I have noticed a shocking hijack of something in the spiritual community: diet culture.
Apparently, according to a noisy wave of “spiritual coaches,” if you are not lean and fit, you are not in spiritual alignment. Diet culture strikes again with the shaming and judgment in a space that’s meant to be nonjudgemental (oh, the irony).
To be clear, unconditional love does not decide how worthy you are based on your body size. Whether you’re too small, too fat, too lean, not lean, fit, unfit is completely irrelevant to your ability to be love—to be connected to the divine and be a light in this world. (Side note: Health does not define your worth either, but I will leave that for another post.)
The one energy that underpins every single spiritual belief is love. All paths lead to love. We may all believe in different paths, and it will look different, but we are united in love.
As soon as you judge another person (or yourself) for their body size, you’re in judgement energy—there’s no grey area there. You can hide behind the “oh, I’m only worried about them so out of love, I tell people their weight is a concern.” However, if you are pushing that a spiritual awakening or alignment is in any way linked to shaming anyone to change or shrink their own body, you may have lost your way. And I invite you to come back to unconditional love.
I am writing this to try and shine a light on how spirituality has been hijacked and how easy it is for this judgement to spread like wildfire. Many spiritual coaches spreading this viewpoint genuinely believe they are doing it for love, and have the best interests of their followers and clients at heart. So, I want to remind people that body judgement is not love. Convincing people that self-love means loathing your body enough to change it by force and punishment is not love.
Self-love is liking or loving yourself for your natural, healthy state of being. It’s the core of who you are beyond the physical, and that does not mean abusing your body (your sacred home) either. Our bodies are unique. I’ve known people really close to me who were convinced their whole life that a small, lean body equated to their worth. They spent most of their lives in harsh fitness regimes, constantly stressed and angry, unhappy with their lives, hating their body, ignoring their mental well-being, projecting their pain onto people around them, and becoming completely disconnected from themselves and from love.
The external world praised them for being lean, yet no one saw behind closed doors what was happening: their light had completely dimmed. They manifested a dream body but their spiritual connection was lost. This is a painful, confusing place to be.
I can speak from my own personal journey. Pre-2011, I was lean, actively fit, and had a healthy diet. I took care of my mental well-being with the limited tools I have been taught and made sure I slept well. I have always been spiritually open. I was committed to the law of attraction and manifested almost anything I wanted before I even knew what those terms were. I was happy, blissfully in love, and I radiated love. From the outside, some people would have assumed I was fully “awake,” but I wasn’t. I was still struck down with health challenges that changed my own life overnight. I went into my dark night of the soul, and went on a deep healing journey.
It was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life, yet the most rewarding. My destiny had arrived as I had been ignoring the calling of my own soul. I was living from the mind. I lost a lot of weight when I was unwell due to the anxiety and stress I was under. Yet, I was praised for my healthy weight loss by everyone I met. I lapped it up, of course. When you’re going through trauma, you take love and praise in whatever form it comes in. I, then, subconsciously connected my smaller body to receiving love and support, despite being the most unwell I had ever felt physically and mentally in my life. I was so disconnected from myself and my spirituality.
The lasting effects of that period mean I can no longer exercise like I used to, which upon reflection, had turned into a form of self-punishment for a while—one I was not consciously aware of. My body was asking me for help and I ignored it by pushing through the pain. My mind had become my own enemy.
I had to change my life and my mindset. I went on a journey to find my own natural state. For me, my natural body state is no longer lean or fit. And the more I let go of external judgements and I connect with myself, the more I learn to love my new, larger, softer body. And guess what? I feel so connected to the divine path. My own light shines bright and self-care is a big thing in my life. I’m learning to balance my mind, body, and soul.
One of the brightest lights in this world that I know is a beautiful, slender gym bunny, who is extremely lean and fit. She has so much love for others and never judges anyone for their own body size or choices. She slays in her own lane and works out for pure fun and to celebrate her strength. Her lean, extremely strong and fit body has nothing to do with the love she puts out.
So, please, when you read or hear healers and spiritual coaches shaming people for their shape and judging their commitment to a spiritual path, please ignore the diet culture bullsh*t and internalised fat shaming. Love for yourself comes in many forms. Being a light in the world is not linked to the size of your body.
Only you know deep down in your heart if your lifestyle is a loving and self-nurturing lifestyle. Until you listen to yourself and start to find your own path to love, you may never know who you truly are and what your natural healthy way of being is. And that, my beautiful friend, will be different for each of us. Until we learn to love each other instead of judging each other for our physical appearance, we may never reach what unconditional love actually feels like within.