© 2009 Marica

084 – Body beautiful

If nothing else, my life has taught me one thing: The mind and body that I have are the only mind and body that I have. They deserve my attention. And when I give it, I receive so much more in return.
— Matthew Sanford

Walking back to work after having lunch with my wonderful husband a photo in a lingerie shop window display caught my eye. I stood there on the pavement starring at the woman’s body in the photo. It was so beautiful – nothing like my over-sized, saggy body.

“Why oh why can’t I look like that,” I asked myself.

“Did I ever look that?” I wondered.

From this point on things went steadily downhill in my mind … How did you become so fat? Why don’t you take better care of your body? When are you going to do something about losing weight instead of just thinking about it? Why don’t you make time for exercise? … on and on went the questions. This unknown woman’s body really struck a raw nerve in me. The negativity that spewed out of my mind was overwhelming and all of it was directed at my body, not anyone elses.

In reality even though my body is full of imperfections it serves me amazingly well but I need to stop neglecting it and give it the respect it deserves. I look after my mind very well, as for the rest of me – well, it could be a lot better.

Then today I read …

You may not realize this, but you are an organic masterpiece. Everything about you exists for a reason. You may not know why you have big square knees or unmanageably curly hair, but your genes do. The story of your body is written by your genes, and every single thing about your body – from the way you gain weight to the way your eye color shifts – is described by them. And when your genes wrote the story of your body, they didn’t want it to be boring or commonplace. They didn’t want you to look like a generic human. They wanted to make you completely unique. So they gave you subplots and surprises, historical references and quirky characters. They made you YOU.

And shifting your appearance, manipulating your muscles, tending your body inside and out are all beneficial activities. They forge your relationship with your physical self, a relationship that should be based on respect, love, and stewardship. Wanting to exert some measure of control over your physical appearance is natural, and doing so with an eye toward self-care is constructive. But never forget that when you succumb to the belief that your body will remain shameful, weird, ugly, or sub-par unless you undergo drastic change or manipulation, you are denying the story of your body. And that story will be told, no matter how you attempt to quiet it. So don’t slog through the story of your body weighed down by manufactured discontent and oppressed by unrealistic expectations. You’re better served to celebrate it, every single day of your life.

… You, with the spare tyre, the graying hair, the apple bottom.
There is nothing wrong with you.
You are beautiful. Right now, today, just as you are.
Just ask your genes.

Source: Already Pretty blog, The Story of Your Body, 19 November 2009

Okay genes, are you with me? Talk to me. Tell me I’m okay. Explain the organic masterpiece that is me so I can accept it and possibly even manage to love it.

I want to feel beautiful. I don’t need to hear it from anyone else but from me. If only I could lose some kilos and keep them off – here I go again, if only this … if only that…

I do realise this is the only mind and body I will ever have. I do treasure it and what it does for me every day even when I make it hard for it to function as it needs to. Maybe if I paid my body the same attention I dedicate to my job things would be different. Or would they? What do I want to be different? My weight – yes, that’s what it all boils down to, my weight!

Manifesto
06. Every day you make choices.
07. Every day making no choice is a choice.
12. Every day love yourself.

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