Some Thoughts on Trusting My Body

By Katie, 5:09 am

I remember when I first learned that trusting my body was the key to breaking free from an obsession with food and dieting. “Well, that’s the end of that,” I thought. “Because I just don’t, won’t, can’t do that.”

Fortunately I didn’t actually give up that quickly.

I recently heard someone define trust as a belief that we are loved. That connection between trust and love really struck a chord with me, as it made sense for several areas of my life:

  • I am able to trust my significant other when I  believe that he genuinely cares about me (which is different from believing that he will never hurt me – which isn’t realistic and also isn’t real trust).
  • I am able to put my faith and trust in God when I begin to grasp the notion that God is all about love – it’s what God has, it’s what God does, it’s who God is.
  • I am able to fall backwards in that trust game when I am confident the person catching me loves me enough to ensure I don’t end up with any broken bones. ;-)

 (Source)

How, then, can this conception of trust – this belief that we are loved – be applied to our relationship with our bodies? For me, it boils down to this: I am able to trust my body when I believe it won’t betray me. And I believe my body won’t betray me when I reach the understanding that the way my body naturally looks and feels is the way it’s supposed to be.

Reaching a place of trusting my body first requires that I regard it with an attitude of love and kindness. You can’t trust something that you hate.

It’s also useful to remember that trust isn’t a one-way street; no, trust needs to be mutual. So if I want to trust my body, I first have to pave the way for my body to be able to trust me…trust me not to starve it, or stuff it, or over-exercise it, or under-exercise it, or just beat it up in general.

Trust is a belief that I am loved. Trusting my body is a belief that when I show my body genuine love and care, it will show me those things right back.

What does “trusting your body” mean to you? Do you ever find it difficult or challenging to do?

17 Responses to “Some Thoughts on Trusting My Body”

  1. I particularly love the line:

    You can’t trust something you hate.

    To me, it means trusting my gut when it comes to making my choices and I can only do that when I have compassion. When the negative talk takes over, so does the trust in my body so being aware that the two go hand in hand is essential for me.

    • Katie says:

      I completely agree. I can only trust my body – really, I can only HEAR what it’s telling me in the first place – when I have compassion for it.

  2. Kelly says:

    You can’t trust something you hate…perfectly put. I think in order to trust my body I have to first love it. Unfortunately for me that is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do.

    • Sarah says:

      Same here. It’s so difficult to stop hating something that appears to cause so many of your problems!

  3. Emily says:

    Honestly, the idea of “trusting my body” has never occurred to me until now. I just starting reading “Intuitive Eating” and am stunned to realize the lack of trust I have for my body and, consequently, myself. I never had any idea how much of an emotional toll that takes until now.

    As the others said, “you can’t trust something you hate” is very well put and it really put “hate” in perspective for me when I think about my body. It’s such a strong word so when I allow myself to feel the weight of it, what it means to really hate yourself, it’s devastating.

    So a ‘lightbulb’ moment happened there, you could say. :) But thanks Katie – I look forward to reading your blog and have gained much inspiration from your words and those of others.

    • Katie says:

      I’m so glad you stopped by today, Emily, and that this notion of trusting your body and yourself struck a chord with you. I’ve been in your shoes, feeling that “lightbulb” moment where I realize I want my relationship with my body to be a better one. I hope you find my blog helpful – there’s really a great community here of people who can relate! :)

  4. McKella says:

    This post is beautiful! The idea, the writing, everything. For me, trusting my body means making friends with it, spending time and effort on it and doing my best to make sure it’s happy, just like I would with a friend. It doesn’t mean we never fight.

    • Katie says:

      LOVE the metaphor of our bodies as friends. Such a great way to think about it!

  5. sui says:

    A big part of my healing journey was definitely learning to trust myself, AND trust my body– and my body’s hungers. To me, trusting my body means listening to it, trusting that it knows what’s best for me to nourish it– food, rest, sunshine, love, movement. :)

  6. I have nothing more to add…your post summed up everything I believe! :-)

  7. Sometimes I feel like God has really let me down. So it’s hard to trust Him, much less trust my body.

    • Katie says:

      I know many of us can relate to that feeling. Though I truly believe that God loves you and me more than we can even fathom, it’s sometimes difficult to really feel that.

  8. peacebeme says:

    Love this post Katie. My fiance often says, “Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.” I have spent a lot of time pondering that. I think it means that if you give your body what it needs, truly listen to it (most important), and love it, it will return the favor and give you health and a sense of well-being that comes from that. Believing my body is doing what it is supposed to do and being the way it is supposed to be.

  9. I feel that I need to be able to trust my body’s signs and messages to be able to take care of it. But instead of doing whatever, I also have to take care of it so it can take care of itself.

  10. Ohhhh. Love this concept! I know I started trusting my body more when I stopped hating on it so much.

  11. Melody says:

    “Trust is a belief that I am loved.”

    Wow. Just… wow. It’s hard to trust, then, if we don’t feel worthy of love. That gives me a LOT to think about, or to re-think from a new perspective.

    • Katie says:

      I had a similar “wow” moment the first time I heard that phrase, and I’m having another one reading your comment! I think you’re right that trust is dependent on us knowing we’re worthy of love in the first place. So to trust others, we first need to love ourselves. My wheels are turning…

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