From Seeking the ‘Perfect Body Shape’ to Finding My Body Perfectly Beautiful as it is…

By Susan Lee, Norfolk.

I have always had an ambivalent relationship with my body – I compared it and judged it against what I felt was the ideal shape and size as presented by the media, celebrities and the world around me. Even as a young girl I felt this dissatisfaction and was aware that my body was pear shaped and I was always wishing that my legs would miraculously change – and this was an underlying preoccupation that was always running just beneath the surface. I was deeply dissatisfied with myself and I am now realising that it was very painful to reject my own body in this way. At the time I had no idea how important my relationship with my body could be – or that in fact I could have an intimate and meaningful relationship with my body. I also felt that if I had ‘the perfect body shape’ then life and my relationships would likewise be ‘perfect’.

Later in my life I began to lose weight and change shape – my ‘pear’ was disappearing and I was delighted! I found it easier to buy clothes and felt more attractive and sexy. My diet had changed too as I was beginning to look at how I lived life and the effect that food had on my body and the way my body metabolised what I was eating. Looking back on this stage of my life it was more about control, so that I could look a certain way, than really feeling into what would support my body. I listened to the advice of others and did not trust myself to know what would support me to change the deep dissatisfaction I had about myself.

The consequence of not listening to my body.

The consequence of not truly listening to my own body was that I lost weight to the point that I felt that I did not like looking at my body; my clothes were just hanging off me and I would comment to myself when I saw myself in a mirror that if I didn’t know better, I would think I was anorexic. I was still eating quite regularly but I realised that the way I was living was not supporting my body. I held my body in constant tension and anxiety and so was burning off the calories at a higher rate than my intake. My metabolism was all over the place – and I felt powerless.

My past relationship with my body and food.

When I look back on the first three or so years of my life, I can feel the connection to this awesome child that embraced life and had a sense of wonder and love that was joy-full and vivacious – and yet could not quite understand what was going on, as the world around me was not confirming this. I became disillusioned and then gradually I found myself succumbing to all the ideals and beliefs that our current world and systems feed us, and gradually ‘my sense of self’ was undermined and it was at this point that I gave up and abandoned myself to food.

I was offered food by way of consolation for the lack of love that I knew was a natural way of life. Love was not openly expressed in my family and I recall as a child giving a member of my family a hug and it being shrugged off and I was told that ‘an ounce of work was worth a pound of pity’. I found this very confusing and painful.

As a family we were brought up to believe that you ‘live to eat’ and it became an element of family life that drew us together and was a common bond. It took on an importance that put everything out of perspective – and was also used as a reward at the end of a long hard day, or offered as a solace when you had emotional pains and hurts. At the time I had no conscious idea that I was using food as a comfort to dull down my senses and ignore everything that was taking place around me. It became a focus for me and took over from any true connection with what life was truly all about.

I began to realise that there was something fundamentally unhealthy about my relationship with food when I was about to undergo a procedure where I had to fast for 24 hours and realised how much of my day was taken up with all-consuming thoughts about food. This certainly felt very unhealthy.

Something else that felt true for me and was apparent as I grew up was that food is used to numb, dull, stimulate and distract us instead of having a true relationship with it – it can be a big diversion that allows us to become lost in a sentimental and rather emotional journey that is nothing but a diversion away from feeling what is truly taking place.

There is nothing wrong with food when we keep its importance in perspective – we need food to sustain us in our human life – but it does not feel healthy or rational when it becomes the whole meaning of our life.

I became very aware that my relationship with food was not healthy and not supporting me to evolve. I was also aware that when people discussed eating disorders I was relating to many of their behaviours and habits, such as secrecy and obsessive thoughts.

Seeking true support.

When I began to address my weight loss and my relationship with food, I went to see the doctor and a dietician. At the same time, I had great support from Esoteric Practitioners who supported me to change both my perception of myself and food. This is still an ongoing process as I am forever learning, expanding and developing.

Life continues to challenge and to change as I gradually open up to loving my body more – I have always had an aversion to my legs and the other day I looked at them and felt how beautiful they were, no longer wishing to change them but appreciating them for the way they support me – this feels quite awesome to have changed what seemed like a very ingrained dislike of my body.

It has been a long journey to learn to support my body to become more healthy and alive – and to find a way of living that is slowly but surely bringing more joy and fun. It also feels like a way of living that is more than just about my body – it’s about beginning to live a life that is more encompassing of all and aware of all the little details that add up and support us to live life more in harmony with and acceptance of ourselves, life and the world around us.

We each need to find our own unique and unfolding way where we begin to love ourselves and life and become more fully engaged and empowered, as it is certainly awesome when we begin to realise how truly precious and amazing we all are within beneath the surface, no matter what shape we are. Rather than seeking the ‘perfect body shape’ (which is a complete illusion) I now accept my body shape as perfectly beautiful just the way it is!

 

Read more:

  1. Universal Medicine helped me heal Bulimia. 
  2. Eating patterns and comfort eating. 

 

 

 

 

604 thoughts on “From Seeking the ‘Perfect Body Shape’ to Finding My Body Perfectly Beautiful as it is…

  1. We can spend our days trying to fix ourselves and live with anxiousness, or simply connect to the part of us that isn’t broke, our essence and multi-dimensional selves.

  2. That constant daily rejection of our bodies, as well as thoughts of ‘I just need to x and then I’ll feel x’ or if only x were different, then I could fully embrace life, or whatever we want to be doing, take their toll and wear us down. When we let go of control and perfection, and needing things to be certain ways for us, we feel lighter, fuller, and much more connected and committed to loving ourselves and others.

  3. When we hold a part of our body as less or not up to scratch we are rejecting a part of ourselves… no wonder we then have illness and disease like eating disorders and excessive exercise and plastic surgery. There is a disconnect and therefore when we do not realise our body is a vehicle of expression for our soul to express through, then we can do just about anything to it.

  4. The more I deepen my relationship with my body and how I take care of myself, the more I naturally want to support it without judging or criticising but with more patience and appreciation, catching myself when I get distracted or how I relate to food in a way that does not support me 100%.

  5. When we can come to the understanding that we are all unique in body shape and what may be acceptable for one person’s body may not be suitable for ours, we will be able to let go of the striving for the perfect body shape. It’s our uniqueness that makes us who we are and that is to be embraced not cast aside in the quest for perfection, an ideal that simply does not exist.

    1. The problem is we’re all obsessed with the physical not multi-dimensional and this leads into a cul-de-sac.

  6. I can feel how we reduce ourselves when we live to and with images, instead of allowing the whole of us to feel and know what is true, and participate and commit to what is.

  7. There is always very subtle message being delivered from our body. It knows what it needs always, in the moment. Whether that is rest, exercise, a specific food, how much to eat, the time to eat, there is so much that our body divinely knows, if we are just willing to feel it.

  8. If we are living according to a picture, or an image, life cannot help but be one endless disappointment. To reconnect and to start to feel who we truly are gives us the opportunity to reconfigure, to be, to live in harmony with ourselves.

  9. How beautiful to come to a level of acceptance of your body after experiencing all the issues you have described. Our environment when we are growing up has such an impact on how we live and what we perceive as ‘normal’. Finding our way out of this and finding our own true way is sometimes not easy, but is worth every moment of exploration and openness to change.

    1. Yes Rebecca it definitely is ‘worth every moment of exploration and openness to change’. It has been a long process and one where I have not always wanted to see what was evidently clear once I began to become more self loving in my relationship with myself.

  10. ” Rather than seeking the ‘perfect body shape’ (which is a complete illusion) I now accept my body shape as perfectly beautiful just the way it is’ How beautiful Susan.

  11. Food is a tricky one – on the one hand, we want to eat healthily and to nurture our bodies, and yet, on the other hand, we feel compelled to eat things that are not good for us or the shape or health of our bodies.

  12. Accepting oursleves from the inside out, from our true qualities within, is the way to go. It allows us to see what doesn’t belong to us, the self criticism in how our bodies are, the comparison with others, and let it go and appreciate our qualities and the body we have.

  13. It’s so exhausting disliking and berating our bodies for not fitting into our picture of what perfect would look like. Whereas there is so much freedom in appreciating what we have and seeing that there is nothing wrong with the way we look.

    1. Perfection is such a huge detour whereas appreciation can build a deep inner acceptance and confirms our relationship with God. Judging ourselves so harshly has been our downfall from feeling the grace and beauty that is our natural way of being at one with the world.

  14. “I began to realise that there was something fundamentally unhealthy about my relationship with food when I was about to undergo a procedure where I had to fast for 24 hours and realised how much of my day was taken up with all-consuming thoughts about food.” This is a great example Susan of how we get so stuck in our ways of just going through the motions of eating meals at certain times, because it’s what we’ve been conditioned to do, rather than stopping to feel whether it’s what our bodies are really asking for at that time. If we do have to fast, for whatever reason, whether it is medically related or otherwise, it is interesting to observe when we get cravings to eat something and to note what foods we are going for, as this can lead to a deeper understanding of why the cravings are there in the first place.

  15. What I appreciate more and more is how my body is returning to its own natural shape as I care for and listen to its constant loving and at times loud communication.

  16. I find it interesting that we seek the ‘perfect body shape’ because what are we basing that on, an ideal, a belief or a picture, if we have desires to look a certain way than we have lost our connection to ourselves because we are beautiful from the inside out.

  17. Food has been far removed from its purpose, to nourish the body so we can live and do what we’ve come here to do. Food is used to please, to numb, to distract, to console and the list goes on, ad infinitum. And the global health statistics attest to this.

  18. Dieting or die-eating, especially when all foods taste sensational, so do we eat to live or eat to die? Could it be if we listen to our body we can eat to serve humanity? Then if we are distracted, which means we listen to those thoughts that get us to eat what ever foods taste great and we know they will dull our awareness so “when we begin to realise how truly precious and amazing” we are we eat to be lesser than this greatness. As you have shared Susan that ”having a true relationship with” our body and food changes the energy we buy, eat, drink and eliminate in. And “It also feels like a way of living that is more than just about my body.”

  19. I find that the judgement of my body and my behaviours like my diet is very comfortable. It’s easy to do and provides a great distraction from the deeper questions of what don’t I want to be aware of?

  20. This idea that “if I had ‘the perfect body shape’ then life and my relationships would likewise be ‘perfect’.” is promulgated almost everywhere you look – magazine covers, mannequins in shop front windows, barbie dolls, models on runways, adverts, etc. As women we don’t stand a chance! Until, that is, we move away from the ideals and beliefs that society at large has filled our eyes and heads with and start to recognise that it doesn’t have to be this way. The sharing of your path to returning to the beautiful woman that you are is super inspiring, Susan Lee!

  21. We can give our bodies such a hard time, comparing them to others, abusing them, fighting them, all to try and fit into an idea we have of how our body should be rather than accepting it as it is in all its beauty.

  22. It is interesting how we bring in control to change the way we eat, exercise and our body shape, when all the time our bodies know their natural shape and what is supportive and nourishing. That is if we listen rather than override what we have felt to be true.

  23. We start off in this world not interested in our body shape or size and just love expressing through our bodies. Then as we grow up most of us aren’t supported to honour and cherish ourselves and love our bodies just as they are so we then look at and compare ourselves with others, and get a picture in our heads of how we need to look to be accepted or for recognition and so the path of lack of self worth and having to prove, begins.

  24. Seeking the perfect body is a bit of a trick I think, what amazing parts of life, what amazing lessons and what are we missing in ourselves when we are searching for something else rather than cherishing what’s already there?

  25. Taking on the ideals of society on what our body should look like is one of the first ways that we reject ourselves. As little kids, we couldn’t care less what we look like, as we know how lovely we feel. This all changes as we start to be aware of societal values around body image and how we measure up or not.

    1. I agree Fiona, I can remember being completely amazed by how cool my body was, looking down at my legs when I would run and how they would carry me with such strength and I enjoyed the suppleness of my movements and the freedom…. yet I can see when and how this changes when we are told that in some way we are not moving right, our body is not developing, growing or looking like it ‘should’ do on a ‘normal’ scale.

  26. It’s interesting that when we don’t listen to our body the consequences are that our body speaks louder through symptoms and illness, but when we do listen our body it can respond very quickly to the changes we make.

    1. Yes Ruth. It can be literally remarkable how quickly our body responds in a positive way when we make changes in our lives that deeply support us.

    2. I agree Ruth as we learn greater respect for our body and build a rhythm that is mutually more harmonious we let go of the fight and there is consequently less tension.

  27. Being present in my body has changed how I see and feel about my body. I am more in my skin and loving my reflection in the mirror for the first time since I was a little girl. I used bulimia for years to control my body in all it’s expression and also demanded it to be perfect in every way. It’s amazing how many people including myself who when they started to love, honour and respect themselves their bodies changed size and shape naturally.

  28. My version of a perfect body [male and female] was distorted by all the beliefs I got from my parents, my peers, books and magazines.
    I understand all this and still after 66 years I find myself judging myself and others because of how our bodies look.
    It is a way of seeing that totally prevents you from seeing the amazingness we all are.
    Thank you Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for supporting me to untangle all these beliefs.

    1. We have been so set up to judge ourselves and our bodies harshly with a myriad of ideals and beliefs – and we are blessed to have a reflection of such a beautiful and uncompromising man – where would we be without Serge Benhayon and his commitment to life and humanity?

  29. I’ve found that there is a lot that happens before I even get to the point of consuming the food. A top tip I received is that whenever something happens that distresses us, don’t get caught in the drama or struggle. Step out of the situation and look 10 steps back to see what happened. From there it is clear where to go next.

    1. This is a very wise tool to use Michael… one I forget when I’m knee deep in the drama but every time without fail it’s super clear what took me out when I take those steps back.

  30. I find that living in my head engenders anxiousness and nervous tension and I agree that living like this leads our body to become wasted. In such a way of living we lose connection with our bodies and we lose appreciation of them, seeing them merely as something to carry our head around. Learning to connect to our hearts and live from there shows us that there is another way to live and our bodies start to thank us back for taking care of it by healing itself of many conditions.

  31. A beautiful in depth sharing Susan, A wonderful informative blog that opens our eyes to the truth that we have the perfect body for us and the most nurturing thing for us to do is appreciate and love it and the rest will follow!

  32. It is no wonder that if we live on a daily basis not happy with the shape or the size of the body we live in, that our body will suffer the consequences in one way or another. It is like we are separated from who we truly are and so living, working, walking and breathing in a way that is not true to our natural way of being. Once we come to a place where we are able to love our body just the way it is, it is not just our body that will begin to respond to this love, but our life in general.

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