How to fall in love with your body
When you get hung up on the way your body looks you’re overlooking its most important functions – to keep you alive, healthy, and safe! It doesn’t matter how great or socially acceptable your outer packaging is, if your body isn’t functioning properly, you won’t enjoy good health and vitality.
So, let’s go back to basics. Remember when you learned biology at school, particularly human anatomy? What did it focus on? It focused on how your body worked, not what it looked like.
One of the great ways to appreciate your body more and to worry about what it looks like less, is to focus on its function. To help you cultivate this habit, here are some amazing facts that will make you fall in love with your body:
Your bum – a powerful seat
Love it or loathe it, your backside’s primary purpose is not to look shapely in a pair of jeans. Your bum is powered by the largest muscle in your body, the gluteus maximus, (we have two of them, one for each cheek). This muscle is designed to act as a cushion when you sit down and also to keep you upright when clenched. A woman’s bottom is bigger than a man’s to help counter balance her belly when pregnant. Amazing stuff, right!?
The power of scent – your nose
Small or big, crooked or straight, do you ever appreciate the power of your nose over its appearance? Yet, there are some very good reasons to love it. The nose can remember 50,000 different scents. Scent is vital to not only your sense of taste, but also in the retention and recall of memories. If you were unable to smell, you’d be deprived of all the wonderful flavour sensations there are to experience. And what about your memory? How many times have you smelt something and then remembered a place, a situation or a person? Thank your nose for playing its part in keeping your memories alive.
No such thing as a bad hair day
For most of my adult life, I’ve fought against my hair, not just on my head, but on my body. With a mane of curly unruly hair and more than my fair share of body hair, I’ve tried every product and method possible to make my hair conform to what a woman is ‘supposed’ to have – the cliché sleek, glossy hair and smooth hair free skin. These days, I work on embracing what I’ve been given rather than trying to conform to any ideal. Most days I let my frizzy hair flow freely and don’t obsess about my hairy arms.
In doing my research for this post, I discovered some very interesting hair facts that helped me to see my hair in a whole new light. Apparently, excessive body hair has been linked to higher intellect (who knew?), while a full head of healthy hair is strong enough to support 12 tonnes (amazing, although I hope I never have to put that to the test!).
Go with your gut
When asked what part of their body women like least, the tummy ranks high on the list. For many women focussing on the size of their tummy is part of everyday life. Yet the stomach is a vital part of the anatomy which is largely misunderstood and shrouded in myth.
Think about this – without the stomach, you wouldn’t be able to digest food and extract the nutrients you need – fuel for the body. In addition, you probably don’t realise the importance of the stomach to your immune system. Your stomach is the first line of defence for the immune system, killing off bacteria and viruses that may be carried into the body via the food you eat. The next time you berate the size of your tummy, turn your thoughts to these important functions that help provide fuel for and protect your body.
Let’s dispel some unhelpful myths about your stomach. Firstly, it’s a myth that eating less will shrink your stomach. Once you’re an adult, the size of your stomach remains roughly the same, and eating less won’t shrink it. In addition, it’s also false to believe that thin people have smaller stomachs than those who are larger. The size of your stomach does not correlate with weight. Secondly, no exercise can change the size of your stomach [organ] (although it can burn off fat that accumulates on the outside of the body). Therefore, focussing on the size of your stomach is counterproductive – doing so will only demoralise you and dent your body confidence. Changing your focus from your stomach’s size to its functions puts you on track to better health and body confidence.
What do you think about your body now? Have you begun to see it in a new light? Perhaps you are beginning to fall in love with your body?
Get in the habit of focussing on the function of your body rather than its appearance. If you find yourself struggling to appreciate a particular body part, find out more about its function. Simply typing “amazing facts about the body/tummy/bottom” into any search engine yields a multitude of results. Ask yourself what is the role of that body part? How does it power or protect you? Note these down and refer to them each time you find yourself thinking or speaking negatively about that body part. Try it, it really does work!