Mama ain’t got time for that summary: Try calling your body a she (he/they) instead of an it. It’s a lot harder to be terrible to another she (he/they).
Have you ever had “a day” with your body? Unfortunately, I can recall many many days where I haven’t felt great about myself. I battled several years of disordered eating in college so I wasn’t nice for quite some time. Slowly over the last decade I have loosened the reigns and started to treat myself with grace. But I still have my moments.
Postpartum always seems to leave me with some insecurities about my body. I guess it makes sense. What a delicate time, you know? I’m wearing mesh underwear, my nipples are raw, my stomach is still stretched and popped like a baby is inside of it. Postpartum is a dichotomy. On one hand, I am amazed. In awe, that my body has created and birthed a human. On the other hand, I have a hard time recognizing myself. I don’t fit into my “normal” clothes, but I also don’t have a baby belly anymore. I’m frustrated, lost, in between. All that to say, postpartum is often a time where negative thoughts about my body can creep in.
It was during postpartum with Nellie these last several months that I listened to the book, Fierce Free and Full of Fire, by Jen Hatmaker (included in my running list of personal development books for women). And in that book Jen shares a tool that Dr. Hillary McBride, author of the book, Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves As We Are (I haven’t read it, but it’s now on my Audible Wishlist) shared. Dr. Hillary McBride says to call your body she. (If you use a different pronoun, go with that, but I use she.) If you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize that your default is to call your body an “it”, an object.
Call your body a she.
It’s powerful to call your body a she instead of an it because it’s a lot harder to be harsh with a she. A friend. A sister. A teammate. Instead of treating your body like an object that you use. Calling your body she makes you and your body partners in crime. Best friends. Attached. Forever and and ever.
She (my body) carried and birthed two beautiful baby girls.
She tells me when I am tired and reminds me to rest.
She climbed the jagged edges of Angel’s Landing.
She walked down the aisle to marry Jeff.
She took me all over the United States, across Europe, and throughout Thailand.
She trained day after day to play college volleyball.
She is pretty amazing. She deserves my compassion like any other friend of mine. I don’t hesitate to love my people and will not hesitate to love her. After reading that book, when feel myself being critical, frustrated, or just simply meh. I repeat my words back using she and my heart aches that I was that hard on her. This simple mindset shift has changed my relationship with her (see what I did there) for the better. Give it a try!