A Love Letter

Dear beautiful you,

How are you? I mean, how are you really? I’m not interested in small talk, or hearing how everything is “fine.” And I definetly don’t want to hear about the new diet you’re on. Sorry.

I want to hear about what’s on your heart. I want to talk about daydreams, and heartbreak, and fears and regrets. I want to talk about about the juicy parts of life.

The holidays are drawing nearer. For some of us this feels like freshly baked cookies and warm hugs. For others it feels like judging looks from family members and calorie counts. And for many, the feelings lay somewhere in between.

Maybe you give yourself “permission” to indulge during the holidays but only at the cost of dieting come January 1st. Or maybe you don’t call it a “diet.” Maybe it’s a cleanse or a lifestyle change. But no matter the name, you feel that holiday enjoyment comes with a price tag.

But what if in 2017 you decided to stop paying and set yourself free instead?

This is a love note and a plea rolled up into one, honey bun. A plea to stop this war on your body. To stop manipulating and controlling this beautiful home of yours.

What if you did not begin a diet on January 1st?

What if you did not create a goal of loosing X amount of pounds this year?

What if instead, you set yourself free from food rules?

What if instead, you learned to listen to your body?

What would that feel like?

Your body is not your project. It is your home. This means that you don’t have to eat or move in a way that is centered around control. You don’t have to loose two pounds, or 100 pounds, or anything in between. You do not have to run until you feel sick or live a life without ice cream. In the words of Mary Oliver, “You do not have to walk on your knees, for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”

You are whole exactly as you are in this very moment.

Let that sink in. Let it blow holes in any false beliefs.

Going on a diet will not make you any more complete.

The real work, the gorgeous work, is allowing your body to become home again. To treat her with love, and respect, and gratitude. To listen to her when she says she wants the cookie, the green smoothie, to go on a walk, or to cuddle on the couch. It’s to check in, in the softest of ways, the way a mother would check in on a child. With words like “Hey, love bug, I can hear that you’re really hungry. What would nourish you right now?”

In the beginning, this is hard work. And sometimes a diet feels safer. Yet with courage, we begin to listen to that voice. At first, it may just be a quiet whisper. But over time, our body’s wisdom becomes stronger, more knowing. And when we tune into this voice, when we trust it, we break free.

So my dear sparkly friend, perhaps 2017 is the year that you finally return home. You become comfortable in your own skin, no matter your weight or pant size. You find gratitude for your body and all that it allows you to do…hug, dance, kiss, hike, swim, laugh.

You have so much love to give and so many hearts to hold.

The way to really show up for our beautiful lives is to turn our attention away from the scale and stop dreaming about what life will be like when we loose ten pounds. Instead, we show up now, exactly as we are. Because life is happening NOW.  The truth is, no matter what we weigh, we will always be beautifully imperfect humans. I mean, how lucky is that? That we can be imperfect and yet completely whole? We can be love, and flaws, and wisdom, and loss all rolled up into one breathtaking package. We get to have stories and purpose and gratitude.

And let me tell you, a woman that embraces all of that, who knows that she is uniquely whole no matter her weight…well that’s the girl I want at my holiday party.

Let’s make 2017 the year we come home.

Lots of love,

-Amy

**********************

Lovely reader, if you read this letter and it struck a cord in you, if you’re ready to jump into this work and need some support, I am here.

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