My relationship with my body has always been pretty rough. Like many women, I’ve always felt that the emphasis is on what my body looks like. And I’ve personally never felt that mine looked “right”. I assure you that this was the case when I was a size 18, a size 0, and everything in between — clearly, how I feel about my body has more to do with my head than what size or shape my body actually is.

So over the years, I’ve shifted my focus — away from what my body looks like to what it can do. I stopped trying to build a body that looked a certain way — which is a constantly moving target — and instead created a body that was just really fucking strong. And this, my friends, has been life-changing.

Every time I see my body in action, our relationship is healed that much more. For all the years I hated my body, for all the times I said nasty things about it, for all the attempts to beat it into submission, for all the ways I tore it apart — in these moments, I find redemption. My days of torturing, punishing, or abusing my body in order to turn it into some ridiculous “ideal” are over. My body isn’t something I need to overcome.

Now when I feel the old familiar tug of criticism for how my body looks, I think of everything it’s capable of. I think of what a miracle it is. I think of its incredible strength and its remarkable ability to endure. I think of its capacity to heal and evolve. I think of everything its been through and how, in spite of it all, it still impresses me every single day.

I am truly grateful for this body — for its intelligence, its resilience, and the freedom it gives me to live such a full and adventurous life. Everything I do is to celebrate it — not because I feel obligated to fit a certain mold but because I owe it to my body to keep it strong, fully functional, and healthy AF.

4 Responses

  1. Alison, I love the piece you’ve written on “your body image and healing issues”! You write brilliantly with tremendous heart, sensitivity, insight, reflection, and experience! So may I just add that you also have an equally amazing brain that provides you with the mental abilities to do such high level thinking, planning, analyzing, motivating, writing, and teaching! You have everything you need to be happy and successful in life!
    All of us have suffered from feelings of inadequacy or self doubt at some time or another. But you have obviously figured out who you really are and how amazing you really are! I can validate what an amazing athlete, teacher, and communicator you are! Keep up the great work. You are amazing in all ways! Oh and by the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken your classes over a two year period. And I have personally seen your smile and personality light up any room you enter! Jerry Eisner

  2. This is the way we should all think. We should aim to be strong and healthy rather than aim for perfect look media is creating for us. I am glad you understood it and you are sharing your story with other people. I hope it will be inspirational to many.

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