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Wellness

How Do I Learn To Love My Body Enough To Move It?

I’m a big believer in self-love, learning what it’s like to love your body enough to move it, and how that could lead to the kind of health I think I deserve.

I believe that when we treat ourselves with respect and care, it changes how we feel about ourselves. In a word: health.

In the context of physical health, I’m not talking about the kind of superficial kind of love, or the kind of self-loathing that comes with getting sick or injured (and, yes, those things can affect our feelings of self-worth). I’m talking about an appreciation for what we are, a love of the body that’s not driven by a desire to punish or control it, but by knowing that, in many cases, the body is able to take care of itself. This doesn’t need to require us to “get in shape,” as the old adage goes, it simply means letting the body be what it wants to be, and having the ability to embrace that love rather than try to control it.

I’m also talking about a love for the body that allows the body to have enough room to be what it wants, without being pressured into being what someone else wants.  The body in which we live is not just a box to fit in.  It’s a place to be as it is.  Which means we have to let go of shame and self-hatred, and accept and embrace the body we have, in the way we want it.

I see no problem in the concept of having self-care routines, and in the fact that eating a healthy diet can be an essential part of maintaining and improving the health, and wellness, of our bodies.  But, in all fairness, I don’t think it’s helpful to take your favorite foods with you when you go out on the town.  I think our idea of what constitutes the healthy kind of diet is too limited.  It often comes wrapped up in the idea of having to put up with “unhealthy” foods, the kind that can make you sick.  It’s often limited to a single meal or two, and for those who need a different type of diet, or more healthful living, different kinds of food are out there, and the food that fits your tastes (and can sustain a long, healthy life) is available when you want it. If that’s what you need to eat, then great! No offense to you.  If you go to a restaurant that serves a diet based on vegetables and fruits, the foods themselves are probably not the problem (if you must try something with vegetables, for example, try a salad.) But is that what your body needs to survive the day?  Sure it has different requirements than others do, but are you eating the body you really want?  If not, are you living like you truly want to live?  Or even if you eat the way you’re told, are we not living like we truly want?  And for most of us, I would say the latter.  Not only does it not support your overall health, but also it restricts your ability to live how you truly want to live, and it’s not healthy, either.

So what I’m saying is: If you want the kind of healthy lifestyle that leads to self-love that’s ultimately beneficial to the health and happiness of your body, you might want to consider a more flexible diet.  Some of us might need a little less meat, a little less fat, or a little less sugar to stay healthy.  If you are the type of person who would prefer to eat only healthy, plant-based foods, you might have a better chance of staying that way without having to go out and get that stuff.

If this is the kind of thing that’s in your life, or if you are interested in learning more, the first thing you need to get clear on is what you as an individual want.