If you are a fabulous dieter, manage your calories down to the morsel and measure your exercise by the minute, please stop reading this now. I will admire you from afar and congratulate you on both your will power and your stamina.
But we cannot be friends. Ever.
I made a conscious decision in January 2015 to love my body. (My arms, my legs, my stomach and, in particular, my thighs. I now love every single part of my wonderful body. I am neither thin nor obese. But I am fortunate to have amazing physical strength.
The decision to love my body also came with a decision to feed it with healthful foods as often as possible. I promised my body I would take it for a good walk more times than I did the year before. I would feed it less sugar and fat. I would make smart decisions about how much liquor I thought it could handle.
I did extremely well with this plan until the last week of November. That week is also Thanksgiving week, when I eat anything and everything that is bursting with sweetness, exploding with butter and loaded with calories. This time of year puts me in Full Celebration Mode. I cherish the time to be with my dear friends, my children, my grandchildren and my roommate. (He has been my roommate and husband for a very long time).
Spending time with these people usually includes great dinners, hot chocolate, baking cookies, specialty cocktails and boxes of See’s Candy. (Quick sidebar: If you live in a place that does not sell See’s Candy you are missing out on the best chocolate candy in the world. Warren Buffet liked the company and its product so much that he bought it).
What I learned last year is that even if I did enjoy everything that was placed before me during this celebratory season, that behavior did not make me a bad person. Nor did it make me a generally unhealthy person. Being a healthy person – physically and emotionally – requires balance. I realized I’m smart enough to go back to appreciating my perfect body and feeding it well (90 percent of the time) once the party ends.
Life may be short and it may often be challenging, but it can also be glorious if you stop criticizing yourself and your magnificent body.
Why do I say magnificent? Because the human body is an absolute miracle. Most of us take our bodies for granted until some part of it stops working. Every minute of every day, our heart beats constantly and in perfect rhythm. Our lungs take in just the right amount of oxygen needed to keep that heart going and our brain thinking. Our liver and kidneys act as excellent expellers of all the toxins we inhale or ingest.
The body that enables you to walk into your office or play a round of golf is the same body that provides you with sexual gratification and allows you to lift the weight of an aging parent or sleeping child with gentle strength.
Take the time to listen to your body. You will hear when it is hungry. You will feel when it is tired. You will know when it requires fresh air and movement. You’ll also sense when it needs something with those cute little sprinkles on top.
Listen, live a little and love your body. It’s the only one you were given (this time around).
“If any thing is sacred, the human body is scared.” – Walt Whitman