side view of a nude torso with light skin and small breasts - person appears to be sitting with arms wrapped around knees, so their torso is pressed tight to their legs
Photo by Janosch Lino on Unsplash

Your body isn't dumb or bad or wrong


People have all kinds of relationships with their own bodies, for all kinds of reasons. But mostly people have at least had a thought, when put to some physical inconvience like breathing hard climbing stairs or trying to put on a pair of too-tight pants: "Stupid body, why are you like this?"

For other people, it's more than a passing thought. Some people live under a perpetual grind of body-negativity: Too fat. Too skinny. Too weak. Too thick. Too hairy. Too soft. Too little. Too much.

Or maybe those self-criticisms don't much sound like they're about the body at all: Too anxious. Too needy. Too sensitive. Too spacey. Too lazy. Too dumb.

And listen, it's okay sometimes to think, "What's wrong with me?" because sometimes, there is indeed something wrong that ought to be addressed.

But your body isn't wrong. Your body is doing its job, the best it can, in the environment it's in and with the resources it has.

This can be kind of a hard paradigm shift. We're so exposed to casual negative self-talk that it's sometimes hard even to recognize it for what it is.

And for folks managing chronic illness or pain or disability, I don't mean to come across as dismissing or trivializing that. I literally just mean: our bodies are doing the best they can. Some bodies face challenges that others don't have, but all bodies are doing their best, in the environment they're in, using the resources they have.

When I talk about bodies, I'm also talking about minds. If you refer to an anatomical diagram, you may notice (surprise!) that our brains are part of our bodies. Mental health is inextricably connected to physical health. The mind is a manifestation of the body, including not just the brain but the entire nervous system and endocrine system, which are intimately linked to the immune system and digestive system, and to energy metabolism and the musculoskeletal system.

The mind isn't separate from the body. Your mental processes are running on your meat hardware, fed by the neurochemicals generated by your guts out of the food you eat, shaped by the hormones regulated by the same endocrine system that has to upregulate and downregulate stress and appetite and libido and energy production.

Your body is doing its best. Making peace with this idea -- embracing this idea -- lets you begin to appreciate the job your body is doing: keeping you alive and getting you around, enabling you to have experiences and giving you an existence in the world that is totally unique to you.

So: what does your body do that's pretty remarkable? How does it enable you to live your life in ways that you appreciate?

Bess (she/they)

Bess (she/they)

Bess is lifelong bookworm turned nutrition and wellness geek. She is certified as a Primal Health Coach.

After working for a dozen years in the legal tech industry, Bess decided to step away from the business world and instead turn to creative projects and consulting opportunities. That has included pursuing her vision for Sultry Health: an inclusive, queer-friendly, diversity-minded collection of health and wellness resources.

Bess is bi/pan and genderflux, and identifies as neurodivergent as a person with inattentive-type ADHD. As such, she has had to learn how to sift through the gender- and neuro-normativity attached to so much mainstream health information. This experience is what inspired her to focus on creating and sharing resources that aren't bogged down by normative assumptions.  

In addition to providing freely available content, Bess also accepts clients for one-on-one health coaching. Most clients commit to an intial program of 4 weeks, including intake and goal-setting, weekly coaching calls, regular online check-ins, and program review with take-aways for long-term success. Longer programs of 8 or 12 weeks and group coaching options are also available. For more information, please inquire at