One of the things that really surprised me when I began to focus on making better food choices was a word that you never hear in a diet book: Acceptance.

During a class lesson on acceptance, I was given a challenge: start referring to your body in the third person. Sounds weird, right? I didn’t understand how sounding like a diva could help me accept myself.

Without getting too deep… you are not your body. Your body is the package that carries the you around. Instead of calling it “me” or “my”, try referring to your body as “the body”, “these feet”, “this brain”, etc. I started saying things like, “Boy, the body is tired tonite, and these eyes are really aching.” It felt bizarre saying this out loud since it made me sound like a lunatic, but I did it and even more so – I totally committed to doing it in my head. So my inner voice went third person for a while.

It sounds crazy, but my perspective started to change. I stopped feeling self-conscious about my weight; in fact, I stopped feeling self-conscious about all the physical quirks that I notice. I accepted myself. I no longer identified my body as “me”, and began to accept that what my body safely held inside it was the real “me”… my Self, Soul, Chi, Spirit, Essence, whatever you want to call it. The little ball of energy that lives in my heart; the part of me that is the “me”.

So, where does that leave the body? Well, this body has a big job! It has to protect and carry around this “me” for as long as I live! And I would like to live for a long, long time. So I’d better start taking care of it, because if it goes I go… and I don’t wanna go. So I started paying attention to what I fed it, how much I let it sleep and relax, and I started exercising it. Trying to live healthy is like an insurance policy. There are no guarantees, but I’m hoping that smart choices now will bless me with a body that can do whatever I want it to, for a looooong time.

I’m not perfect, but I try. My inner voice still goes third person, whenever those feelings of insecurity come back. I try to remember that everyone else is so busy worrying about their own flaws, they’re not noticing mine. I give myself a little metta – lovingkindness – and accept this body for what it is and what it might become.