One of the things that she says that I strive for is that it is important to love our bodies as they are, to appreciate all of the things that our bodies do for us on a daily, or even moment by moment, basis. Our bodies breathe, they blink, they digest food, they move, our hearts beat and our brain sends and receives messages. Whether we are fat or thin, whether we are at peak physical condition or have dozens of medical issues, our bodies are there for us every moment of every day, doing the jobs that they have to do to keep us going.
I'll admit, this is a hard one for me. I have spent most of my life hating my body. I have spent many hours cataloging the things that are wrong with it and having others point out the things that are wrong with it, and have neglected to appreciate everything that it does for me. I am trying to change that, but the habits of so many years are so difficult to break. So my current project is to counteract every negative thought that I find myself thinking with at least two positive ones. "I hate that my knees hurt so much." is followed by, "But I'm glad that my hands are nimble enough to do all of the crafting projects that I do, and I am happy that my brain is alert enough for me to enjoy reading the many kinds of books that I love." It isn't easy, and really feels downright fake sometimes, but this is the only way that I can think of to counteract the negativity that I'm feeding myself.
Of course, sometimes things catch us off guard.
For instance, there I was, doing something good for myself when *wham* I was caught right between the eyes by my own negativity. You see, I was dancing. We got a Kinect for our Xbox 360 and I was trying out a new
However, the makers of this game were apparently cruel, evil-minded Class-A Torturers. You see, they decided to just randomly have the game take pictures of you as you're busting a move. So there you are, happily dancing away, when suddenly it starts clicking. The next thing you know, there you are! Sweaty, red-faced, and looking totally ridiculously NOTHING like any of the toons on the screen. Wow...what a de-motivator! This is very much not a moment for wimps!
Thus the challenge to myself for now: I am going to continue dancing to my game, working on moving better and enjoying the movement that I'm doing. I am NOT going to disable the photo option. I AM going to remind myself when those photos come onto my screen that they are photos of a woman who is working on being healthier, who is enjoying herself, and who is dancing to her own tune! I will fight That Little Voice when it says that the woman on the screen looks ridiculous and should just hide from the world. TLV doesn't know what it's talking about, and the woman on the screen is kicking butt and taking names!
So, Dear Readers, I challenge you to find a way to love your body for the next month. Whether you decide to start washing your face and moisturizing before bed every night, or to rebut the negative remarks that your TLV makes with positive ones, or to walk for ten minutes every day, it doesn't matter. Find a way to love your body that you haven't tried before (or that you've tried and just stopped doing), and let it know that it is appreciated. Let yourself know that YOU are appreciated just the way that you are.
Don't say you'll love your body when (insert condition here). Love it now. Love yourself now. You're the only You that you've got!