Body Awareness

by Kay Sheppard, LMHC

The first thing people know about us is how we look. For food addicts, our bodies are often our only reality. Instead of accepting ourselves as three dimensional — body, mind and spirit — somewhere in our addiction we begin to believe that how we look is all we are.

Some of us try to make our outsides perfect, hoping that no one will see past the perfection to the emptiness inside. Some of us, realizing that perfection is unattainable, give up the charade completely and try to convince ourselves that our bodies have no relationship to who we are at all. We think that if we can insulate ourselves behind enough layers of fat, no one can get close enough to hurt us.

No matter which way our disease manifests itself outwardly, the results are the same for all of us: no amount of food or other substance will fill that void inside. No amount of starving or purging will rid us of self hate.

God made us in his image. He gave us free will to choose the path we want to follow. He made each us differently. Different shapes, different sizes, different intellects, different wants and needs. He gives each of us different gifts and talents, with the power to develop those gifts and talents through his love and grace. Our bodies are God’s temple here on earth. We cannot get closer to God until we are willing to treat our bodies with the acceptance, love and gentleness that he intended. Our security, our sense of self-worth, and our usefulness to God and to our fellows comes not from how we look to the world, but from where our hearts are in relation to God.

Prayer for Acceptance of My Body

Dear God:

Help me to love my body. I have been given one and only one unique body. Help me to love all of my parts — my hands, my thighs, my buttocks, my breasts, my nose, my feet. Help me to accept that you created me, therefore, you know better than I what size, what shape, what height I am supposed to be. Show me the way give up competition within myself and with others. Help me replace strenuous exercise and inactivity with nurturing movement. Help me listen to and respond to my body’s needs as they change on a daily basis. Help me nurture my body with food that helps me get in touch with the spirit within, and let go of those substances that block my spirit. Lead me to an appreciation of the many changes my physical being undergoes as the years pass and I grow older. Help me to honor and accept the changes which manifest physically rather than fighting them. Bless my body, fill it with your light and use it for your purposes today.

My Body Affirmation

My body is a good place to live. I am glad that I have chosen this particular body because it is right for me. It is the right size and shape and color. It serves me well. My body is a miracle. I choose the healing thoughts that create and maintain my healthy body and make me feel good. I love and appreciate my body.