Sunday, July 22, 2012

Loving Your Body: It Isn't For Wimps

I follow another blogger, her name is Ragen Chastain and her blog is Dances with Fat.  She says a lot of things that make sense to me, some things that I strive for, and a few things that I disagree with.  In other words, she writes an excellent blog!

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 torture device game called "Just Dance 2".  It is one of those games where the figures on the screen do dance moves and you're supposed to imitate them.  The Kinect tracks your movements and you get points for how well you do what is being done on the screen.  It is a surprisingly good workout for someone like myself, who is relatively sedentary, and is actually fun which beats going nowhere on a treadmill for hours.

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!


  1. I had the same thoughts when I played Just Dance as well. I couldn't decide which was worse, the photos or the odd heat-image silhouette...but a complete exercise in body love!

  2. When I first started Zumba dancing at my local gym I stood at the very back of the class and made sure I was in front of the view of the doors so I wouldn't have to look at myself in the mirror. Now I am not only at the front for my classes with my favorite instructor, I've become a licensed instructor myself so I get to go in front of everyone and lead. My body hasn't changed (except to get stronger, more coordinated and more energized) but my self-image definitely has. I still have "mirror=bad" days, but I love music and dance so much that I just close my eyes and focus on the movement.

    Dancing without fear is my favorite way to love my body, and it rewards that love with improved function and a lovely dose of endorphins. ;-)

  3. I’ve nominated your blog for The Versatile Blogger Award! No problem if you’re not into these things. For more info see:


All comments are moderated, so if you don't see your comment right away don't worry, I'll review it and add it as soon as possible. The only time that comments won't be approved is if they are inappropriate. And yes, I am the sole arbiter as to what qualifies as inappropriate. :)