Your body is not your opponent; it’s your partner for life
Your body is not your enemy nor your opponent. It is your partner for life.
If you’ve been struggling with your body–your weight, your musculature, your shape, your size, your speed, your strength, your endurance, your appearance–it’s likely that you’ve adopted a position or attitude of being at war with your body.
You might feel like it’s resisting you, or holding you back, or even betraying you.
“If you knew who you truly were, you would be in awe.”
~Dr. Libby Weaver, Ph.D.
This quote comes from a TED talk by Dr. Libby Weaver, whose Ph. D. is in Nutritional Biochemistry, was describing how the body looks when it’s mapped out by it’s systems and biochemicals.
When we’re trying to lose weight, or get fitter, or lift heavier, or run faster, or just plain feel better and it’s just plain hard, or the results aren’t showing up the way we want them to, it can be discouraging and frustrating.
It’s easy to get a little fixated on how our bodies aren’t ‘right’ yet, or doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to be doing–and to forget how amazing our human bodies really are.
“When you the human body mapped out, you see the absolute miracle that we are,” she says. “Miraculous.”
Last week, I tweaked my back doing something light and simple in the gym. It scared the bejeebers out of me–mostly because I couldn’t sit, stand or bend over normally for three days.
Moments like that remind me how amazing our bodies really are–and how our bodies shouldn’t be taken for granted.
The week before, I was complaining that my endurance wasn’t up to par, that I couldn’t lift as much lately, that I couldn’t keep up with the other people in class. They were getting stronger, and I was ‘stalling out.’
Then, when just moving around the house became challenging, I realized I needed to focus more on taking care of the amazing vehicle I travel this life inside of instead of getting upset because it wasn’t ‘behaving the way I thought she* should.’ *(I call my body a she, not an it, because we’re partners in life, and she deserves respect.)
I had to be reminded not to take my body for granted, or resent her in any way, but to care for it better, to appreciate the health and mobility I have, and to just give my amazing body more rest so it could feel better and repair better, because she and I are going to be partners for a long time. And we have alot of cool stuff left to do!
What would happen if, instead of feeling like your body is the opponent to be conquered or subdued, you looked at it as your partner for life?
- How would that change your the way you eat?
- How would that change the way you move, or exercise?
- How would that change the way you perceived your body?
- Would you be more grateful, more gentle with yourself?
- Would you be more likely to care for, rather than punish or abuse, your body?
- Would your motivation to take better care of your body improve?
If you’ve been at war with your body, maybe it’s time to take a different perspective–to see it as an asset, a gift, and the one true partner you will always have, through thick and thin.
Maybe embracing your body’s gifts, its strengths, its natural tendencies and its needs is the first step to creating the changes we seek, the physique we desire, the strong, satisfying and fulfilled lifestyle we week to lead.
Today I encourage you to look at your body through an appreciative lens and name 3 things that are amazing about your body. You don’t have to post them here, just recognize and name them (out loud) for yourself.
Just as it can with our gratitude practices, adopting a daily body appreciation practice will create a more positive mindset and experience of the world.
When we are actively recognizing and appreciating all the incredible things our bodies do and are capable of, it becomes a whole lot harder (and less meaningful) to criticize the ways in which it’s ‘flawed.’
More gratitude, more happy feelings about our bodies. More happy feelings about our bodies, more happy hormones…which leads to better results…it’s a gorgeous self-reinforcing cycle 🙂