Confession, I haven't always been kind to my body. Shocker, right?
When I was younger, I used to see my body as the enemy. I would battle with the scale, weighing myself every day (sometimes multiple times a day) working to lose the last bit of fat that I could grasp by my hips. I demanded a lot from my body, on multiple fronts. Not only did I want to look a certain way but I also expected my body to perform for me as an athlete; without giving much back to it. After having kids, my body and I made an uneasy truce with my grudging acceptance of its many "imperfections." I ate mostly healthy organic foods, exercised, ran 20-30 miles per week, drank a ton of water and even took a multi-vitamin.
But I took my body for granted. Like a crappy boyfriend/girlfriend, I was just dialing it in. I was exercising and running with the sole purpose of reaching a goal. The goal of hitting a certain mileage, a body-fat percentage, breaking a personal time, achieving a different body. I probably would have continued taking my body for granted until it began to fail me a decade or two from now. But, after battling a killer superbug that left me 20lbs lighter in a matter of months, my body and I have a new relationship.
1. I am grateful - After losing the ability to do the daily tasks that keep my young family functioning, I am beyond grateful to my body for allowing me to serve and care for my little family. The ability to perform necessary daily tasks is a gift; I never thought I would look at dishes and feel blessed to have the strength to stand to do them. Everything else is just a bonus.
2. Be present - Can your body get you up and outside into the fresh air and sunshine? Enjoy those moments; your body won't always be able to do these things. Be present and appreciate the feeling of your feet hitting the pavement and the view your body is affording you. The first time I got back on my running route post-C. diff all I could manage was a slow walk, but the trees, birds, and view of the canyon had never been more vivid.
3. Be kind - Be kind to your body! Your body is doing incredible, awesome things. It is fighting off vicious invaders, changing food into energy and providing a home for your soul to drive around in. Even if everything doesn't look the way you think it should, all of your body's hard work is worthy of recognition and kindness.
4. Trust - Trust your body. Boy, was I glad I had an extra 10lbs postpartum. There is a reason people carry around a little bit of fat. If you get sick, you do not want to be skin and bones. Be strong, be healthy, feed your body the nutritious foods that it needs to thrive. Trust that your body can handle most things on its own. The human body is wonderous. Trust that time and rest can cure most ailments, not every cold, cough, or minor injury needs medical intervention or an antibiotic. My journey recovering from C. diff is still on-going, and I have had to (slowly) learn to trust that my body will heal itself.
5. Love - Love the vessel that God gave to you to house your soul on Earth. Dings, dents, and chipped paint included I have learned to love my body. Happy New Year!