As I started to write this post, what came out first was a poem about the cliched make-lemonade-when-life-gives-you-lemons metaphor. It was about how you sometimes just WANT to sit around sour-faced, and how - if you don’t get upset about it - it’s okay to indulge in a little misery when you get a big ol’ bucket of lemons now and again. But it had lines like, “Puckered mouth, spit glands slayed / Jowls dripping juice. Pained,” which are, honestly, a little dramatic for a blog post, don’t you think?
So what changed?
What changed was one simple, totally cost-free action (as long as you are in a safe place):
I went for a jog.
That’s it. I put on my tennies, grabbed some tunes, and stepped outside. It wasn’t sunny, but it was warm - solidly in the 60s - and I had upbeat Prince jams blasting through my earbuds. With every leg thrust and arm pump, I couldn’t help but be consciously aware - and in absolute awe - of my body, simply doing what it’s designed to do.
Smilingly, (I mean, I actually started smiling as I was jogging!), I appreciated the flexing and extending of my glutes, hams, and quads, all collaborating with my calves below, and my core above. I thought, gratefully, about how my core musculature and all the little stabilizers were keeping me upright through the almost alarming dynaminasim of jogging. And oh, my achilles! Oh, the structure of my feet! My poor, asymmetrically sized feet that uncomplainingly received the impact of my body weight as it slammed, single-leg by single-leg, down upon them, with only an unforgiving concrete path beneath. Aren’t they incredible --our feet? What about my arms? Not to be overlooked, my pumping arms, connected to my lower body through long marvelous lats, and fueled - like ALL the muscles - by the oxygen that I pulled in with my diaphragm, reaching its big self powerfully downward with every inhalation, creating a vacuum to suck air into my lungs! And with every breath, the oxygen shifted complicatedly into my blood, pumping through my heart and my whole body, returning for cycle after cycle, generating chemical processes that turned stored and processed macronutrients into pure energy!
I shouldn’t have been writing a poem about choosing lemons over lemonade! Common! I should have been writing an ODE to the miracle of my body!
LISTEN! You think it’s just ME talking this crazy stuff. You think YOU are much happier on the couch. But I promise, you’re NOT! We humans are created to MOVE! And no indulgence is complete without its complement, not even chillaxing on the couch! Especially when we don’t feel like getting up and moving! That’s when doing so provides the greatest contrast for our very souls to take in! That’s when it shakes us from our depressions, our anxieties, our navel-gazings, our griefs. I implore you to get up and move your body for ten minutes. Dance! Reach up! See how many planes you can move in! Find out how many directions your spine can take your body. Gently. With love. Take a moment to consider the jaw-droppingly vast number of things happening inside of you to make it possible.
Fellow humans, it’s not the body you have that determines the way you feel about it. And it’s not the messages society is giving you either. It’s the thoughts you choose about the body you have. (And the messages society has given you). Otherwise every person in a body like yours would feel exactly the same way about it. But they don’t. We know thin people who are miserable. And big-bodied people who are ultra-confident. It’s what they’re THINKING. Take the time to strip your body-thoughts of their charge: just take the thought that you have a body and that it serves you, and MOVE that body that you have, and acknowledge the systems inside you that ARE working.
THAT is a starting point for loving your body and closing the gap between what you have and what you want.
If you’re looking for weight-loss and/or fitness support, reach out! That’s my specialty, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Coming soon...a weight-loss and fitness program for closet creatives. If that describes you, hit me up to learn more about how you can use visual art to reach your weight loss and fitness goals.
Have a body-spectacular week!