This time of year it’s easy to find articles and posts about giving thanks for friends and family, our health, and our homes and possessions. There’s nothing that changes our perspective quite like gratitude and a thankful heart.
This year I want to challenge you to be thankful for something beyond the typical points above. This year I’m going to ask you to be thankful for your body. Now some of you may cringe at that thought because you’re not particularly a fan of what your body looks like. You may tense up when you think about specific body parts like your arms, legs, butt or stomach. You may automatically point out all the negative parts of your body that you don’t like rather than focusing on the parts you do like.
Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with food, lose a few pounds or are trying to figure out what foods work best with your body with respect to disease management or prevention, showing your body kindness is always the first step. You MUST be kinder to your body than you are to any other person. There is no wiggle room or exceptions for this – you must choose to ALWAYS be kind to your body.
Choosing kindness means feeding your body when it’s hungry, resting your body when it’s tired, moving your body when it is restless and slowing down when your body is sick or overwhelmed. Showing kindness also means wearing clothes that fit appropriately, taking care of it on a daily basis and extending yourself grace when you make the wrong decision. Lastly showing kindness means being thankful for it. Regardless of your feelings about your body, it still is your body. Your body shows up for you every single day. You may abuse it, trash talk it, think negatively about it, yet it continues to show up for you every moment of every day, housing your organs, supplying you with energy and keeping you alive. We need to be thankful for that!
If giving thanks for your body is hard, start with an easy first step and give thanks for the parts of your body that you do like (for example “thank you for great hair!”). Every time you are tempted to say something negative (or catch yourself in a negative thought), immediately replace it with a positive one and give thanks for your body. Over time, you will find the negative thoughts don’t pop up so frequently and your kind words transform into kind actions towards your body.
Kindness starts with gratitude. Join me in thanking our bodies for another day and watch how your new way of thinking transforms your future behaviors and outcomes.