Your Body is Your Temple
A big focus right now in society is how to help people get healthier and lose weight. Obesity is on the rise and everywhere you turn there are diet gurus promising their magical plan that will get you to lose weight and lose it fast. There are plenty of other healthy advocates out there telling you to eat organic, stay away from GMO's, implement a whole foods diet plan and drink plenty of water.
Then to top off all of that there are campaigns up the wazoo offering workout plans to help you get in shape. Just in time to slip into that bikini that glares at you as if saying "yeah right your going to wear me. Look at all that cellulite! Put your clothes back on honey!" Okay maybe your bikini doesn't talk to you, but you get my point. We are living in a society that makes us self-conscious if were not perfect. Have you seen the magazine racks at the grocery store?!
Not that I don't think its important to eat right and exercise. In fact I have been a gym rat for the last decade and have made it part of my routine. I also eat healthy, mostly because I feel so much better when I do. Yet, I too would not be caught dead in a bikini.
What I believe is killing our bodies is not just lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet, but in how we speak to our bodies. Because I have made the gym my second home I have gotten to know a lot of body obsessed people (particularly women) who in spite of their absolutely perfect bodies are still dieting and trying to lose their belly that is one can short of a six pack.
Now, being a woman I have to admit I get frustrated with my seemingly imperfect body. I have always been on the bigger boned side and the last time I fit into a size 2 was probably in preschool. My belly is far from a six pack and my butt... well lets just say there is a lot of good rap songs that would cheer on my behind.
But I have come to love my body. Yet it took a coworker of mine to get breast cancer to finally realize what I had. I had not seen her in quite a while and I had noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. I asked what she did to lose so much weight (us women are especially curious when something works and will buy any book if it worked for our friends) and she said jokingly "I got breast cancer." Wow! Not the answer I was expecting. Don't think I'll be buying that book.
She was only a year older than me and had no risk factors in her family and no lump to be found. She just had a feeling that something was wrong. She ended up with a double mastectomy and was on rounds of chemo and radiation. Yes she got skinny, but at the cost of loosing her body.
So that day, I went home, looked in the mirror naked and for the first time in my life I told my body I was so thankful that it was working. I was thankful for my breast, my butt, my thighs, my arms, neck, face... all of it! I no longer wanted to tell it to get skinnier and to stop hanging over the side of my pants. Instead I wanted to show appreciation for how well it was working and keeping me moving, dancing, skipping, jumping, thriving.
I was healthy. And my body needed me to tell it thank you and to stop saying "why won't you get skinny?!" When we embrace what we have our bodies return the favor and stay in harmony with itself. There comes a point when eating right and exercise feel like the most natural thing to do. Now its time to speak loving words to our precious bodies, since our words and thoughts have as much, if not more, of an effect on our physical well being.
Start now. Summons up your courage and stand in front of the mirror of self-love and profess your thanks to that beautiful body of yours. Your body has been waiting to hear those words for a long time. I can hear it now say "Thank you... It's about time you noticed!" Love your body. It's the only one you have, so why not bless it for what it is doing right for you and throw out the door the words that shame it. And please smile more. Your body likes that too.