Taking care of your body is a form of self-respect.
This seems like a simple truth but is often not the way we relate to our bodies.
We look at our bodies with disdain. Our bellies are too big, our thighs spread too wide, there is flesh creeping out over the top of our pants. We mean mug our body parts, pinch them and give them dirty looks.
We are frustrated with our digestion. We feel bloated, uncomfortable and cramped. Our stomachs and intestines make sounds that we can’t control.
We may be living in a painful body. It hurts our feet to walk, it hurts our knees to run, it hurts our backs to sit in a chair all day. We may have pains that take us out of life-headaches that last for days, brutal cramps or pain that prevents us from exercising.
These are all ways that we get disconnected from our physical container. It doesn’t function or look the way we want it to so we start to treat it really poorly. When we treat our bodies badly, we feel bad about ourselves.
Think about it. Your physical body is a container for your soul, your spirit, your emotions. It’s a vessel that moves you through life.
You can glide with it, dance with it, jump with it, climb with it, run with it, stretch with it, strut with it, love with it. Its functions are limitless as long as it is properly nurtured, regularly moved, and fed well.
A sure sign of being disconnected from your body is if taking care of it feels like a chore. You have to drag yourself to the gym. You do exercise that feels arduous instead of enjoyable. You eat “healthy” because you want to lose weight or because you should, not because it’s pleasurable.
Inevitably, treating your body in this highly disciplined, un-fun manner creates falling off the wagon. Binge eating, drinking and no exercise is the result. Oh, and don’t forget The Guilt.
In order to form healthy, long lasting habits, you actually have to LIKE the exercise and the food you choose. Otherwise, the habit is completely unsustainable. There is the best-case scenario, there is the worst-case scenario and then there is what is realistic.
My favorite ratio for self-care is 70/30. 70% of the time you want to regularly move your body, take your supplements and eat healthy whole foods. The other 30% of the time, you can drink wine, eat cupcakes and watch movies on the couch if you so desire.
This may be funny advice coming from a health care practitioner but I am pleasure focused and anti-guilt. We are supposed to enjoy this life and relish the experience. I would love for you to be in love with your bodies and whole-heartedly revel in all they can do for you.
Make your choices with your body highly conscious this holiday season. Try gazing lovingly at your body instead of glaring at it. We are so so lucky to have functioning arms, legs and senses.
We are powerful creatures. Some say we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I believe this.
Let’s enjoy this human experience to the hilt by making moves to reconnect with the beautiful container that carts us around our world.