Tuesday, January 5, 2010

If your body could talk...

In Margarita Tartavosky's excellent Weightless Blog, her most recent post, Empathizing with your body, she asks the question "What would your body parts say if they could talk?" It's an intriguing question, because really how would our bodies respond to that question? What would our most dissatisfied body part say?

For me, my stomach, would say something along the lines of:
"I hold your stomach muscles and align your spine. I am the core of your body, but yet you do not see me that way. You cannot look past that small pooch that has been there since Adam and Eve--that pooch that is necessary for your health, that pooch that is there if you ever decide to bear children. Instead, you just see me as a layer of fat to be rid of so you can obtain that ever so sought after six-pack that you have always wanted with relentless stomach exercises that just make me hurt. And it is likely that that six pack will never happen due to pure genetics, so I don't know why you keep trying to attain this goal through me!"

Okay, so I have a bit of an angry stomach.

Seriously though, how do our bodies think of us? It is doubtful they think we are best friends, but rather more like mortal enemies. Doesn't that seem kind of sad? Our bodies become the thing we despise, the thing we take all our energy out on, the thing we deprive, the thing we scold and yell profanities at, the thing we mutilate, the thing we destroy.

And yet, each and every body part has a role in keeping us functional, in keeping us with the ability to move, in keeping us living. Don't you think for all that it deserves something better from us?

I know it can be hard, because sometimes we are not necessarily trying to destroy our bodies intentionally, it just becomes the thing that gets in the way, the thing most easy to manipulate, the thing that is the aftermath of our emotional pain.

I know it is a far fetch to say an affirmation like "I love my body" but what about just starting with "I appreciate my body for the amazing things it does for me." That's at least a starting point. We may never get to a point of loving our bodies ever so completely, but I think if we can reach aspects of appreciation and respect, our bodies would be so thankful for that.

So, if your body/body part could talk, what would it say?

Note--*In my quote part about what my stomach would say, I had a funny slip and wrote "purge" instead of "pure" genetics.
*I find it kind of ironic, because when I went to the blog site, there is a header with an advertisement with Jillian Michaels, asking "how big is your weight-loss goal?" I've seen this ad before and it is has been on various site, but I still find it ironic.


ED said...

Interestingly enough, your second footnote is why I made the choice to get rid of ads on my site when I decided to take a new approach to it...

Eating Alone said...

This is a way cool idea. I've been doing that a little since my surgery but I'm going to start focusing on it now. Great idea!

Cammy said...

This is an awesome idea! Very thought-provoking, I am going to mention this to my T this week.

Kim said...

I have an angry stomach too ;)

When I stop to think that my body is something to be appreciated, I get really sad for all I've put it through. I've been so frustrated and annoyed with it many times. When it gets me through sickness or injury, I realize how truly amazing it is. When I started getting my periods regularly, I realized my body is more forgiving than I could ever be. That is very humbling. I don't really look at my body as something to fight with anymore, but I'm still learning how to treat it with the respect it deserves. I used to roll my eyes at those "Your body is your temple" sayings. I kind of get it now.

Margarita Tartakovsky said...

@ Tiptoe, I'm so glad you enjoyed the exercise! Ann Kearney-Cooke includes a variety of helpful exercises in that book - Change Your Mind, Change Your Body. It's geared toward women over 40, but has some nice info for those who are younger, too.

I love what your stomach said! Very eloquent. I could totally relate.

I'm sorry about the ads! Google randomly generates them. But we're working on fixing the issue.

I Hate to Weight said...

jillian michaels is the anti-christ. (hope that's okay to write on your blog, but i really think it's true.)

if my esophagus could talk, oh it would be so hurt. "why, melissa, why?"

this is a great exercise. i thought what my stomach would say and it's basically the same, "why all the diet soda, balsamic vinegar, sugar, excessive raw vegetables, heavy spice, advil" and "where is my oatmeal, my water, my fiber"?

thanks, tiptoe. you really got me thinking!

Tiptoe said...

Thanks for the responses. So glad many of you thought about this and found it interesting.

Kim, I agree, I get sad too thinking about how much my body has gone through and that it is still here, functioning. It reminds us of just how resilient it truly is.

Margarita, so good to see your comment here. I love when I get comments by the authors whom I'm referencing. I'll have to check into that book. I've read some of Anne Kearney-Cook here and there and do like what she has to say.

The ads unfortunately happen a lot with google. I see them everywhere, so I know it is unintentional, just ironic though.

Melissa, of course, you are entitled to your own opinion, so if you think of Jillian Michaels as the anti-christ, then okay. ;-) I'm not offended.