I've been getting a lot of questions about how to learn to love yourself and your body again. This marks the first in a series of posts on this topic. I hope they serve you.
I battled anorexia nervosa for 24 years. For most of those 24 years, I was in denial that I even had a problem. After all, at that time I had spend almost 15 years building a successful research practice in my academic career studying factors that influenced body image and disordered eating and exercise. I was the researcher, not the victim. At least that's what I told myself.
Then one day a good friend of mine confronted me about it. After a week of fighting back and forth with him, I finally realized he was right. It took a lot of courage for me to “come out of the closet,” so to speak, about my eating disorder. To admit that I studied body image and eating disorders because, at a subconscious level, I was trying to understand myself.
My research focus shifted as I began my healing journey. Instead of simply focusing on factors that made women and men at risk for developing an eating disorder, I turned my focus to prevention. I wanted to know what helped prevent disordered eating and what helped those who were currently suffering actually heal. So as I studied these factors in my research lab, I became my own guinea. As I would read about and conduct research studies on things that helped, I would try them on myself to see if it worked for me.
Early on in my studies I discovered something called self-love and I wondered how that could apply to my body. Could I use love toward my body to help me heal? And, if so, what would that look like? I came up with an idea. I wanted to write a love letter to my body. Little did I know how powerful and transformational this activity would end up being. It was very hard to do, but it became one of the most important pieces of the puzzle in my healing journey. In today's podcast, I walk you through how to do this and why it works. If you want a copy of my body love letter, you can get yours here. I hope it serves you.