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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731 thoughts on “Body Shape – How I Feel versus How I Look”
“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.
Powerful to look in the mirror, fully accept and appreciate ourselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How we feel is so much more powerful than how we look.
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 .
That is such a smart way to live, being aware these ‘acceptable pictures’ are there but not being ruled by them.
Our strength and stability come from within us, as does our beauty.
It’s so true Debra, feeling fabulous on the inside always strikes a fabulous look! –
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.
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.
It’s lovely to be focussed on what I feel and not what I look like.
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?
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
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.
Yes and is incredibly empowering as well. There is an ease that comes into the body when we choose to listen to it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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?
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.
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’.
“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.