No body image series would be complete without an introspective BODY STORY. Consider this the culmination of 16 weeks of hard mental work. This is your thesis, your chance at creativity.
Before you settle in front of your computer, ready to dive into your past, let me explain the catch. Your memoir is about the future: No nostalgia or plumbing of neuroses. Instead, project 1 year, 15 years, and 30 years into the future. Then, travel warp speed to your own funeral.
Too morbid? I say no. Our bodies are temporary. They may be sticking with us for the rest of our lives, and we should take care of them, but they will constantly change and will eventually cease to exist. We can’t maintain a good body image without acknowledging this truth.
In philosophy, the Law of Impermanence is the antivenin to unproductive attachment. Body image problems are a symptom of this attachment, either to a body you once had or to the imaginary one you always wanted. Regret for an unattainable body is nostalgia for your own past demands, demands that you must abandon to move forward. So, look forward.
Separate your story into 4 parts (if you are over 60, still project 30 years forward, who knows?):
(a) 1 year into the future
b) 15 years into the future
c) 30 years into the future
d) Your funeral
In each part, write/think about how you feel in your body, how your body looks, and how you use your body. This is your body’s story, told through the future’s reverse telescope. Obviously, at your funeral, your body’s story has ended. Therefore, in that part examine what your friends and family say about you.
The story can be as short or as long as you need. It doesn’t need to be a traditional story. You can jot down bullet points, write your heart out, or simply take 15 minutes to sit and think about your answers without writing anything down.
Let your story begin.
Return to Week 16