Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | July 16, 2010

Thank Your Body Today

Written by: ViR

I have been asked recently “how do I work on my body image”? This question, especially in recovery, comes up often. Often, I have sat down and started to write on this topic and it sometimes seems so huge. This week I have come to some pretty amazing conclusions in my life and recovery. I saw myself in a glass window and instantly thought “I FEEL SEXY!!! DAMN I AM!!” This moment was simply mind blowing. I think even I, as a body image advocate, get swept up by the aesthetic nature of our bodies. I think I sometimes look at the mirror and think the image itself is part of body image. This one moment of feeling sexy, opened my eyes to how my body image has changed over the years.

Since I started Pilates, I have noticed how much my body can DO, how much it speaks to me, in a physical manner on a daily basis. It tells me when it is sore, and needs rest; when it is tight and needs a class; and when I am stressed and need to breathe. Pilates has simply changed my life, my coping, my breathing, and my body image. I have started to recognize how my muscles work, how they work together. I have had to really pay attention to which muscles I am using, and ask questions in the class about what areas I should be working. I am more in tune to my body than I have been since high school when I danced all the time.

I realized, at 30, I am WAY more comfortable in my own skin, than I was at 20. I may have thought I was the shit, that I was hot, and dressed sexy, and got attention, and was awesome. The difference between 20 and 30 is this – I looked for OUTSIDE approval of my beauty at 20. I relied on guys and girls attentions, words, actions, looks, comments and determined I was hot and beautiful and worthy because of what I looked like. To admit this is pretty interesting as a body image advocate and eating disorder recovery advocate. I struggled in my 20s with weight, control, looks, boyfriends, sex flings, drinking, numerous eating disorders, and simply had no idea who I was, what I wanted, and of course my body image struggled. I was simply relying on the WRONG thing with regards to my worth, sexiness, beauty, and ability to be liked by people. At 30, when I say I feel sexy, I mean that from the deepest part of ME! I feel this is coming from within me, I LOVE how I feel, I love the strength my body is gaining from pilates, I love how it walks focused on the core, I love how I am sore after a hard class. This, to me is what body image is about, feeling sexy in your own skin, from inside whom you are and not relying on outside approval to tell you are worth it. Having this shift from outside to inside approval has made me so grateful to have gone through what I have.

I want to recommend to you all to thank your body for what it DOES. When a negative criticism comes up with regards to the aesthetics of your body, immediately say “I am thankful for _____ because it allows me to do ______.” As many people who know me will say, I LOVE homework, and this is my homework for you. If you are medically stable and can exercise, dance, walk, swim, run, do yoga, pilates, take a moment after each activity to thank your body, break it down into parts if you must – thank your abs for their strength, your legs for their flexibility, your neck for holding your head up. It takes only a moment, but I promise after a while, with any negative thought, if you flip this around to focus on the physical nature of your body, it will become a habit to be grateful for what your body can do. Heck, if you sleep well or find your body able to relax while watching tv (this is actually very HARD for me to do), thank your body for that as well. Take a moment to write them down, say them out loud, and add them to your daily life!

Here are a few examples of some Body Image/Self Love Affirmations:

  • I keep in mind at all times that my opinion of myself is the only one that counts.
  • Today, I deny others the chance to make me feel badly about myself. I dismiss any negative remarks or looks that may be tossed my way.
  • Talk to yourself at the mirror. Focus on what you like and remind yourself that it’s okay to like and appreciate what you see, no matter what size you are.
  • When I look into the mirror I can see my inner beauty. I feel good about what I see.
  • I celebrate and cherish the body I am in, the wonder that it is, and all that it does for me — the infinite number of things that I could never begin to name them all.
  • I am proud of how strong my body is
  • I will follow my own journey in finding my own body love
  • I will be mindful of how I model and reflect my body image in front of others
  • I appreciate my body for all it can do
  • I will NOT allow a number on a scale to determine my inner worth
  • My body is my best friend, I will treat it with the same love I treat those I love
  • I will strive for fitness, not looks
  • I will not compare my body to others, I will look inside of myself for all the wonderfulness I exude
  • I accept my body type, size, shape
  • I will NOT allow the should monster, or inner critic have free rent in my head
  • I will focus on HEALTH, not weight, I will focus on caring and respecting my bodies needs
  • I will find a way to move my body that works for me, I do not need to do things others do, I can find my own path to health
  • I will make time for rest and restoration a priority. It is a time to recharge my inner batteries, and to release any tension I may be holding within my body.

Have you taken a moment to thank your body today???


  1. AWESOME post! I wonder who asked you how to work on body image this week?!? 😉 I remember training for my first half marathon…the one I trained for in a healthy manner. I was so grateful for the things my body allowed me to do. I thought of my legs as powerful and strong versus pointing out all the negative thoughts I had. I long to be able to focus on the truth and positive aspects of my body again. Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • Thank you Jenn – as you have mentioned you did give me the inspiration for writing this post! Keep thinking about your positives when your negatives come in 🙂

  2. AWESOME post. Seriously. So well written and articulate. Loved the body positive affirmations. You’re a total genius : )

    • Awe!!! Thank you!!! Hugs!

  3. I agree, your body affirmations are very good. I’m 2x your age and am very grateful for what my body does. Getting stronger thru yoga felt wonderful. A long handstand made my heart sing – which is why I need to get back into my regimen. I pulled a hamstring and had some family stuff and fell out of my routine. Gosh it’s difficult to get back into it. But I am. Thanks for another good post.

    • It is pretty amazing. I keep telling my mom to try yoga, because it will help connect her with her body & make her FEEL good too. Its really amazing how an exercise can make us appreciate our body

  4. Kendra, your posts are phenomenal! You’re always so eloquent. As I was reading your post, my head started to hurt from nodding so much. 🙂

    I can absolutely relate to looking to others for compliments and to determine my own worth! I’m also so much more confident now than I was in my teens and early 20s.

    And I love Pilates. I try to do Pilates three times a week, and I’ve learned to respect my body for what it can do. Pilates is a challenge, but a fun one, and one that connects me to my body. Plus, I always wanted to be a ballerina..hehe.. 🙂

    Your exercise also is awesome! It’s something simple we can all do that creates positive and lasting changes!

    Thank you for another fantastic post. Have a great weekend!

    • Thank you so much!!! I do pilates 3 times a week too. I started out at once, moved up slowly. This week I went three days in a row & going saturday too! I think it has helped with stress, body image, and feeling great. A HUGE win win!!! Isnt it amazing how much change we go through from our teens to our 30s. I never thought I had a bad body image, but never understood the source mattered. Thank you and have a nice weekend!

  5. Mh, in the 90’s I read a book that was all the rage among my female classmates at the time: “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls”, by Mary Pipher, PhD. It’s got a chapter on eating disorders, of course. And this was actually one of the central tenets of it: Teaching young girls to value their body for what it can do as opposed to what it looks like.
    I agree on principle, but so many things piss me off about my body BESIDES the image crap (my sheer lack of coordination, feet that could belong to someone 40 years older, my allergies, and so on and so forth) that it’s still a bit difficult to put into practice :/

  6. Absolutely love those body affirmations. Can’t wait to share.

  7. “I may have thought I was the shit, that I was hot, and dressed sexy, and got attention, and was awesome. The difference between 20 and 30 is this – I looked for OUTSIDE approval of my beauty at 20. ”

    Girl, can I relate to this. And how sad I was inside.

    Great post!

  8. Thank Your Body Today…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  9. That’s why I started that Exposed Movement. I was so sick and tired of women and men hating their bodies. our bodies do amazing things and as someone who is recovering from a disordered eating way of life…I am even more amazed at how amazing my body is for taking me through what I put it through. I am learning to love it’s shape more and more..and that’s what is so important!

  10. […] Voice in Recovery, Thank Your Body Today […]

  11. […] Thank Your Body Today at Voice in Recovery. What does your body help you do? […]

  12. […] Thank Your Body Today at Voice In Recovery […]

  13. This post is really helpful for me today. For so many years I have dealt with body image issues, more than I probably realize. Since developing Fibromyalgia when I was 30, it has been hard to like my body. Why does this part hurt? Isn’t it bad enough that I feel bad, why do I have to look “bad” now, too! Looking at exercise and healthy eating as a way to better health, not just a way to look good has become more of a reality to me recently than ever before.

    Thank you, these affirmations are very helpful to me as well. I can’t imagine that feeling sexy moment right now, but I do believe that I can get there!

  14. […] Thank Your Body Today at Voice in Recovery. Our bodies really are amazing. Recognize! […]

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