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Essential Truths about Your Body

The norm—especially if you’re a woman—is to feel negatively toward your body or at least to overlook its needs. Before you criticize or neglect it for another moment, try reflecting on these facts:

Your body is what makes it possible for you to be here. It is your only ride in this life.

Your body is the first partner you ever had and is the only one that will be there for you each and every moment that you live.

Your body is yours and yours alone. 

Your body is a creature of this planet. Like all of the other plants and animals that exist here, it is dependent on the sun, the air, the water, and the foods that naturally occur as part of the environment.  

Your body is designed to move every day, unlike most plants and some animals that are designed for remaining still most or all of the time. When it doesn’t get to move enough, your body’s systems begin to falter because moderate activity is part of what keeps all of them working the way they are supposed to.

Your body has never done anything to hurt you or disappoint you, though many people tell themselves otherwise. It always does the best for you that it can under the circumstances. If it is under attack from illness, neglect, injury or abuse, it is always trying to repair and strengthen itself as quickly as possible, whether or not you help. It’s amazing in that way, among others.

Your body is a remarkably complex organism. It has numerous systems intricately intertwined, all working in tightly choreographed ways that you don’t even notice until something stops working in the way you’ve long taken for granted. Every breath you take, every sense you use, every move you make, every thought you have, every lesson you learn, every memory you cherish, every bit of personal growth you manage—all of it is possible only because of this amazing creature—your body—standing at your beck and call every second of your life.

Look in an anatomy book sometime if you need a reminder of how amazing your body really is, and then remember that the physical systems are just the “hardware,” not even accounting for the mysterious reality of the mind-body connection. Don’t worry about trying to understand it because it works remarkably well whether you understand it or not. Do, however, take a moment to be amazed by it, each and every day.

Your body may not look like society tells you it should. If you lived in a different society or in a different time, the social message would be different. This shows you that the social message is too changeable to be a reliable source of information for use in evaluating the body. Your body is what it is, and it is a miracle, regardless of how it looks. You probably appreciate plants and animals simply for what they are rather than critiquing superficial aspects of their appearance. You’d feel a lot better if you accorded your body the same appreciation and acceptance that you so easily offer to other living things.

Your body’s quality of life is completely dependent on the choices you make. If you neglect or abuse it, it has nowhere else to go. It will keep doing its best to function for you no matter how you treat it, but what it can do for you will be defined by its health. 

Your body constantly tries to correct for negative inputs—junky food, sedentary living, excessive stress, etc.—but it can only do so much. If you don’t take good care of it, that will be reflected in its condition sooner or later. On the other hand, the better you treat your body, the better it works and the better you feel. This is how your body will teach you—if you let it—everything you need to know about maximizing your health.

Your body will change with age no matter how well you treat it, as will every other living thing in your world. It’s sad and sometimes frustrating, but it’s not your body’s fault. Whatever its age, it just keeps doing its best for you given what it has to work with, day after day. Like a loyal companion, it keeps trying until the very end, no matter how tired, used up, or sick it might be.

You’ll be with your body for your entire life, so your relationship with it is worth cultivating with attentive care. You’ll have a much longer, happier, and healthier life if you do.

Copyright © 2017, Elizabeth Babcock, LCSW. All rights reserved.

 

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Why You Love Exercise, but Don't Know It 

Your Weight May Not be the Problem
 
Self-Help for Intense Anxiety

Depression Series, Part One: Depression -- Myths and Facts
 
Self-Esteem, Part One: What Self-Esteem Means and Why Yours Matters 

 

 

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