I Am My Body

A photo of a white woman from the neck down. She's wearing a pink dress, her arms are behind her back, and her ankles are crossed. The lighting is dark.

Every time I see one of these phrases, most often in memes, I cringe.

The offenders:

You are not your body.

Your body is just the keeper of your magic.

Eating Disorder Recovery

Before I write more, I want to acknowledge that phrases like this can be incredibly helpful for people recovering from eating disorders.

If this is you, keep using them! Keep showing up for yourself. Keep healing.

If these phrases help you stay well, please stop reading and have a lovely day.


Why “You Are Not Your Body” Makes Me Cringe

The phrase “you are not your body” is meant to remind us that our worth and value have nothing to do with our physical bodies. So true. We are inherently worthy.

But this phrase makes me cringe because I actually am my body. And my body is me.

Pretending otherwise reminds me of all the years I spent dissociating from my body, living from the neck up, pretending like my body didn’t exist whenever I could avoid it.

I lost touch with my body’s innate wisdom. Rather than look inward for answers, I often crowdsourced what I should do. And I ignored any signals my body sent to get my attention and tell me that sometimes those plans were the exact opposite of what I needed.

After spending so much energy to reclaim my connection with my body, I don’t ever want to make her feel like an unwelcome part of me.

She is the miraculous machine allowing me to experience life. She’s my home. She’s my lifelong companion, the one who will be with me until our very last moment.

Reframing “Your Body Is Just the Keeper of Your Magic”

My body is the keeper of my magic, but there’s no room for “just” in this sentence. “Just” implies her role is somehow diminished in comparison to my magic. But how sacred a vessel is my body to be the container that can hold my magic, my magic being all the wonderful effervescence and creativity and ingenuity and more that is an essential part of my makeup.

As my magic’s keeper, she is loyal and steadfast and trustworthy. I can show up as my full self, and she never says, “Tone it down, dear. You’re too much.”

She offers me a safe space to expand into my full potential, always assuring me that she’s on my side.

My body is the kind keeper, the courageous caretaker, the magnificent magician wielding my magic.

What About “You Are More Than Your Body”?

Am I more than my body? Of course, I am. I’m a complex creation.

But my body is an integral source of my complexity. Without her, I’d be a spirit who couldn’t fully experience all that this human life has to offer.

Her physical manifestation of “me” allows me to connect with nature, to inhale all that my senses encounter, to hold close the ones I love. She gives voice to my soul’s messages and embodies all the unique bits that make me who I am.

Because of my body, I get to be a human being.

My Body

No pithy phrase or meme will ever be able to fully describe my relationship with my body.

Our connection is a nuanced mosaic that continues to evolve. And now that I’ve rediscovered how powerful our relationship is, I want to celebrate my body as an integral part of my existence.

Photo Credit: Cass Bradley, Find My Fearless