Your relationship with your body and your parents

First, your body.

How do you feel about your body?

Do you feel like it’s a burden?

Do you tend to neglect it?

Do you ignore the signals it sends you, and instead tell IT what IT *should* be feeling?

Now: your parents.

How did you feel your parents treated you?

Did they make YOU feel like a burden?

Did they neglect you?

Did they ignore what you wanted, and instead tell you what they thought you should be feeling, thinking and doing?

The Way You Treat Your Body vs How Your Parents Treated You

Here’s a pattern I’ve seen in a number of my clients (not all – but enough that I’ve noticed a recurring pattern and it’s worth talking about).

The way we view, see, or feel about our body is often the way we felt our parents treated us or the way our parents made us feel.

For example:

Because my mother had a chronic illness, she had very little extra capacity for her children.

She ended up in bed after working quite often, which meant what were actually very normal childhood requests were met with a clear sense of overwhelm and exhaustion – sending childhood me the message that I wanted and needed too much.

That I should just get on with it on my own without needing help.

I learned to not speak up or ask for things – if I needed something I either figured it out on my own, or went as long as I could without it.

Now let’s look at how I treated my body for most of my life?

For many, many years my body wasn’t really allowed to have needs.

I juggled a thousand things, often on little sleep, alternating between not eating nearly enough and eating way too much that wouldn’t actually meet my body’s needs (aka no nutrients).

I expected my body to keep going, without much support from me.

To the immense credit of my body, it actually lasted more than 30 years before burning out.

No credit to me, it still took a few semi-burnouts and a proper anxiety breakdown for me to actually start doing what I’d been telling my clients to do for years.

I expected my body to get on with things on its own, because that was the message I got as a child.

Not everyone who has a less-than-ideal relationship with their body will find a mirror or root cause in their relationship with their parents – there can definitely be other causes.

But it’s common enough that it’s worth taking a moment to explore.

How did your parents treat you?

How did they make you feel about yourself and your needs?

Now, could any of those words be described in how you feel about your relationship with your body or how your feel about your body?

When we can find the source of why we relate to our body the way we do, it can make it easier to change it.

If you try this, I’d love to know if you find a parallel in your relationship with your body and your parents.

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