Hi friends! I’m back from Mexico, rested and well-fed.
(Extremely well-fed. Thank you, chefs of Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende! Many of the places I visited, like Cicatriz Cafe, Contramar and Inside Cafe, are headed by women. It makes a difference to me, and I think one can tell.)
Anyway, I had my birthday while I was there. I don’t usually make a big gesture or do a Grand Plan or anything, but this year, inspired by the women I observed around me, and the friend I was visiting, Megan Dietz, author of the indispensable Be Less Crazy About Your Body (you can get this for f r ee), I decided to give myself the gift of a year without body hatred.
Maybe that sounds impossible to you. I think it’s a challenge, but it’s also simple. I just meant - and I really pledged this to myself - that every time I had an impulse to say something unkind about my body, in whole or in part, instead I would not. If I had nothing nice to say, I would say nothing at all.
And even every time I had an unkind thought about my body, I would clock it and stop it. Acknowledge, snap it in two, and throw it on the bonfire of shitty thoughts, to be burnt up and the heat distributed anywhere there are beings who feel a little chilly.
I do that in the traditional Buddhist way I was taught: by labeling the thoughts. If you want to do this yourself, you can label those thoughts as “thinking.” You know, as a reminder that “thinking” and reality are different. A thought that your thighs are [some kind of way] is - CRUCIALLY - NOT THE SAME as actually having [censored] thighs.
Sidebar: One snowy day I was walking through the woods and realized that almost all of my thinking falls into half a dozen categories. (This is known in the literature as an “insight.” Insights are just so different from one’s repetitive thinking.) A big category of thinking for me is what I'm calling “hate speech.” Thinking not-nice things. Important sub-categories: Hate speech, Othering and Hate Speech, Self.
So when I have the thought “My thighs are [censored],” I notice it, and I say, either out loud because that’s what crones do, or more often internally, because I live among humans that will mock me about one little things for years <- my children, I say: Hate speech, Self. Aka I SEE YOU, crappy thought! I am not getting on your crappy train.
You may feel like body hate speech is happening without you noticing it. Well, that's in the past! I just messed that up for you right good. If you haven't noticed body hate speech happening before, you will now.
And that’s enough to raise your consciousness and start undoing the self-hatred, which after all is just a habit, and thus can be changed.
Important! There is NO ARGUMENT against undoing self-hatred. Just NONE. Self-hatred doesn’t make you smarter, nicer, thinner, richer, less racist or more socially aware.
So that’s my project for the year. No more free rein to body-based self-hatred. As the kids have begun saying, I shan’t. Do you want to join me? We will HAVE A MUCH NICER YEAR TOGETHER.
Stop bingeing and overeating. Immediately.
Download your free cheat sheet now.