My Body is Functional, NOT Decorative

20 Apr

This could be a long post, because this realization was a big Ah-ha moment for me.  Have you ever gone to someone’s house and seen a beautiful sitting room that no one ever sits in?   It’s the room that has furniture that has never been used.  That room is totally decorative.  And it has always struck me as odd, because let’s face it, furniture is pretty much made to be used.  The same can be said for our bodies.  Despite what our culture seems to believe, the purpose of our bodies is to allow us to do the things we have to do in order to live.  And not just breathing, but lifting, walking, pulling, hearing, smelling, seeing, wiggling our toes, feeling the warmth of the sun.  Even our hair keeps our scalp from getting sunburned.  The way you look has nothing to do with your health.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that physical beauty does matter to us, I’m just saying that it isn’t the primary purpose of the body.

You may be asking, what’s the big deal?  For me, it was this.  I have to stop critiquing my body based on how it looks and focus instead on what it can do.  Suddenly it helps me realize that the purpose of getting healthy is not to lose weight, but to keep my body functioning well for as long as possible.  And while this may seem like a “duh” statement, I have found that the world has a different idea.  Every time I look for fitness or nutritional information, weight loss is the primary focus.

My first step along this journey has been to stop hating my body.  I truly believe that you can’t get healthy if you start from a place of hating your body.  Being healthy requires you to do the things that are best for your body.  It means you have to decide to love your body enough to keep it functional.  And has anyone ever been truly, deeply loving to something that disgusts them?  Heck no!  It’s like cockroaches.  You see one and you either want to run from it or stomp on it.  Basically you try to get rid of it as quickly as possible.  Same thing with your body.  If it disgusts you, you’ll just want to “fix” it as quickly as possible.  It won’t matter to you how you do it.  You’ll just pick whichever way seems fastest and you won’t be able to sustain it.  You’ll think things like “I can’t stand to look this way one second longer” or “I can’t even look in the mirror”.  We are kindest to the things we adore.  It is what has allowed me to start thinking about how certain foods make me feel.  I’ve also decided to eat cleaner, because I believe it is best for my body.  If we adore ourselves and our bodies we will want to do what is best for it.  So love your body.  And thank it for all the things it allows you to do and experience.



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