This year I will love my body

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Every year, before New Year's Eve, I take the time to write down the learnings of the year that draws to an end and write my expectations for the year to come. I list all the things I dream about, the places I want to see, the projects I want to manifest, the hobbies I want to pursue or reconnect with, the personal development goals I hope to fulfill in the next 12 months. And as I write my list, each year, I religiously reread the pages of the year before. It is a special time for me. A time that helps me tune in better with myself and with my intuition. It's a moment that creates continuity and also a great way to look back and reflect. I strongly believe that one can only grow in acknowledging the hardships and sad times, in honouring the achievements and being thankful for the blessings. 2017 had its lot of hardships and anxiety, of ill spirited and toxic situations, but it was also the year of great true friendships and of unconditional love. I moved country twice, my older brother got married, and so did some of my precious childhood friends. I travelled the world for work and with friends, met incredible new people, was financially blessed to be able to start making a home, and above all - found, some would argue fell back in love. Slowly but steadily I started trusting and letting go of my fears and leant in this great, life changing, restoring love story. Again. And here we are learning from each other, laughing our hearts out everyday, pursuing the dreams that life gave us. I have learned more about honest and honouring love, about compassion, about patience, about commitment this year, than ever before. I can only now honestly say, that I do understand the meaning of love. How it can revive, how it can sustain, how it is about giving more so than taking. So, as I drew my expectations for this year, one clear thing jumped to me. This love, this passionate, kind-hearted, devoted love I was blessed with; I had never given it to my own self. Especially not to my body.

Battling in and out with eating disorder since the age of 12, being a dancer and a general perfectionist minded person - I have only but hated, disregarded at best and punished at worst my body. I have a pretty intimate relationship with negative thoughts. The way I see myself, and especially my body, is always in the realm of: not good enough. Could be better. Has to be better. I wouldn't dream to view, let alone love another person this way, through such an abusive, demanding lens. So this year, I want to love my body, to listen to it and cherish it, in the same way I am loved and in the same way I love the most special person in my life. With kindness and forgiveness and amazement. Yes I will work out most days because it is the fuel my mind needs, yes I will eat restrictively because my digestive system needs so, but I will do so from a place of love. I will start honouring and respecting the body I was given. I will thank it for going the distance. I will nourish it with encouragements. I will let go of the harshness and replace it with care. I will tell it that what I have to do, the restrictions I need to have aren't a punishment but short-term well needed rest to be restored for good. The same way I would look after a loved one, I will listen to my body with compassion and be attentive to its needs. In 2018, I will manifest gentleness.

So if you too, this year you have decided that your body needed a change. Please ask yourself why. Does it need changes for health reasons or because you don't love it as it is. If the latest resonates with you, I can only but encourage you to pursue changes from a gentle place of loving. This is the only way you will maintain these changes. Because you will have real purpose. This is the only way to go about things. With grace and gentleness. Exercising, losing weight, healthy eating are fantastic things to aspire to, but remember do so from a place of gifting yourself instead of blaming.

I would love to hear from you. If you too have come to similar realisations, if you too are struggling, please reach out! Together we are #929girls.

Evodie F.