This quote has a broader application than what can be discussed in a single post. I am discussing body perspective today because it is a clear example of where this principle can be applied. I will likely revisit this quote in future posts.
Respect Your Body
Your body is a gift from God. Resilient, flexible and unique, the physical human form is truly a marvel of creation. When we focus on the wonder of our body and recognize the potential it has, we gain a deep respect for it that makes it difficult to treat it poorly.
Remember, though, that you are not your body anymore than you are your foot. Your body is a part of you. Identifying yourself with your body makes healthy habits difficult to maintain. If you think of yourself as a fat person, a bald guy or a couch potato, you have to change who you are in order to maintain a healthy physical body. It is much easier to change what you do or how you think than who you are. You are a spiritual, conscious being using a physical body to interact with the physical world.
Your body is a part of the physical world which is defined by boundaries and limitations. But, it was created by divinity and is controlled by you who are a soul derived from the essence of God, absent of limitation.
Four Actions to Build and Maintain a Healthy Body
Whether you are interested in losing weight, gaining energy or muscle mass, the following activities can help build and maintain the body you desire:
- Acceptance: A commitment to change your body starts with accepting the body you have today and expressing gratitude for the strengths it has. Your eyes can read this print, your brain can process the words and I’m sure you can think of many other things your body is capable of doing. Allow yourself to be awestruck by this marvelous creation while recognizing that it is separate from who you are.
- Imagine Perfection: Imagine that you have achieved the goals you wish to achieve for your body. Your body is perfect and you know exactly what it needs to maintain perfection.
- Move toward your goal: Begin one new habit that will move you toward the perfection you imagine and maintain it for 30 days. Studies have shown that habits that persist for 30 days or more become difficult habits to break. If you are not currently exercising, start there. Maintaining healthy eating habits feels natural once an exercise routine has been established. This is especially true if weight loss is a goal: burning calories is much easier than reducing calories. After 30 days, begin another new habit.
- Be positive: Focus on adding things that are good for you rather than eliminating things that are harmful. Rather than thinking about eliminating ice cream and potato chips, look for things you can use to replace them. Instead of focusing on spending less time watching television, consider ways to fill that time with enlightening or physical things. A focus on positive change reduces the grief and obsession over the things you have eliminated and increases enthusiasm about positive things to come.
Establishing a Routine – A Personal Perspective
I have been a physically active person most of my life, though my physical activities have been inconsistent, and consequently, my physical health had seasonal fluctuations. Several months ago I committed to morning workouts before getting ready for work. What I discovered is that morning routines are much easier for me to keep because morning activities tend to be routine and predictable. Afternoons are full of interruptions, spontaneous activities and unpredictability.
Additionally, my workouts rotate between kick boxing, running and swimming: all things that I enjoy tremendously. And, I periodically attempt to find other variations. Variation helps prevent boredom. A workout routine is easiest to maintain if it does not feel like work.
Today, my body is healthier than it has ever been and morning workouts are easy to maintain (as long as I get enough sleep at night. That’s my next 30 day commitment).
Daily Action – Prepare To Change Your Body
Using the four activities listed above begin to develop a plan to improve the health of your body. Commit to a habit change you will practice for the next 30 days. If you feel comfortable doing so, make a comment on this post sharing your commitment. Feel free to use a pseudonym if you wish to remain anonymous (your email address must be real, but it will not be displayed).
Sharing your goal with others not only helps motivate you to maintain your goal, but it can also help others determine goals they may wish to set for themselves and provide inspiration to others.
To continue reading about this topic see the following posts in the series Making Peace with Our Bodies: