Good News for Recovery + Life (September 2016) YES, You Really Can Re-Learn Body Love I wasn't born hating my body. In fact, I wasn't born having a

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Good News for Recovery + Life (September 2016)


YES, You Really Can Re-Learn Body Love


Earlier this summer, we went to the beach. I found the shell on the right and my boyfriend found the shell on the left. We both thought they were equally beautiful even though they look so different. I imagine one day, this will also be how I see bodies - mine and everyone's.

I wasn't born hating my body.

In fact, I wasn't born having any particular opinion about my body one way or the other.

Unless something hurt or I got sick, I actually tended not to think about my body at all.

My body worked when I needed it to, and that was all that mattered.

This happy partnership lasted up until the time I hit puberty.

All of a sudden, I discovered there was this whole other body world out there, full of opinions and feedback and measurements and shape and size.

It was all quite a shock, to be honest.

I remember really struggling to wrap my mind around the idea that someone (specifically, my best friend since kindergarten) might not want to hang out with me anymore because of my body shape and size.

To me, my body was just a body. To her, my body was something she called "fat," which apparently was also something a body shouldn't be if you wanted to have friends.

But I just hadn't ever thought of my body as a size. If my clothes fit, great. If they didn't, I went to my mom, mentioned this, and requested new clothes.

So my initial pain at my best friend's rejection wasn't because I was offended on my body's behalf. My initial pain was because I didn't yet get what the issue was. I just couldn't believe "fat" or "not fat" could be a reason for choosing your friends.

Today, I look back at that time with awe and wonder.

To realize there was actually a time I didn't understand what the word "fat" even meant....

To know that at one point, my eyes didn't see size when they looked at other bodies or my own....

To recall the bliss of thinking a body was just a body, nothing less and nothing more....

To feel safe inside my own body, totally oblivious that there might be any reason not to....

This is how I know it is possible to re-learn body love.

I know it is possible because I was born knowing how to love my body. I was born into loving and respecting and accepting my body.

Somewhere along the way I forgot how to do this. But if I knew how to do it once, I can remember how to do it again.

Partnering with my body came so naturally to me in my early years. I didn't even have to think about it. I didn't question my body's shape, size or appearance. I assumed that my body was the shape and size and appearance it was supposed to be, since that was how I looked.

What a beautiful state!

What an amazing way to live!

And I know I can get back there, because I've been there before. I once knew that place - that state - so well. Once upon a time, it was the place I called "home."

In fact, I can feel it within me - the inner GPS that continually fights against the myths and misconceptions that there might be anything - anything at all - wrong with my body being exactly the way that it is.

Like a homing beacon, it continually attempts to redirect my thoughts, my steps and my efforts towards body acceptance, body respect, body love.

This inner GPS-mentor of mine continually reassures me that it truly IS possible to re-learn body love, self-love, and love for all that is - exactly the way that it is.

And if it is possible for me, it is possible for YOU.

With great respect and love,



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About Me & My Sidekicks, Pearl & Malti

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Me. Pearl.

Hi! It is so good to meet you here each month!

To learn more about my recovery story, I invite you to read "Beating Ana: how to outsmart your eating disorder and take your life back." In this book I share all the things I did to recover.

While writing "Beating Ana," I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community.

My newest book, "Love & Feathers: what a palm-sized parrot has taught me about life, love, and healthy self-esteem," is co-authored with my parrot, Pearl. The book focuses on the power of animal mentors in our lives.

Malti is my baby red-foot tortoise - she is a born adventurer and a bonafide foodie and an awesome addition to our little interspecies flock.

==> To connect with me:

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©2016 Shannon Cutts

The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else. -E.E. Cummings

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