Your BODY: Love it forums

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Feb 17, 2004
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Examine this question:

What will you miss out on if you fail to love your body and treat it as it truly deserves to be treated? What has it cost you so far?

Hutchinson, Marcia, 200 Ways to Love the Body You Have. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1999.

Here are various readers' answers to the above question. Pretty eye-opening, eh?

<TABLE cellPadding=3 width="88%" border=2><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%">I will miss out on the integration I could have. The joy of a body and a mind in unity with each other. The cost so far has been confusion, self-disgust and fear.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Companionship.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">what has it cost me? the freedom to fail. bcuz of my size (which is truly not over-large) i have put off that belly dancing, oil painting, swimming, jewelry class for years! so what if i'm not van gogh or martha graham, my level of perfectionism should have nothing to do with my body size. what will they think of the fat girl who screws up--it's bcuz she's fat, right? wrong. fear of failure has kept me from attempting and achieving something positive for myself.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">If I don't love my body and treat it well I will continue to be stuck in feeling that I am not good enough at this size. Smaller is better by other standards and I want that affirmation. If I took care of myself I could give that affirmation to myself instead of seeking it though others. To give that up is to replay on old messages of "you're being selfish", and "you are not good enough to wear pretty clothes"," people will be disgusted watching you eat non-diet food because your so big." "Where is your diet coke? you aren't allowed eggnog!"

When I attempted at tuning into my body and soul needs as they related to food it felt foreign and I could hear some voice saying this is just one of those "new age" health kicks. The cost has been owning and acknowledging my own needs (as they also relate beyond food and body image).

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">if you neglect to love yourself, you begin to push those you love away from you. You lose many womanly gifts such as the ability to give birth and you become unattractive because you lack the most beautiful feature, your love for yourself.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I think so far I've missed out on the pride and wholeness that comes when a person's self-consciousness is minimized. I will definitely miss out on a fulfilling sex life if every 4th thought is to how I look.

And ultimately, if I focus on my body in lieu of other people and the joys that each day *could* hold, I think I'll be missing out on life.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">The costs of hating my body for as long as I can remember (I'm 31 now) are immeasurable. I suspect they've impacted every area of my life. Who knows how much time I've wasted on self-hatred? Dwelling on my mistakes is depressing, I can only try to change now.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I have already missed out on what could have been a lot of wonderful sexual experiences with my partner because I hold my body to blame for past traumas. If I continue to fail to love my body, I will continue to not get to enjoy what can be a wonderful, spiritual, energizing, uplifting, fulfilling, communing experience. Every time.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Do not ever, ever say you are fat and you want to look like the models of the TV they are just too skinny. I'm doing a project for my 10th grader world lit class it is a media project. The women on TV are just sick looking. I can not really talk about this stuff because people think im sick because im only 5'0, 15 and I only weigh 100 lbs but do not ever let these women or me get to you. SNAP OUT OF IT THERE FAKE ALL OVER IT TAKES HARD WORK TO KEEP LIKE THOSE MODELS. SNAP OUT THERE FAKE.



back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">If i fail to love my body as it truly is, i will miss out on unconditional love from the one person who knows me completely. so far this has cost me more than i can calculate in terms of my level of self esteem. Confidence in my self would have empowered me to make decisions about my life that i have failed to make who knows where i would have been now.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">i miss out on activities that i want to do because i isolate or because i don't have the energy to participate. i miss out on things because my body is not healthy enough to tolerate it. it has cost me pain, troubles in relationships and a healthy heart.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I miss out on the opportunity to smile and open my eyes to the things around me. Sometimes I only see me and my body... there is so much more in life.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Seeing myself the way those who admire me see me.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I have made myself ill in the past by failing to take enough breaks at work and failing to drink enough water, which has caused me to get cystitis and headaches on many occasions.

This has caused me pain and misery for many days afterwards. It is part of working in an environment where everyone is very busy and there is a strong work ethic.

I have started to tell my colleagues about these problems, and I am trying to be more assertive and announcing that I'm going to take a break for a few minutes and then doing so, whenever I need to.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I just turned 50 this year, with it brought a whole new set of problems on my acceptance of my body. I have gone back to college for a nursing degree( no small feat) and have raised 3 children, with varying degree's of success. Yet none of this matters when I get stuck on how my body SHOULD look. Never mind it has brought me much pleasure and wonder over my life time. I do have to say as I grow older I have come to at least understand how ludicrous this obsession for perfection has become. Maybe in my next 50 years I will accomplish this distorted body image problem...

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I've missed out on my entire senior year of high school because I was too weak and malnourished to do anything but workout (which I made my priority). It has also cost me amazing levels of sanity, as extreme as wanting to die because I couldn't stay ahead of the fat. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone besides me.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I have missed out on spontaneity, on truly having fun in social situations because of focusing on myself and my looks, real or imagined. I have missed out on enjoying even the food I eat, because of guilt and haste. I have missed out on allowing myself to be loved wholly, because I am forever judging, forever critical of my own body and my own self.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I am six foot one, 260 pounds, and im 13. not only am i proud but i would not want to be anything better. I would miss out on being different and that is exactly what i wanna be. I love my body, and no madder how long it takes the world to realize i beautiful, is how ever long ill wait. LOVE YOUR BODY! CAUSE IT LOVES U BACK!

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">All chance I had of making real friends in highschool or having any real companionship at all.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I will miss out on really being CONNECTED to an important part of me. I will miss out on the chance to treat myself as I always try to treat others--with love and respect. My inability thus far to do this in my life has robbed me of the peace and acceptance 30 years of dieting has not, and will not ever bring me....

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I could miss out on a million things...the opportunity to love and be loved, going swimming on a hot day, true enjoyment of everyday life, mental and physical health, the pleasures of eating well, having good sex, and getting sweaty during a game of one-on-one basketball. So far, failing to love my body has cost me numerous swims, walks, shopping adventures, nights out on the town dancing, and various degrees of everything I listed above. Thank goodness I still have time to learn and live.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I am so ashamed of my body that I don't go outside unless I have to. I'm petrified that I'm going to teach this unhealthy behavior to my children.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I have already missed out on seeing myself the way others see me. My friends and family see already that there is so much more to me than the extra weight around my middle or the jiggle of my ample thighs.

They see my intelligence, my warmth, my good heart and soul. But I have spent the better part of my time trying to get to that life I envisioned the girl in my "other" body has. The truth is, I doubt she loves herself much either. I am only understanding now the importance and benefit of loving all of me in all ways. I hope this trend continues....

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">If I fail to love my body, I will miss out on the joy of loving myself, and feeling loved by others. For so long, I've missed out on what could have been great relationships b/c of my issues with my size. As I've grown older, I've learned to accept and love myself

the way I am. I've also learned to treat my body as a temple, b/c it's the only on I'll ever have. I hope all women, young and older, learn this as well.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">confidence, strong relationships, time, energy, relaxing, letting my guard down around other people, skinny dipping in spring, playing rugby, a great relationship with the body i have, i will miss enjoying the world through all my senses, i will miss living fully, miss appreciating my uniqueness, miss a love of myself, which can only mean a love of others, i will miss accepting myself, accepting others, miss the miracle of feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting, dancing, kissing, it cost me happiness, confidence, friendships, relationships, time, energy, when i love my body, i give others permission to do the same, i would miss out on enjoying one ice cream cone on a hot day, miss out on the joy of getting naked, of admiring what makes my body mine, of playing soccer, i would miss out on the joy of FEELING and BENG instead of passively appearing

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I am 65 have fought the weight battle since a young girl and in the Reflection above you pay a heavy cost for "when I lose weight I'll [fill in the blank]. I still can't walk into a restaurant and not take the first available seat. I hate being in public I know the ridicule and and discrimination and it hasn't changed in all these years. Maybe if something like this site were available in some fashion when I was in my 20's, 30's it might have made me like myself. I don't and probably never will. I was singing the praise of this site to a co-worker today and she made the statement I have heard over and over all my life-"They always have an excuse for being fat". We all know that is not so. Even a valid excuse is not believed. I don't use them anymore. I ignore the rudeness or answer in kind which I don't think helps the acceptance. I don't think I was ever treated with respect at any of the times I regained my weight and this is terrible. We are all worthy of respect a!

nd acceptance before we destroy our relationship with ourselves. How many times have we heard "if you don't love yourself, how can you love someone else?" I don't think it's that we don't love others we hold back for fear of rejection some form and never live out our lives like "normal" people. To all you younger people you are great and if others don't bother to get to know you, not your size, then you don't need them. Things are better for you-use the resources available and practice loving yourself even if it's a lie in the beginning.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">A peaceful mind

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I will miss out on self-confidence. When I am exercising and eating decent, I feel better and that often translates to looking better. Its an image I give out.....people can tell how you feel about yourself by the look on your face and the way you carry your body. It doesnt matter how much I weigh but if I am treating my body well, it will show.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">You really miss out on life in general. You spend all your time futurizing about "when I'm the perfect weight this is what my life will be like." It's a very false conception and a true life waster.

I personally have found that when I achieved the so called perfect weight (which incidently I never truly thought was perfect) I was so miserable getting there and still miserable with the shape of particular body parts, that I was still unhappy. I am heavier than ever now and happy than ever because I have made great strides in self-acceptance and surrounded myself with people who will accept me the way I am and I have put a stop to the body police - including the toughest cop - my own critical/perfectionistic thinking.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Loving yourself is the most important thing. It doesn't matter what other people think as long as you love yourself. People who comment on other peoples weight all the time are insecure about their own body so they say things about other people to make themselves feel better. Love yourself and your body. And respect yourself. Have the self-respect you deserve. You deserve so much. Don't let what other people think get in the way of how you feel about yourself. Next time someone pressures you to do something that goes against your values or you don't want to do, be strong and say no. That's respecting yourself. That's loving yourself. That's accepting yourself.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">i would miss out on spending that time & energy on truly important things, like education, family, and true love. i would also miss out on loving myself. this has already happened ~ i'm 28, and since puberty i have waged an endless war on my body (i could be described as short and curvy, at 5'2"/125 lbs with a small waist and "hourglass" figure). i have had anorexia twice, once in my teens and again in my early 20's ~ trying desperately to conform to the straight-figured "waif" look, which i was never meant to have. i am still in the process of getting better and getting my life back. three years ago i was diagnosed with malnutrition at 108 lbs. even with bones protruding, i felt fat, because i'm short and my bones are rounder instead of angular. even though i am at a healthy weight now for my build (according to my doctor), i still feel threatened by the images in the media of very thin, taller women with toothpick limbs and no curves. i know i can love myself the way i am, and part of me does, but i still struggle and i'm still in therapy. i have a good relationship with a man who loves me the way i am now and he doesnt want me to be anorexic again, although the temptation is great and i know just how to do it. but when i see pictures of how sickly and awful i looked then, and listen to the compliments i hear now from people who havent seen me since i was anorexic, it makes me never want to starve myself like that again. and in reality, i feel sexier now than ever! and at 28 i look younger, healthier and happier than i did at 22. i still exercise for my health, but i am much kinder to my body now. and i dont feel so bad if i occasionally eat something thats high in fat. my new love of myself is growing, and i have a wonderful guy who says "sticks" make him sick. we dont have to conform to the media. really. i am living proof ;-)

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">What will I miss out on if I fail to love my body? True peace with who I am. I am not separate from my body, so I cannot continue living day to day telling myself I'm fat, undesirable, and worthless without it affecting all of me. I have very little positive self-esteem, which has resulted in little confidence in myself and insecurities in social relationships. So far my extreme self-consciousness has cost me many social opportunities throughout the years. I used to love to swim, now I'm too ashamed of how I look to wear a swim suit. I used to like to exercise, now I'm too concerned with the thin, beautiful people staring at me. Regardless of whether I'm ever able to get thin, I need to find a way to love myself just as I am. I want to feel at peace with myself.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I'm 41 and I have spent the last 35 years of my life obsessed with my weight. "If only I was thin, then I'd be happy, then life will begin, then I will be worthy of someones love, . . .", on & on my list will go. I have blamed my size for everything! Even to the point that when I did loose a 100 pounds on different occasions, I STILL was not happy, I STILL was a fat person on the inside, I STILL was not "good enough". So I have missed out on MY LIFE! It has cost me 35 years! And still costs me EVERY DAY! How do I let go? I know I have to, but how???


back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">Not loving my body has forced me into a life long cycle of weight loss and weight gain, so much so that I am never content with my size. If I am close to my goal weight then I become obsessed with becoming "perfect" and how being "perfect" will change my life. And if I am over my ideal weight, then I become obsessed with how disappointed I am that I am so far from being "perfect". But the most astonishing realization for me is when I look back on pictures of myself at various stages in my life, I am always aware of how good I looked "back then"...even though at the time the picture was taken I thought I was hideous. Not loving my body has been a circle of self-hatred, regret and hopelessness, which has overshadowed my ability to fully enjoy my life.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I will miss out on the freedom to have plain old fun. I look back, when years ago I was so self conscience about my body-and I looked great. I could have taken off my shorts and worn a bathing suit in swim classes. I could have worn a skirt with out pantyhose, I could have had more fun building sandcastles with my daughters. But I held back, because I hated my body so much.

I missed out on a lot of fun, with my friends, husband and my children while they were toddlers.

I punished myself, I lost out on a lot of happiness, I only hurt myself because of my insecurities.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">If you fail to love yourself just as you are it will cost you...just what it has cost me, 60 years of trying to live up to what society "thinks" I should look like. Years of up and down the scale, years of measuring my self worth on how I look in the mirror. Failed loves, and relationships, insecurity and non existent self confidence. Now at almost 65, I am accepting me. I don't weigh every morning of my life, I have that dessert if I feel in the mood, I eat healthy, I am looking forward to retirement and my many hobbies, and I am finally learning that I really don't have to worry what others think about how I look or eat. Freedom is what I call it. Gramma D.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I'm a gwm, 33yo. I have lost years off my life (from age 18 to now) in my

career, my love life, and my peace of mind and sanity.

I have hurt my body, giving it kidney stones, gall stones and god knows what else. I also picked up smoking for 10 years (been quit 9 months as of

10/13/01) because I wanted to be cool, and I couldn't lose any more weight unless I didn't eat, at all.

If I don't love my body, I will not have the peace of mind that comes from

self-acceptance, will not be able to live in the present, and will not be able to have a productive life. THAT is what it costs you.

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">let's see what has it cost me so far. I rarely go out in public. I cause my

husband grief every time I try to fit into something that just wont fit. I

cringe a the thought of the thin person I use to be and avoid any contact with those who knew me then. I even avoid family. It has cost me moments I'll never be able to retrieve, parties, weddings, christenings even funerals. I'm so ashamed that as I read this i feel like somehow i should be punished. I don't know how I am suppose to treat this body because I feel like it doesn't belong to me. My body has become the step-child of a reluctant stepmother. hg

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">I miss out on a lot because I hate my body. First of all, I don't enjoy sex as

much as I could because I always think that my boyfriend hates my body as much as I do. This is not true, in fact he tells and shows me that he loves it. Apart from that I don't have as much fun as I could have. Before going out to work, a party or seeing a friend or I can become completely miserable because I think everybody will think: My God, she's fat! Even when I know that most of these people don't care about my weight.

My work and studies also suffer from my ideas about my body, because I spent a lot of time and energy on negative thoughts that wear me out.

To be honest, I know that I am not fat. My BMI is somewhere between 18 and 19, so medically I'm underweight. Sometimes I can be rational about it and see myself, the way I really am. Unfortunately I will turn to hating my body in times of stress. I would love to be able to be this rational all the time, or even love my body sometimes. Judith

back to top</TD></TR><TR><TD width="100%">You will never feel happiness in any aspect of life if you don't feel happy with yourself! Take it from someone who knows. I'm only 15, yet have spent the last two years miserable, due to the torturous struggle i'm fighting with myself. Nothing is more humiliating than being walked in on making yourself vomit by your boyfriend. That was the start of a new battle, but i had people to help me then. Get help. Tell people. You will succeed...Life's there for the taking, spend everyday loving, not loathing!



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