Copyright 2005 Lori Radun
I want you to think about your body as one of your children or someone else you love dearly. When was last time this person did or said something that really made you mad? In that moment, you might have been thinking “I really don’t like this person right now.” However, did his behavior cause you to stop loving him? Absolutely not! My teenager regularly acts in a way that I do not like, but I still love him. I will protect him, do what I think is best for him, and give him what he needs.
Now let’s return to your body. How often do you look at your body and think, “I do not like my legs, my hips, my butt (or whatever)”? I admit it. I do not like my thicker waist that came from my second child and being over 40. Okay fine, so it also comes from sometimes eating too much of wrong foods and not exercising consistently. It’s one thing to dislike your body. It’s something completely different to have an attitude of hatred or disgust towards your body. This attitude will cause you to mistreat your body instead of loving and honoring your body.
Your body, with all its imperfections, is sacred. It is only body you have been given for your entire life. Your body houses all organs that keep you alive. It gets you around from place to place. Your body pumps oxygen to brain that enables you to feel, think, create and function. You need to take care of your body like any relationship with a loved one. Loving and respecting your body requires same ingredients. So what can you give to your body that you would give someone you love?
1. Daily Attention To nurture a relationship, you need to pay attention to what it needs. If you ignore your loved one for a long period of time, what happens? The relationship begins to die. In order to grow my relationship with my little guy, he needs daily doses of conversation, playtime with me, and cuddling. In order to thrive, your body needs adequate sleep, proper nutrition, exercise, and plenty of water everyday. You wouldn’t go for a week without talking to your child or husband, so why would you go for a week giving your body 4-5 hours of sleep a night or regularly feeding your body foods with no nutrition? Love your body by staying conscious about how you treat it on a daily basis.
2. Spend Time and Listen In order to get to know someone you love, you need to spend time together. Your body is same way. It will communicate with you if you only listen. Your body will tell you when it is hungry and when it is full. It will tell you when it is tired and needs to relax. If you are getting sick a lot, your body is screaming at you. It is trying to get your attention. When you exercise, your body will begin to hurt if you push too hard. Or maybe you are short of breath from lack of exercise or being overweight. That is your body’s way of communicating that it is working too hard. Pay attention to cues your body sends you. Respond to them and see them as signs that something needs to change. Someone I know says to people, “If you ignore your health, it will leave you.” And so will your husband.