Long time no blog…as per usual. Super sorry, I wanted to write about this for nearly a month now, but I was not in the frame of mind to do it. I could not bring myself to talk about how much I appreciate my body – especially not when I felt so bad about it.
So, here’s the story. Back in February, I started weight lifting and biking regularly. I wasn’t insanely consistent, but I still did a lot of my regular routines. Then, towards the end of the month, I got sick with a mild form of the flu. It was not a good time, mostly just sleeping and feeling awful, but luckily it only lasted a week! I hadn’t been sick like that in a long time, so long that I almost forgot what it was like.
I was feeling generally better but super distressed for not working out or eating well for that week. So I went to the gym…
AND I COULD NOT DO ANYTHING.
Seriously. I tried doing regular weight lifting and could barely get through a short set of minimal weight without wanting to quit. I got on the stationary bike and after 10 minutes was totally wiped out and had to walk slowly on the treadmill instead.
It was like this for the next few days until finally, FINALLY my body had recovered sufficiently enough to get back in the game. On one hand, it was my fault for trying to do so much so quickly. But on the other hand, it really opened my eyes.
To quote a famous song, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” (“Big Yellow Taxi” by Counting Crows, if you’re curious!) That is EXACTLY what happened. It is easy to forget all of the cool and amazing things our bodies do for us, especially when we are too busy focusing on feeling uncomfortable or comparing ourselves to others.
Personally, I find things to criticize about my body on the daily – “I feel soft”, “I’m not the same size I used to be”, “No one’s interested in me”…you get the picture. Sometimes my expectations for my physical appearance are so unrealistic and hypercritical that I forget all the good things about my body AND myself.
Here’s the truth: we aren’t going to love our bodies just because we reach a certain weight, or fit a certain size. We won’t love ourselves just because someone is attracted to us. We can’t embrace all the positives in our lives when we feel so awkward in our own skin. We have to appreciate and respect ourselves before we can internalize the great things about us and around us.
But here’s the great thing: our bodies ARE amazing and we SHOULD appreciate them. And us!
Just think about all the great things we do, without even realizing it. Our immune system keeps us from getting sick. Our digestive system takes care of all those energy conversions and absorptions. Our muscles let us move. Our brains regulate everything. WE ARE COOL.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we loved our bodies like they deserve? What would happen if we treated them with respect and care, instead of being so harsh and unforgiving? What if we treated ourselves like we deserved?
I take for granted the times I’m able to lift weights. I take for granted my endurance. I take for granted all the times my nose isn’t stuffy. Heck, I take for granted every day I wake up and feel hungry or sore from a workout.
I’m alive and my body is working like it should. It’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, and we won’t ever be – but we’re all real and fun and amazing, and that’s more than I could ever need.
So, I just want everyone to be happy and thankful for what we have. We all have a lot going for us, besides living in awesome bodies. Just remember that a lot of people already love you. Now it’s time for YOU to love your body, and to love yourself. It’s not always easy…but it will be worth it. You deserve it!