Body Shape – How I Feel versus How I Look

Really loving my body shape and how I feel versus how I look is a recent new awareness for me. Lately I’ve been feeling so great and really enjoying feeling how my body feels whenever I walk or move, so much so it often makes me smile to myself, even in public!

Going back 10 years, my focus was never on how I felt but always on how I looked. Sure I would eat when hungry, or sleep when tired. Actually as I write that, I realise I didn’t eat when hungry –

  • I ate all the time to deal with how anxious I was feeling and used food to comfort me if I was feeling emotional, and didn’t want to deal with difficult or hurtful situations.
  • Sleep when tired? Actually I was exhausted, but would push myself to stay up late at nights and drive myself hard because I felt a stigma attached to being a single parent and wanted to prove to the world I could ‘do it all’. I wasn’t going to be on benefits and a drain on society: instead I was going to be a great mum, a hard worker, a sociable hostess and later when I got married, a house-proud wife!

Everything in my life was all about ticking the boxes. For years how I felt in my body did not rank high on my list of priorities.

Body Weight, Body Shape And The End of Yoyo Dieting

For many years I battled with my weight. My size would fluctuate wildly from one month to the next. I would balloon at Christmas and holidays because of over indulging in my favourite treats of chocolate, cakes, rich foods and alcohol. And I would feel horrid, but back then it didn’t matter that much, I didn’t like the way I looked most of the time and this was a constant source of misery. I would then starve myself or try out the latest new diet. Unfortunately I could never sustain them and often would be left feeling so hungry, I’d overeat ending up feeling much worse than when I started the diet. I was left to contend with the failure of not sticking to the diet plus the failure of letting myself down even more.

So what changed?

In 2005 I attended my first Universal Medicine workshop and learned a simple yet deeply profound technique – the gentle breath meditation.

This gave me an opportunity to really stop and feel how I was living my life.

And one of the very first things I looked at was food. One day I decided to experiment with cutting out gluten from my diet as I’d observed for a long time that whenever I ate bread, directly afterwards sleepiness would hit which became something I just put up with. Why wouldn’t I eat bread? What’s how I feel afterwards in my body got to do with anything? I want to eat whatever I want to eat, right?

Well I was curious and decided to cut out bread. Immediately I began to notice the difference. No longer did I feel sleepy in the afternoons, but instead had more energy and felt more alert. This was the start of me making how I felt in my body (over how I looked) the most important thing.

When I gave up gluten, I wasn’t intentionally thinking of doing it to loose weight, but more on how not eating foods with gluten made me feel in my body (great) and energy levels (increased). And without trying the weight just fell off me. My battle with food and yoyo dieting was over!

My body shape changed a lot over the last 10 years. Even though I was slimmer, at one point I wasn’t too keen on how I looked but yet could not deny just how great I felt in my body and also within myself. Some people would say to me “Oh you’re too thin”… and I would reply: “Well I feel great” – because I truly did!

Today I’ve truly embraced my new body shape, not because of how I think it should look, but because of how great it feels in my body. And when I look in the mirror now, I’m seeing through eyes that are more willing to accept the gorgeous woman I am, based on my own feeling, and no longer my own or anyone else’s expectations of how I ought to look. Because inside I FEEL great.

by Debra Douglas, UK

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754 thoughts on “Body Shape – How I Feel versus How I Look

  1. “What’s how I feel afterwards in my body got to do with anything?” An arrogance that may not consciously be spoken but it is acted out none the less for most people, including myself, however now much less than it used to be. My health and well-being has only increased since and as I give priority to what I feel in my body.

  2. All too often people focus on what’s on the outside rather than inside. I can relate to receiving comments about my body size. remarks like ‘Oh you’ve lost weight” or “you’re so thin” and yet the true marker of how I am is how I feel. And It’s beautiful to be in a body that’s light, energised and re-aligned to sacredness.

  3. Ignoring the loud and clear messages my body was communicating with me created much misery and sadness in my life. I couldn’t function properly and felt very much alone. I needed support but didn’t know who or what to turn to. It was in 2005 that I too met Serge Benhayon and this is when my life started to change. For the first time in my life I was being presented with a way of living that supported me to connect to my essence and to live from the wisdom from my body.

  4. The thing is, feeling from our body is so not done, who does that? Most would laugh at such a suggestion – so strong is the diminishing of the body in this world. Yet to feel what is going on in the body is gold, from with this feeling we can get some truth on what is going on for us and all around us.

  5. It has become apparent to me that how we feel about our bodies comes from the inside not the outside. I realised that from considering what I had done and how I had moved before making the decision about what I ate. The I was also more aware of how I felt after eating what I ate. Slowly the honesty kicked in and the foods that made me feel uncomfortable and actually had no nutritional value, slipped away.

  6. What I have discovered is that how I feel about my body effects how others see me. I have lost weight in recent years and initially had quite a lot of negative feelings about how I looked. I would feel my body and notice that it felt boney or I would catch sight of myself in the mirror and think that I looked too thin. And interestingly at that time a lot of people commented on how thin I was. But now I never ever think about my weight, I feel an incredible sense of fullness from within and when I look in the mirror I love what I see. No one ever comments on my weight anymore and there are no sideways glances either. When we walk our truth in a body that reflects truth then we appear full beyond measure despite what the scales say.

    1. Love this. If we have a sense of fullness within, this is what we emanate to others. Similar with ageing, the quality in which we carry ourselves expresses more about who we are, than numbers or wisdom lines.

      1. Our bodies are reading energy constantly, they are understanding life on an energetic level and they never reinterpret energy. Our eyes on the other hand are reinterpreting what they see and so are relaying false messages back to us. A woman’s true beauty and confidence don’t come from her looks and our bodies know that.

  7. If I go on how I look I will never match every single ‘acceptable picture’ that is out there which change like the wind. How I feel however tends to be more stable and supportive because if I don’t feel great I can feel why I don’t and how to change that. It’s an inside governed change specifically from and for me. Not a blanket diet or lifestyle from the outside .

  8. Agree with you Deborah the loveliness we feel inside our body emanates our beauty that goes far beyond a physical look. That beauty is vastness just like the universe.

  9. The distinction you make here Debra is so important, how do we feel in our bodies is more important than anything else and it stops and asks us to live connected to our bodies and to let go any images we may have for how we think we should look. And so we live and walk us.

  10. Universal Medicine and the Gentle Breath Meditation supported me to realise how much focus I placed on everything outside of me, including the way I looked. My reference point in life is now very much how I feel. If you look great but feel terrible inside what’s the point?

  11. Nothing beats feeling great on the inside, for then we know we are in true connection with all that we are….what ever our body size.

  12. This is amazing example that plays out in a lot of places – we have a picture about life, be it the way we look, the job we do, our family or relationships and we try and make life fit those pictures. But we don’t really stop to consider how we feel and if those pictures are really going to deliver us contentment

  13. It’s amazing how much we avoid feeling – even to the extent that we’ll happily talk about feeling this or that but all the time resisting where our body is at. Joining up and unifying our words and physical actions is a great project to embark upon.

    1. To truly feel where we are at is to surrender. We do not have to talk about how we are feeling or try to be anything else other than the letting go of the resistance or whatever is there that is getting in the way of the deepening within.

  14. When we start to prioritise how we feel in our body over how we look, things start to change and we feel so much better – more energy, more settled, more content. When we’re overriding what we know is true for us, it gets highlighted in so many ways but most of all through our bodies – a constant tension, anxiety or unsettlement. Our bodies, and how we feel, are our true barometer of how much we’re living what we know is true and works for us.

  15. Nothing beats the feeling you have inside yourself, inside your body when there’s a genuine self-love. To move, talk, walk, dress in that quality of self-love is what arises every woman’s beauty whatever her age, shape or size.

  16. It is important to be aware of what we eat, how we see about ourselves, and the way we hold our body affects how we feel and physically look. Our body loves it when we nurture and care for it and through self-care and self-love it will shine and sparkle.

  17. Listening to our body and honouring what is shares is a wise decision, ‘This was the start of me making how I felt in my body (over how I looked) the most important thing.’

  18. Yes it makes sense to eat in a way that does not make us feel affected in any way. It had become so normal to feel heavy or sleepy after a meal and especially on our festive days like Christmas or birthdays it is just so normal to feel bloated after. Yet why have we just made this so normal when we can eat in a way that is very tasty but also at the same time very supportive of our body?

  19. I notice that I can eat to comfort myself when I am not feeling good about myself equally I can eat poorly when i am feeling the next layer of expansion and am resisting or delaying going there.

  20. It is lovely that you are letting the ideals and pictures go and just enjoying how you feel,’ I’ve been feeling so great and really enjoying feeling how my body feels whenever I walk or move’.

  21. Through feeling and connecting with our innate beauty, through truly caring and loving our body, allows our inner beauty to form our outer form, that is suitable and supportive for our journey through life.

  22. “Today I’ve truly embraced my new body shape, not because of how I think it should look, but because of how great it feels in my body.” Our body is our best guide as to how we feel. Many people may say that some students of Universal Medicine look too thin, but in comparison with much of the population these days its no surprise. Obesity rates have soared in all Western countries. Slowly some in the medical community are catching onto how important lifestyle medicine is. Not surprising they are late to this information, as they have virtually no lectures on nutrition at medical school.

  23. We can only truly change when we change the energy by which we are impulsed in the first place, otherwise we can overeat or diet but never will feel great because the energy we are doing it from is one that always will make us feel less than we are.

  24. Living in connection to our essence is the truest guide for us to live who we are, through which we develop a loving relationship with our body, as such honor the truth it shares with us of the choices we make.

  25. It is amazing how easy it is to maintain your body shape when you stop eating gluten and dairy and breads as I find substitutes have the same effect on the body.

    1. It is true Vanessa. When we consistently live in connection to the solidity of our essence, and be guided by our truth, our bodies will reflect this quality without effort.

    2. I find it was through healing emotional hurts that supported me to be more self-loving and thorough this shift my diet also shifted.

  26. We focus so much on the outer body that we forget that the true beauty lies within. It took me a long time to accept this, as my self worth was low and like so many women I would compare myself to women that were taller, more beautiful more sexy ….all the attributes that I felt I didn’t have and couldn’t see, but all this did was allow my self esteem and self worth to plummet even further. Being introduced to the Gentle Breath Meditation was the beginning of changing how I felt about myself. Every time I did it I felt more connected to myself and with the deeper connection the negative thoughts would disappear and I would feel fuller in my body and I gradually started to enjoy being me. Like you now Debra when I look in the mirror I am more willing to accept all of me and not criticise myself as I did before.

  27. It is for us all to look at how it comes that we are used to take such a little care about our body in a true sense. So not for looking good as a focus but because we truly care for ourselves and our body.

  28. I feel really appreciative of the fact I have no body issues as I see so, so many women who pretty much loath how they look. When you think about it we aren’t treating God’s divine body with the love and sweetness it deserves…

  29. Our relationship with food as a comfort is really worth looking at. I gave up gluten and dairy many years ago now and the difference in my body and my energy levels is huge. I am finding that my diet naturally alters and refines as I do, and feeling a lightness in my body feels lovely.

    1. When we feel light we tend to eat light and when we feel heavy we tend to crave more dense and heavy foods, and also what we eat contributes to how we feel. Everything is linked and one choice affects the next, but how do we shift our choices to be lighter and more supportive? Through self-love and self-care, and letting go of our hurts. You may ask, what’s our hurts got to do with our diet? Well, we all know when we feel hurt and emotional the first thing we reach for is food, comfort eating is a huge addiction.

  30. When we feel amazing in the movements we make from our body, we then reflect our true beauty and this then is not only seen but also felt and confirmed which shows just how beautiful it is to move from how we feel and then reflect that outwardly so.

  31. “an opportunity to really stop and feel how I was living my life.” This is such a beautiful gift offered and presented by Universal Medicine and The Way of The Livingness.

  32. Thank you for exposing the cycle of yo-yo dieting etc that so many women spend most of their lives trapped in. It is so awesome that you have connected to how your body feels rather than how it looks and the benefits that flow from that appreciation.

  33. I have for most of my life been overweight and it was something that I had just resigned myself too. I am now back in a healthier weight range yet it still takes some adjusting to let go of a heaviness I carry towards my body and learning to enjoy how my body is today.

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