Unconditionally Loved: My Body My Choice

Let me say this upfront My Body My Choice campaign is  loving and accepting the bodies we and others live.

You wonder why? Here is a little story.

I remember the first time I shaved my legs. It felt like I finally “belonged” to the class of normal girls. So excited I wanted everyone to notice,touch and feel how smooth it felt. But a few days on i noticed it began growing much more. After repeatedly subjecting myself to constant shaving, I began feeling uncomfortable. The process of trying to belong was taking its toll on me and I felt like I was struggling to be something I would never be.

That was the first time I realised my body was different from those of my classmates. Those who had smooth legs, slim thighs that didn’t seem to would cover the entire chair when sitting.

I spent most of my life struggling with my legs and body weight until I reached my late twenties.  After an unpleasant encounter with mr X i  had to choose to unconditionally accept my body, all of it.  It was a huge accomplishment for me to be able to open up and write an open letter to all Bodyshamers.

I am by no means saying I have arrived at a place of total bliss. I still have my struggles to deal with daily. But not loving certain parts of my body no longer stops me from embracing my body as a whole. I am proud of where I am now in regards to my mental health and my confidence.

“Loving my body is understanding that it’s okay when it inevitably changes, that I want to nourish it to the best of my ability, and that I acknowledge that everything about my body is my business and it is my choice to unconditionally accept the way it is.”

I hope to bring many women to feel that way, too. To bring about change to the culture and practice in support of those affected by negative body image. I hope to live in a world that celebrates lives,well-being and diversity.

However, loving my body doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of it. It doesn’t mean I won’t exercise , eat healthy, rest, nurture my body if need be. Body positivity is all about acknowledging that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. That everybody is beautiful and we shouldn’t bully those that are outside of the “beauty standard”.

We cannot  shame each other for being “fat,” neither should we shame each other for wanting to lose weight or for being thin. Let’s allow each woman to find her own inner and outer beauty, and to determine these things for herself.

If i love my body and it is a higher weight than the “norm”, that’s fine. If someone else is below the “norm”, that’s fine too. By the way there shouldn’t even be a norm or standard. If I choose to lose weight, whether my reasons are to help an injury, or to feel physically better, or because medically it is advisable that should be fine too.

Ultimately, what we choose to do with our bodies shouldn’t be a standard that determines what others do with their bodies.

All we require, is acceptance and respect because we deserve it as fellow humans. Our bodies are sacred vessels that carry treasures untold.

We all have a right to Be who and unconditionally live in love and acceptance irrespective of our body type, size, shape or colour.

All I ask is respect my body and my choices, just as I respect yours.

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9 thoughts on “Unconditionally Loved: My Body My Choice

  1. Unless we accept our bodies with unconditional love and look after it, we can’t expect others to respect our choices or us, Leila.

    Sadly fashion dictates what is perceived as a perfect shape, which strangely changes from decade to decade.

    For example, Marilyn Monroe who is still idolized by many had a full body figure which would be considered overweight by today’s standards. Then we had Twiggy and other models who frankly speaking looked anorexic but they were the standard of the day.

    One of the saddest coaching sessions I had was during an intervention to prevent a young woman from dropping out of her M.Tech program (her father hired me to inspire and mentor her to complete the last 6 months of her degree).

    When I asked her what she really wanted to achieve, instead of talking about careers or dreams, her instant response was the desire to be Size Zero like a famous Indian Actress of that time who has since campaigned against being Size Zero.

    This was a beautiful young woman with a perfectly healthy figure and yet……

    1. My goodness this is so sad Vatsala. Fashion has set norms that unfortunately is destroying the health and wellness of many.

  2. Thanks for sharing Leila and such an important topic to address if we want to enjoy pure well-being, on our own terms. In my work with bodies, I hear so many of their stories and one major one is a feeling of confusion as to what makes them unlovable, when they are doing their best for us, all the time, behind the scenes.

  3. Thank you for focusing your energies on the important topics of body image and self-love. Your natural gift to nurture and help others is evident with the words you write. You have a powerful message to share – #writeon!

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