In service of supporting all those who are doing their best to love themselves unconditionally, I offer the wise words of Rosie Molinary, author of The Body Warrior Pledge (taken from her book Beautiful You, Seal Press Berkley CA, 2010):
The Body Warrior Pledge
Because I understand that my love and respect for my body are metaphors of my love and respect for myself and soul, I pledge:
- To stop berating my body and to begin celebrating the vessel that I have been given. I will remember the amazing things my body has given me: the ability to experience the world with a breadth of senses, the ability to perceive and express love, the ability to comfort and soothe, and the ability to fight, provide, and care for humanity.
- To understand that my body is an opportunity, not a scapegoat.
- To be the primary source of my confidence. I will not rely on others to define my worth.
- To let envy dissipate and allow admiration to be a source of compassion by offering compliments to others.
- To gently but firmly stand up for myself when someone says something harmful.
- To change the inner monologue in my head to one that sees possibility not problems, potential not shortcomings, blessings not imperfections.
- To give my body the things it needs to do its work well: plenty of water, ample movement, stretches, rest, and good nutrition, and to limit or eliminate the things that do not nurture my body.
- To see exercise as a way to improve my internal health and strength instead of a way to fight or control my body.
- To understand that my weight is not good or bad. It is just a number, and I am only good.
- To love my body and my self today. I do not have to weigh ten pounds less, have longer hair, or have my degree in my hand to have worth. I have worth just as I am, and I embrace that power.
- To recognize my body’s strengths.
- To no longer put off the things that I wish to experience because I am waiting to do them in a different body.
- To understand that a body, just like a personality, is like a fingerprint: a wonderful embodiment of my uniqueness.
What You Can Do: Pick up a copy of the book Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary (Seal Press, Berkley CA, 2010). It has body warrior inspiration for every day of the year.
What You Can Do Today: Place this pledge somewhere where you can see it and read it often. It’s bound to do your body and spirit good.
Stephanie Haines, M.Ed., CHES, is the prevention education specialist at Walden Center for Education and Research. Her role is to provide prevention education to school communities including students, teachers and administrators regarding eating disorders, body image and related topics.
Before joining Walden, Stephanie was a senior health educator and prevention specialist at the nonprofit organization Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) Educational Services in Newton, where she provided education to students in 50 countries about the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. Earlier in her career, she was a licensed occupational therapist in the Newport, N.H., school district.
Stephanie earned her master’s degree from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where she served as a graduate assistant to Margaret Burckes-Miller, founder and director of the university’s Eating Disorders Institute. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Granite State College and an associate’s degree from New Hampshire Technical College.
*This blog post does not necessarily represent the views of Walden and its management. The Walden Blog is meant to represent a broad variety of opinions relating to eating disorders and their treatment. Comments are welcome, but respect for the opinions of others is encouraged.