If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been writing about how to eat with pleasure and thrive at your natural weight.  As a life-long lover of good food, I can’t stand to see the way women tie themselves up in knots about what and how much they eat. I also can’t stand the way we often use food or alcohol as a coping mechanism, to ease the pain of life, so frequently, and indeed this is very much glamorized by our society.

And as I’ve been coaching and listening to you, what keeps arising again and again is that all of the restrictive efforts are designed to get you to some “ideal” appearance – which of course implies that there’s something so very wrong with you right now. And all of the numbing points to a disassociation with the body’s needs and a sense of giving up.

So while I am definitely going to continue to talk about mindful eating here, any ability to eat with pleasure and thrive at your natural weight must, if it is to last, include knowing and loving your body, as it is, right now.

Which is why I designed the Love Your Body Now challenge – which starts August 1.

There is a popular article that’s been floating around for a couple of years, How to Talk to Your Daughter about Her Body. While the author makes some good points, turns out I have some vehement disagreements with her as well.

The main point is to “not talk to her about it, except to teach her how it works”, not to mention her appearance, her weight changes, etc.  And, while I agree that we live in a culture that over-emphasizes appearance and gives very little regard to the functionality, skill, power, agility, and gateway to the outside world that the body is, to ignore appearance is downright ridiculous. It is how most of the world meets us.

And so how much better to learn and teach the beauty of our own unique bodies, the appreciation of the crook in the nose, or the ample belly, or the widows peak, the narrow hips, or the powerful legs. To wear our bodies without shame and with full on confidence so they absolutely reflect and convey the glory within.

The author of that article criticizes those sorts of comments because we only seem to know how to talk about bodies in comparison to some abstract ideal (which has changed so much through history – take a look!)  But what if instead we learned how to notice and praise the specifics, just like you do when praising a child’s work.  Look at your child, and yourself, as if you were taking in a piece of art. (Imagine for a moment, as I tried to and —ewww! – if all women had the exact same shape)

Even though I’m not a parent, I like giving an example like this, because we so want to do right by children more than we are often willing to do right by ourselves…so it’s a good way to see how it might be done.

In the yogic quest for “wholeness”, we learn that all parts must be integrated, brought into the light, accepted and even ADORED, if we are to ever be free. So to pretend a part of you doesn’t matter is just that…pretending.

If this seems far-fetched, know that if you currently feel bad about your body or some part of it, it is possible to feel less bad, then perhaps neutral, then perhaps good. It’s a process, but it can happen.

It’s a process, but you get to be the one who decides how you look.

If you want to get a glimpse of what is possible then please join me and a group of fabulous women for our challenge next week.

Real Women. Real Bodies. Real Love.

*I am so grateful to the real women in the picture above, women I know, love, and am inspired by, for contributing their images in support of this challenge. They live their lives on purpose and have a sane approach to nourishing body, mind, and spirit.  I can’t imagine them being “better” if they looked one bit closer to some random ideal than they do now. You can read about their awesome work and appreciate their beauty here.

May your days be truly delicious and satisfying!

Hi! I’m Laura Jarrait and I work with women who adore good food but feel like it’s running or ruining their lives. They don’t want to diet or quit socializing around food but are tired of feeling less than their best and guilty, obsessive, or confused about what they eat. I help them keep the pleasure and drop the stressful thinking and extra weight, so they feel confident, light and free — all without ending their love affair with food!

I would be thrilled to help you do the same! Get my free Beautiful You guide that teaches YOU how to eat with pleasure and thrive at your natural weight or learn more about how I can support you in your eating, body love, and weight-loss goals.