I admire the body acceptably movement, but as a disabled person, liking my body has extra challenges involved. Far too often the alternative to judging your body on its appearance is to judge your body by what it can do. But my body can’t do all the things a typical 33 year old body can.
What’s more, my body is always changing. In the short term, digestive bloating, nausea, and water retention make my weight constantly cycle between a twenty pound range. I don’t love that my body can’t pick a dress size and stay there. I have learned to accept it.
Acceptance isn’t love. It isn’t celebration. It’s a stage of grief, of mourning the healthy and fit body I will never have. Acceptance feels a lot more attainable.
I am also getting older. If I follow family pattern, my first gray hairs should crop up any day now. My first wrinkles have already appeared. I’m open to the changes I know are coming, but I expect it will take time to adjust to each change, to accept my new face and body.
It’s easier for me to plan on getting used to my body, not loving it. By the time I learn to love my looks, they will have changed. Love isn’t my goal. Respect is.
I can treat my body with respect even when I don’t love the way it looks. I can feed it and clean it, take it to the gym and send it to bed, because I respect its needs. I don’t have to punish my body. That’s revolutionary enough.
If you feel like you can’t love your body, and if pressure to do so is only making things worse, try suing for peace instead. When you’re at war, when you see your body as an enemy, you need peace more than you need love. Love can grow from peace, but first you need a cease fire. And sometimes peace is enough.