I have a birthday next week!
I still have to continue to remind myself that I am no longer 32 (this is the age I have myself perpetually stuck at). Each year as I get older, I continue to try to minimize wrinkles, find new workout routines because my metabolism isn’t what is was when I was 32 (or 22) and focus upon staying healthy.
Most of us are not kind to our bodies. It is not uncommon to show the body abuse in the way of eating the wrong food and lack of exercise or the negative self talk we continue to provide because we are a size zero or can no longer do the things we used to do. It’s so easy to be negative towards the wonderful shell we live in. Magazines tell us to live healthy and embrace who we are but at the same time promote botox and other forms of plastic surgery (which I feel is always a personal choice). In my local area, medispas promote losing 60 pounds in 5 months (but how I ask and what does it do to your body?).
I’ve shared that over the years, I have pushed my body more than some physicians ever would have predicted. I’ve never been one to take no for an answer. However, at the same time, the stress and high expectations I have placed upon my body have lead to a hypothyroid, adrenal fatigue and inflammation that I must actively deal with on a regular basis. For a long time, I took my body for granted. I believed if I pushed enough, did enough of the right things that it would do exactly what I wanted it to do. It was after our miscarriage that I realized that although our specialist felt we could become pregnant again, I was asking too much from this body that needs to support me for many years to come.
As I approach my birthday, I plan to take some time to appreciate my body and to write a letter acknowledging what my body daily does for me. Until there is an ache or pain, most of us do not think about what occurs on a daily basis.
Self care begins with realizing that the body we have is the only one we will receive. Medical technology has made many advances but we should never expect technology to take the place of making smart decisions. Self care also begins with accepting your limitations. Although I aspire to run, my knees have told me that isn’t going to happen. Instead, I regularly enjoy long walks and am thankful for the ability to hike beautiful trails. I remember and miss hours of tumbling runs. Today, I focus upon yoga poses that bring me not relaxation but strength. I love that I still have flexibility, even if it’s not what it once was.
Today, I ask you to think about your own body. Do you harshly look in the mirror and complain about wrinkles? Do you refuse to get on a scale because the number isn’t where it was when you graduated (from high school or college)? Are you allowing yourself time to appreciate the wonder of what your body does for you on a daily basis?
Take some time to consider writing your own letter to your body. Rather than complain about what it doesn’t do, appreciate what it can do. If you are one of millions who has been diagnosed with a chronic disease, I encourage you to focus upon the activities that your body is still able to do.
Thank your body for:
- Getting you out of bed in the morning
- Hearing the sound of your husband, children and nature
- Allowing you to see the beauty of each day
- Feeling the warmth of sun
- Digesting food and allowing you to have energy
- Simply getting you through the day
As you begin to change your focus, you may not feel the need to be as harsh.
What would your letter to your body say?