All the words I’ve never said

Feb 5, 2019


The following is an excerpt from the beginning of my new book, Project Body Love: my quest to love my body and the surprising truth I found instead.


This is the story of a quest – a Heroine’s Journey, if you will – that I embarked on nearly three years ago. It’s a story about my search for body acceptance, respect, and maybe even the elusive “body love.”  

But really, this is the story of a journey that began the first time my six-year-old self noticed the roundness of her belly, and tugged at the fabric of her Rainbow Bright t-shirt self-consciously.


And really, it’s a story of a path that I’m still on. 

This is my story, and so much of it is also the story of a million other women. 

I decided to write this because salads weren’t working anymore. Because going to the gym wasn’t cutting it. Because I felt like there were deeper roots beneath my complex relationship with my body that longed to be unearthed.

I wrote this because I have wasted too much time trying to change my body into one that I felt like I could accept, respect, and love —  a thinner body, to be exact. Because I knew that I was — and still am — a powerful, determined woman, and that if I were able to birth babies and businesses, climb mountains and swim oceans, but unable to successfully lose weight, then something must be up. Something must be wrong with this picture. 

I wrote this because my inner feminist was so totally done with this. I’ve led an amazing life so far, and accomplished a great many things, but I can’t help but wonder what might have been possible if I hadn’t spent so much time looking in the mirror. Reading about the next diet I would attempt. Pining over the too-tight clothes in my closet.

I also can’t help but wonder what might be possible for society if the vast majority of women weren’t preoccupied with the skin-bound sack of flesh they were borrowing for this lifetime. 

My first hope, when I sat down three years ago to begin this book, was to find healing for the fraught and often painful relationship I’ve had with my body. Writing has always been my catharsis, the way I make sense of myself and the world. My second hope was that by sharing my process and some of what I discovered both about myself and about the concept of body acceptance, respect and love in the context of our modern-day culture, that you may find some healing too. At the very least, you may find insight here. You may find a new perspective to consider.

I have always struggled with my weight, and I have, for the entirety of that always, been ashamed of that struggle. And so, despite the fact that I have often ruminated over meal plans and counted calories and steps and drops of sweat, I have rarely talked about my discomfort in my own body. I have, for many years, had a sort of emotional “no fly zone” about the issue, even in my own journaling. No Body Talk Allowed. 

This book contains all the words I’ve never said. Because keeping it to myself hasn’t worked, either.


Project Body Love is available at all major online and retail bookstores.

You can order your copy here:


The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!