Jenni Prokopy is the amazing founder behind http://www.chronicbabe.com/ and the Chronic Babe Forum which is now 2000 members strong. She’s currently raising money on Kickstarter to publish Chronic Babe 101 a guidebook for women with illness.
She’s a true wellness Trail Blazer and in this Trail Blazers’ interview we talk about:
I had a realisation in yoga recently, while I was struggling into a pose my newly numbed limbs couldn’t quite reach:
I love my body.
It doesn’t have to work the right way for me to love it.
It doesn’t have to look a certain way.
I will love my body and take care of it.
I love myself, in fact. Always and always.
And I love you, wherever you are in your journey with your body too.
However, I have, sadly, spent many years acting like this wasn’t the case, and pushing my beautiful body to go further than she could. I’ve been angry at my perceived ‘failures’, and berated myself for my limits and struggles.
Take a look at my list below. What can you add to it? What would you like to do to love your body in this moment?
Ways to Love My Body:
- Listen to my body’s cues:
Drink water when I’m thirsty. Even though I’m tired and have to get up and reach some. Still, drink water. Make sure I have water on hand to make it easier.
Rest when I’m tired. Carry an eye mask and iPod for anywhere (safe), any time relaxation sessions.
Stay warm when it’s cold.
Trust in my body’s need to move. Move without needing that movement to always be flowing, easy and perfect. Know that flowing and ease comes as I release tension, stiffness, aches and pains through gentle loving movement.
- Be conscious of the media I consume. If something is promoting judgement of me and my beautiful healing body, click away.
- Seek out media and images that embrace all body types.
- Give myself what I need.Trust in my body to find it’s own balance. If I stop working for a day, I won’t suddenly morph into a sloth, and spend the rest of my existence lying in bed reading novels and eating bon bons. I don’t even like bon bons.
- Listen to my intuition around people and places. If something or someone doesn’t feel right, stop and leave. I don’t have to justify. I don’t have to have a logical reason. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. If I don’t feel safe or happy, then I can make changes until I do. If I don’t like something I can move and change it. I’m not a tree!
- Dress in a way that feels good. Take time to take care of myself, or spend that energy on what I really want to spend it on. Dress for me, for my body now, for my needs and environment. Proudly.
Loving my body and caring for it just as it is in this moment can sometimes feel like an act of resistance.
I love my body. I state this truly, and simply do not care about the opinion of anyone who says my body is not enough right now, who sees me as less than I am, and hides that opinion in the rhetoric of ‘motivating’ me to do more, be more, have more, try more, push more. I don’t believe I’ve asked for a rescuer. Thanks but no thanks, allow me to show you out.
To body love and compassionate action!
Let me know how you love your body in the comments.
When you need some comfort, if you are having a difficult day or you just want something lovely to occupy you – dig into this list and don’t forget to comment to share your favourite comfort books/films/actions.
1. The Harry Potter Series
Because what part of becoming a wizard, and overcoming evil with the help of your friends isn’t heart-warming?
2. Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
It’s the ultimate Cinderella story, and it is unmissable.
3. Cold Comfort Farm
Flora Poste “of every art and grace save that of earning her own living,” travels to the farm of her relatives, and finding it devoid of both common sense and comfort, sets about applying both.
4. Darling Buds of May
In Pop Larkin’s world, all is ‘perfick’ and the descriptions of the English countryside are paradise.
5. A Little Princess
I last read this when the mobile library brought it to me in Berkshire. It was a broiling day and I was stuck in the attic quarters. I was too sick to eat, but through this book I had imaginary feasts, magic circles and new dresses.
6. Pride and Prejudice
A familiar story to curl up with.
7. I Capture the Castle
This book has the most charmingly disarming narrator.
8. The Pursuit of Love
It’s one of my favourite favourites. Just dive in.
9. Eat, Pray, Love
Because your pain can become your journey.
10. 101 Poems to Keep You Sane
From Monday mornings to recalcitrant technology and fear of mortality. It’s essential.
If you’d like any of these books for yourself, check out my Comforting Books section in my Amazon shop here.