An Idea for Every Body

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You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

C.S. Lewis

If you were given something that was absolutely essential to your life and could not be replaced at any cost, would you take care of it and appreciate it?  I think you would.  And yet the way that many of us, especially women, treat our bodies defies this logic.  I’m not talking about overindulging in food or tough workouts – I’m talking about the emotional abuse we subject our bodies to.  Our bodies are our most precious commodity and nothing short of miraculous in their ability to carry us through life, but instead of loving and appreciating these overworked vessels, we feel shame and loathing toward them.  We focus on every flaw instead of recognizing the wonder that is our physical being.  Instead of loving our bodies for all they do for us, we criticize and sometimes even hate them for not measuring up to our expectations.  But, here’s the thing: those expectations are completely meaningless constructs of society.  The expectations are not real.  The concept of a “great body” is complete and total bullshit we made up. 

The bad news is that we have constructed these arbitrary expectations and standards, and many of us have let them override our own better judgement and lead us to self-loathing.  But the good news is we don’t have to live this way! We can reject the external influences – diet culture, the media, the advertising industry – and choose something better! 

Today I challenge you to acknowledge the amazing job your body does for you every day.  Maybe even thank it for being such a damn trooper for so many years.  And the next time a critical or negative thought about your body enters your mind, I want you to combat that thought with 3 things your body has successfully accomplished for you.  Why?  Well, for one, it’s just a much nicer thing to think about.  But also, and more importantly, if you redirect your thoughts like this consistently, over time you can literally rewrite the neuropathways in your brain. You can actually train your brain to think a different way and defy the negative self-talk and bullshit societal expectations. See?  I told you the body was miraculous!  

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