The Thanksgiving Edition: How To Feel Thankful For Your Body

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. on November 22, 2010

Golda Poretsky, HHC

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I love Autumn, I love Thanksgiving foods, and I love the idea of remembering to be thankful for what I have.

Being thankful for what you have is really antithetical to so much of our normal experience.  We’re constantly being reminded of scarcity.  We get messages like — you can only eat x amount of calories and no more, you’re not pretty enough and so you need to buy these products, those Black Friday sales are ending soon and if you don’t go to the store at 4AM you’re missing out!

The message is — there isn’t enough, you’re not enough, and be very afraid!

Feeling grateful shifts this.  Feeling grateful puts you in touch with all that you do have, right now.  As a result, gratitude has an incredibly powerful effect.

When you feel negative about your body and how you look, you’re operating from a scarcity point of view.  It’s as if there’s only so much beauty in the world, and you didn’t get enough of your share.   You end up constantly trying to change your body (dieting, over-exercising, botox) to get a little more of this scarce resource, or else you feel like hiding so that no one sees your lack of attractiveness.

And that feeling of having a scarcity of beauty is also connected to an even deeper scarcity, a scarcity of self-love and self-approval.

So how can we shift this using the principles of gratitude?

It’s really very simple.  It’s as simple as creating a list of what you’re grateful for about your body.

And yet, creating this list can feel really challenging.  When you’re feeling negative about your body, connecting with your gratitude for its beauty (and even its amazing functionality) can be difficult.  So I’m going to start you off with a gratitude list that I share in my book, Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal:

1.  I am grateful for my gorgeous body.

2.  I am grateful for my strong legs.

3.  I am grateful for my long hair.

4.  I am grateful for my big, sturdy feet.

5.  I am grateful for my soft skin.

6.  I am grateful for the way the cut on my finger is healing.

7.  I am grateful my curvaceous hips.

8.  I am grateful for my kissable lips.

9.  I am grateful for my bodacious booty.

10. I am grateful for the way my heart pumps blood so beautifully.

As you can see, some of these items aren’t things you might normally be grateful for.  I wear size 11 shoes, for example, and it isn’t always easy to feel grateful for my “big, sturdy feet,” but at this point, I really do feel that.  I can look at my feet and feel love and gratitude.  I even feel it for my belly, for my carpal-tunnely hand, for my fine hair that is going grayer and grayer by the day (I color it, but maybe I won’t someday).

I didn’t get to this place of gratitude from continuing to brood over what I felt I was lacking.  Instead, I found it through acknowledging and appreciating what I had.  And I did that by creating lists like the one above.

So this Thanksgiving, be thankful for you, your body, your beauty.  Make a list of at least 10 (the more, the better) things that you love about your body.  As you write each one, feel the gratitude in your body, and see how it affects the way you feel about yourself.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to anyone celebrating it, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

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Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.

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