If you don’t have a body you love, love the body you have.
I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, but one thing most women seem to have in common is their hatred of their own bodies. Even supermodels (so I hear) are not satisfied with their looks (could it have something to do with the fact that their body “fat” is photoshopped out, even though they’re a size zero?).
I, for example, am ever insecure about my frizzy hair, blemished skin, and slightly protruding belly (though it’s less so lately).
One interesting thing about me, though, is that running does not help me lose weight (I’m not saying I need to lose weight, bear with me here). I mean, long distance running. I’m sure I’d lose weight in a jiffy if I forced myself to do ten suicides a day, but even my self discipline has its limits.
Seriously, though. I ran a marathon and lost not a single pound (have I already written about this story?). I went from running zero to forty-plus miles a week and lost nothing! My boyfriend (only a friend at the time) asked me in the middle of my training, “Have you lost any weight since you started training?” I excitedly answered, “No. Why, does it look like it!” (picture my most hopeful face). Nick replied, “No, I’m just surprised you haven’t.”
(Don’t judge Nick here, he meant well:)
So, let’s just be honest and say that my impetus to start running again (after periods of laziness) is not very strong.
However, running does do something for me, and that is to lift my mood. I find that over time running helps me feel better emotionally.
It also gives me more energy, makes me feel more fit, and makes me eat healthier. I’ve always found it strange that I’m way hungrier when I’m not working out than when I am. And when I’m working out (or running) I tend to crave more water and more healthy foods. When I’m not running, I tend to crave greasy food and chocolate.
So this week I’ve been trying to start running again. It really shouldn’t be that hard since I’m only working an average of 3 days a week and my social life consists mainly of visiting my good friend at the library (she’s a librarian, how cute is that?) and watching episodes of Jericho with my parents (who incidentally are retired and so incessantly beg me to stay up later and watch another episode- a little role reversal?).
I ran Saturday, I ran this morning, and I’m hoping to run at least two or three more days this week.
I’m not losing weight, but I’m seeing what my body is capable of.
Because whatever your shape, whatever your size, whatever your situation- your body is capable of a lot- and I do not say this lightly, because I know some wonderful and brave women (and men) who have struggled with some really tough physical challenges. My heart is so heavy for friends and clients who- at any age, but especially a young age- are suffering with chronic pain, debilitating illnesses, or limitations in what they’re able to do.
But I am also constantly moved and inspired by the grace and courage with which they continue to use and glorify the temple God has given them. Two friends whose health has been very rough lately have taken up knitting. My dad who can no longer play basketball now plays in a table tennis league. A family friend with MS still remains involved socially even though she was recently confined to a nursing home. My uncle who lost much of his functioning to a stroke still blesses us with his quick wit.
Though there is much suffering in these stories (and I hope I am not minimizing it), the pain and loss of functioning has also highlighted the beauty in what their bodies are capable of.
I read in my devotional this morning that you should say this everyday in the mirror: Blessed am I among women to live and love in such a beautiful temple.
Blessed are you. You are beautiful.
God’s grace today was in the reminder that my body is capable and good and beautiful.