She looked at me with tears in her eyes and quietly whispered, “I’m tired of fighting my body.” As a tear trickled down her cheek, my own heart broke open. I knew how she felt. Exhausted. Fed up. Feeling like she just couldn’t do it… Not. One. More. Day. At the very same time- she was terrified to let go.
“I’m tired of fighting my body.”
Just speaking these words out loud takes an act of courage in the diet obsessed culture we live in today. As little girls we played with barbies and watched our mothers eat dwarf sized prepackaged meals out of cardboard boxes while the rest of the family ate from full plates.
In elementary school we learned: to be skinny means to be popular. By college we learned to fear the “freshman fifteen,” as if it were a threat to our lives. For some, losing or keeping weight off became a hobby. But for some of us, it became a full time job.
Why Fighting My Body Doesn’t Work
Maybe you started off dieting as a hobby? Or perhaps you sunk into a full fledged eating disorder before you realized what happened. Regardless of the path that led you to obsessing about your food and body, we all end up at the same destination. Hating our bodies. Hating ourselves. Fighting our bodies. Fighting ourselves.
It doesn’t matter if you weigh 300 pounds or 93 pounds- fighting your body’s natural shape and size is exhausting. And life sucking. If you do it long enough- you will eventually hit the same wall I hit. The same wall my friend hit. And when you hit it, it’s devastating.
Because, you don’t have to keep fighting your body. In fact, you were never meant to. We are living, breathing, human mammals born with innate drives to keep us alive. One of those main drives- HUNGER.
We’re hungry because our bodies need food to stay alive.
And when we diet we’re constantly fighting our biological need for food. And that is exhausting. Physically. And emotionally.
“I want to stop fighting my body,” she whispered through tears. “But I’m terrified to stop.”
I nodded, taking her hand. For I understood the fear. Walking into the unknown can be paralyzing. Going against the status quo often feels isolating.
I looked her in the eyes, “I know you’re scared, but you can stop fighting your body. And you don’t have to do this alone. The amazing thing is many brave souls have walked this path before you. They’ve stepped through the fear to the other side. On that side is a big, juicy, full life. Where we no longer feel the need to shrink our bodies or our lives.”
She was terrified of stepping into the unknown. Of letting go of control. At the same time, she was more terrified to stay in the suffocating hell of fighting her body every single day.
She knew what that life looked like. She’d lived it for far too long.
And so she took a step forward. And I was lucky enough to walk beside her as she transformed her life.