Love your body

The last few days have been a tough with a capital “T”. I’ve been unmotivated, unenthusiastic about most things that would have been biting at the bit, and lethargic. Cleaning the van and washing clothes had more appeal than venturing out (uh huh, that bad!). So instead of feeling bad that I don’t have enough internet to download re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy onto my laptop, I have created a list. It started as just listed reasons as to why I should love my body, but I soon realised that this is applicable to any person, of any gender, of any age. It felt odd writing a list of positives that focused on my body specifically, not my mind- they are the same entity. Aren’t they?... If that were so, HOW can our minds procure so much anger and frustration at our body?

After writing my list, I was interested to see what was on the internet, what other lists had been put together, and I found it sad. These lists focussed a lot on body weight, figures, and food- that we deserve that extra bit of cake; that it’s ok not to be that size zero; that there is more than just one size; that you can indulge every now and again. And whilst a lot of those reasons are true, I find they aren’t reasons as to why I should love my body- because I am more. I am more than my size, more than my weight, and more than the food I eat.

So, drum roll please, I give you my list of 10 reasons you must love your body!

1. Your body is amazing. Years of evolution have resulted in you having a tough-as-all-hell, adventure ready body. Our lungs can handle altitudes of all kinds, or legs can move us through land and water. We can fall from heights, and dive to ridiculous depths- it’s incredible. On a side note, can I get a hell-yeh for opposable thumbs?! We couldn’t do anything without them.

2. It’ll get back up, time and time again. Every fall, every bruise, cut and scratch. You can push and punish it, and then all you have to do is ask, and it’ll give you everything it’s got again, and again, and again!

3. It can get stronger, and faster, and even MORE of a fighting machine. As if our bodies weren’t amazing enough as it is, with a little love, and patience, your body can be trained to do things even harder and faster.

4. You only have the one body. This might sound quite morbid, but it’s the truth! If there was only one chocolate bar on earth, and it was given to me, I’d be making sure I looked after it pretty well (until I ate it that is- but that’s beside the point!). Love your body and look after it.

5. It will forgive you. Even when you have pulled that muscle, broken that bone, pushed your limits to the point of exhaustion, your body will never hold that against you. Maybe just give it a good feed and a bath from time to time to help this one stick ;)

6. It is what it is. What is the body? It is a biological organism that consists of nerves, organs, muscles and so much more. It is our perceptions that have created standards where we want more from it. So step back, and appreciate what your body has been designed to do, and how well it already does that!

7. Sappy one here- but there is only one you! Only you can hug the way you do, make people laugh the way you do, care and love the way you do. You are you, love it.

8. It can recover from sickness, becoming even stronger. You can throw viruses and bacteria at it, and your body will not only recover, but will actually become stronger- yay for immune systems!

9. There are billions of humans on the planet, and you are unique (promise!). Even when it doesn’t seem like it, your body can do things that no one else’s can. This means that every one of your experiences are unique and original- just think what you can bring to individuals and groups.

10. Because you should! Imagine if you did exercise, not because of how it will make you look, but because of how it’ll make you feel, and where it can take you- to the top of that mountain; along that canyon; up that climb.

So now that you have my list, please give your body a big ol’ virtual hug from me. Because it’s awesome, and you should love it!

Written by our ambassador Courtney Stedman follow her van life adventures @eightlegsvanlife