It has often been said to “listen to your body, it’s telling you something”. This meaning any number of things such as you are hungry and you need to eat, you are tired and need to rest, you are not feeling and need to go to the doctor. I recently had the experience of “seeing my body” and it showed me something that I had not paid attention to in the past.
I am a food addict and obsessed with my addiction’s impact on my weight. I have a morning ritual of looking at my body in the mirror with scrutiny and critical review. I focus on my stomach and I can tell what I will weigh. If there is the slightest change I will be able to tell the impact on the scale. That is my goal with this ritual; to see if what I ate the day(s) before will impact how I look and what I will weigh.
Then, one day I saw something different. I would not say it was “new” because it could have been there for quite some time, but this time I stopped to appreciate to see what my body was showing me. I saw muscles along side my waste. I saw muscles in my thighs and on my arms. These were not the kind of muscles one would see from a “body builder” but they were visible muscles, nonetheless.
I saw these muscles and I knew what they meant. They were from the exercise that I committed to do on a regular basis. They were from having an active lifestyle and choosing to move more, whether it was taking a parking spot further away from my destination or taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
This time I really gave pause to appreciate that I actually had muscles and I could see them. I reflected on what those muscles meant to me and the freedom they gave me. I could work in my garden for the day; much longer than the fifteen minutes that I could only tolerate before.
Even the simplest things for most used to be a struggle for me such as cutting vegetables or whisking a sauce. I avoided buying fresh beets or squash because I knew it would be a challenge to slice them. The worst was Halloween and having to carve pumpkins!
I remember having to cut vegetables when I had become stronger. I did not think of my newfound strength when I went to cut them and was in awe how easy it was. At first, I thought, “why did I use to hate this?”, and then I realized I had become stronger.
I still have my ritual because it’s who I am. There are some things I have worked on and continue to work on in my life, but we all must “pick our battles” and that’s not one of them. That said, I now appreciate what my body is showing me in my ritual and smile when I think of all the things I can enjoy by staying healthy and by continuing to move. I hope that you will include some kind of physical activity in your life. Wishing you happiness with your newfound freedom!!