It’s spring, which means….

….we’re enjoying the sun

….we’re starting to plan our garden

….we’re cleaning out the grill

….we’re scheduling summer road trips and shows and parties

….and oh yeah, we’re taking off our sweaters and subjecting our bodies to a harsher degree of scrutiny.

Every year at this time, we start thinking about the pounds that need to come off, the flab that needs tightening, the hair that needs waxing or shaving.

And every year at this time, my inbox and voicemail fill up with messages from people whose distress over their relationship with food and their body is staring them smack in the face at the start of shorts season.

We have come so far from understanding what our bodies are truly for.

Your body was never meant to be a deodorized, perfumed, hairless mannequin with no fat. (In fact, I just read that the model type body featured in magazines is achievable by only 5% of American women. FIVE percent!)

Your body IS meant to be a vehicle for maneuvering around this great planet and offering your gifts to the world.

Your body IS meant to enable you to experience the pleasures of the senses: the taste of a great meal, the feel of wind and sun on your skin, the sounds of birds or your favorite music, the deep beauty of movement, the sight of the mountains and the sea and your loved one’s face.

Your body is also meant to enable you to experience pain. Both physical and emotional. And sorrow, and anger, and grief, and fear, and shame, and illness, and age, because that is all part of the beauty of the human experience.

Your body may be lumpy like a potato, stringy like celery, knobby like a parsnip. Because it’s a creature creeping around this earth, not an airbrushed photograph.

Guess what – the most intimate relationship you will EVER have is with your body. Every cell in your body is working hard EVERY DAY to make you the healthiest you can be. If you could see how hard your digestive system and your sweet heart and your veins work for you, man, you would be filled with a sense of gratitude and disbelief.

Please: do not use your poor body as an excuse to abstain from the delights of the season. Remember that your body exists so that you can experience the sun, feel the grass on your feet, and dig your hands into the dirt. Appreciate it simply because it does you that enormous service.

Now go have an ice cream, and enjoy spring.

And if you need someone to tell you it’s ok to do that, get in touch.