Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We were given ONE body.... That’s it... just one... unless of course you believe in reincarnation (of which I don’t). As we age, our body’s age...eventually our body’s die. Therefore, it makes NO sense to me why we would want to show our body anything less then respect, honor, nurture and love. We only get one chance with it, so why not treat it kindly?
Instead, we spend a lifetime rejecting our body, finding & focusing on our perceived flaws of our body, punishing our body, and hating it. How sad is this?
A wise older woman that I respect once said, “sweetie, despite what you think are imperfections, you are young & perfect just the way you are... love it and honor it while it lasts, because it won’t always be there.... And trust me, as a woman, you will ALWAYS have 10 pounds you want to loose, that magic number 10... and you think that you will be happy when you get there - but guess what? Then you will just have 10 more pounds or maybe 3 more % body fat.... you will spend you whole life chasing after something you think will make you happy until one day you look back and realize how sad that was, because you spent all your time seeking something that wasn’t there instead of enjoying exactly what was.” As I quoted in my most recent blog, “love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have” (cited from 1 Corinthians 13: 3-7). Therefore, if we are always fighting our own body for some idea of perfection, we aren’t loving it and honoring it in the now.
What does this mean? What does it mean to respect, honor, nurture, and love our body? I suppose this really means something different for each of us... However, I think it is safe to say that the way most of us treat our body is NOT this way, rather quite opposite...
Does this mean that we should eat whatever we want whenever we want even if we know it is unhealthy & harming us? Does this mean we should just throw in the towel and glue our ass to the couch for the rest of our life, because “hey we are all going to die someday anyways”? What about, drinking in excess weekend in and weekend out because, why not... it’s so much fun - who cares about memories?...
Or does this mean we should OBSESS over every inch of our body and every imperfection (or our ‘idea’ of imperfections, anyhow..comparing ourself to every other person around us - even though they are not us)? Does this mean we should obsess over EVERY single calorie or macronutrient we put into your mouth, and at exactly what time in the day we eat? Does this mean we need to workout until we puke day in and day out? Or how about workout for 21 days in a row, sometimes double days? Does it mean we should keep pushing ourselves even at our own body’s expense - even through injuries - all to burn that extra calorie or shed that extra pound or drop that 1/2 % body fat? Does it mean we should brag about how we never sleep because we are so much cooler then that, and sleep is over rated anyways - who needs it... we will just sleep when we die right?
NO... I don’t think it means ANY of that AT ALL.... It’s funny how, as people, we tend to go from one extreme to another. We start off in that first category - the person on the couch eating some popcorn, ice-cream and a king size snickers bar.... One day we wake up and realize that isn’t the life we want to live... we want to be ‘healthy’ and ‘fit’... so we get off the couch & we start moving... we go full force... extreme is all we know - so we plunge off the deep end into the exact opposite extreme... We work out every day, two times a day, we micromanage every bite we take, we stress constantly because we are miserable because we can no longer find pleasure in food - it is simply a fuel...We get injured, but we keep going because we think we should be better then that - stronger then that - and besides...we have big goals now... We sacrifice sleep for that extra hour of cardio that we absolutely need to burn that fat (that we so badly can’t stand)... We sign up for every possible adrenaline junky obstacle course we can fit into our already crazy busy hectic life...and we can’t forget to run that marathon before we die... even if we suddenly have knee, foot, and hip pain we never had before... It’s ok... just wrap it up... Deal with it tomorrow.
Now I am not saying that all this stuff above isn’t ok... As long as you TRULY are having fun and you are TRULY HAPPY....If everyday you wake up feeling fabulous with a big giant smile on your face, and life is beautiful... and your body feels good, and you sleep well at night, and life isn’t dragging... then more power to ya... keep up the great work! I commend you on all of your hard work, your efforts, and your success... I truly do.
However... if all the above activities sound like your life, but you are miserable, and in stress overload (physically & mentally), if you are often unhappy, tired, irritable, restless, and I’m just going to go out on a limb here... but also more then likely, STILL NOT happy with your body.... then maybe it is time to realign your goals and your strategy to a truly ‘healthy’ and ‘fit’ way of life.
So what if to respect, honor, nurture, and love our body it meant that we were able to look in the mirror and see beyond our ‘idea of our imperfections’... what if we could just find a few things to love and honor everyday so if our mind wanted to go to what wasn’t working, our heart could redirect our focus back to what was working!
What if we respected our body so much that we would naturally choose to eat healthy foods simply because they served us and helped us feel better, not just emotionally, but physically as well. But also, allowing ourselves to simply indulge every now and then with little life pleasures (a glass of wine, a piece of dark chocolate) guilt free. (and NO I don’t mean binging)
What if we honored our body enough to truly listen to it and hear it speak to us. Finding a perfect balance between workouts and recovery, because we were able to hear our body speak and tell us it needed a rest day, which is actually OK?
What if we nurtured it and treated it kindly with natural care such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, or icing, and plenty of sleep every night of the week, recognizing that the extra hour of sleep goes a lot further both physically and emotionally then that hour of cardio our crazy minds so badly trick us into believing we need?
And what if we realized that sometimes in life LESS IS MORE... and we made some of these simple life altering changes (mentally and physically), and suddenly we realized that the quality of our lives have spun around... Our sleep has greatly improved, we find ourselves needing less coffee then ever before, when we hit our workouts we bring amazing intensity because we had a day of rest since our last workout, we feel energized, and we are operating at 100%. We find it so much easier to eat the healthier foods because food & eating becomes fun and delicious, instead of stressful and mundane. Now we also have more energy to spend time with our friends, our spouse, our child, or our pet... because we aren’t stressed, tired, and achey....
... Just, what if ?!?