When you struggle with disordered eating or an eating disorder your body becomes the enemy, the thing that betrays you time and time again. It becomes a battleground for the war that is going on within and we often abuse it without second thought. As much as I understand, and even remember this myself, doing so not only keeps us disconnected from our body but also prevents us from fully recovering. As long as we view our body as the problem we will always work against it. So what we need to do instead is get you in touch with your body and understand, from it’s perspective, what it is going through and how it feels. I did this exercise with the members in my Emotional Eating Group and it proved to be one of the most helpful exercises we did. Each person found it got them to see things differently and allowed them to understand their body, what it is going through, and how to heal it from a completely different perspective than what they had.
So what I ask from you is that you give yourself some time, at least an hour, to sit down and do this exercise where you write a letter to your body and have your body respond. I have attached an example below. This exercise comes from the book Transforming Your Body by Marci Germaine Hutchinson.
Let me know what you discovered when you’re done. I would love to hear about your experience with it
You will be doing two things during this exercise:
- Write a letter to your body
- Let your body write a letter back to you.
Example: “ Dear Body,
I am sorry …you are ruled by a woman who lives in her emotions and head and who takes out her negativism on you. If I’m worried, stressed, overdoing it, I abuse you, overeat, smoke, don’t exercise, don’t floss, neglect myself. You are such a good body – healthy, strong, generally attractive….I don’t take care of you properly…you are my instrument for punishing myself. You serve me so well. I am really learning how much I love you, how important you are to me.
I make you unattractive, I inhibit you from being your best. I’m sorry. I really do love and appreciate you. I know I often wish you were different. Really what I am wishing is that I felt differently about the internal me, not the external you. I’m working on the internal me. Have faith in me that I will learn to love the inside me and quit abusing you…Part of me loves you very much. I’m working on the other part. Please bear with me.
Hi. I know you’re going through a rough time right now and I know it’s getting better. Really, you get better every year. I know it’s hard for you and you take it out on me. I’m strong, I can bear it. We’ll make it sweetie, really we will. We’ll be working more together all the time – we already are as you accept your adult female self, your competency, your sexuality, and your vulnerability. You know you hurt me. I don’t have to tell you that. But I see you trying and thats what counts. Keep working. We’ll pull together! You won’t be that silly, perfect ideal you had when you were 16 ut I know you know you don’t really want to be that. You want to be you, to like you, imperfections and all. Treat me well darlin – I’ll be my best for you. I’m really your best friend. Take care of us…all parts of us.
These letters clearly reflect the progress that Carla and her body are making in their relationship, the growing affection and the deepening understanding. They both show a willingness to move toward each other for their common good. Carla had no idea that her body felt so positively about her until she received this letter.
Open yourself to your own inner voice and let it help you.