Just like a lot of people out there, I try to take care of my body. I do my best to exercise regularly, eat well (for the most part) and maintain a positive attitude about my body and my health. However, I am human and sometimes I give into my not-so-healthy cravings. I love chocolate, an occasional decaf latte, and tacos, and while those things may not be the best for me, the occasional splurge is normal and honestly sometimes vital for your sanity.
That being said, I try to show my body the love it deserves, the love it needs to be healthy and beautiful. Not only does that require a (mostly) healthy diet and regular exercise, but a healthy body is also a happy one, one that is seen in a positive light. I think we often forget the instrumental role our self-image plays in our health. It is imperative to our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing that we appreciate and love all that our body does for us, and therefore nourish and love our bodies in the way they deserve.
But what happens when parts of your body fight against you? What happens when your body says you can’t do something you really wanted, or even needed to do? How is a person supposed to love and appreciate a body that is so set on providing them pain?
As a person with a chronic illness, I ask myself those questions all the time, especially on days, such as this past weekend, when it feels like my illness, and thus my body, are trying to ruin my life. And as crazy as it may seem, I feel that these are the days we need to love our bodies more. Not only physically, with the food we feed it and the medications we use to treat it, but mentally as well.
Yes, my body is fighting itself. Yes, it hurts like hell and there’s nothing I can do about it. Yes, these symptoms might feel all-consuming, like not only are they your burden to bear, but they can make you feel like a burden to your loved ones. But think about this: your body is fighting to protect you (even if what it thinks it’s protecting you from is really one of your vital organs). Your body is functioning the best it can to ensure your survival. Your body is giving you everything it has so that you can be okay again. Your body is stronger than most for what it has endured and overcome. Your body is still absolutely incredible.
In times of physical pain from a chronic illness, a regular illness, or any kind of injury, it’s important to understand what is happening in your body. Do your research, learn the best methods to physically care for your body, and once you’ve done that, thank your body. Thank it for being alive, for being able to feel what it feels (even when it’s unbearable pain), for trying its best to heal itself. Thank your body for giving you the ability to do the things you are able to do and try to understand that the more we love our bodies, the better they will love us back. Just like a lot of people out there, I try to take care of my body. I try to exercise regularly, eat well (for the most part) and maintain a positive attitude about my body and my health. However, I’m human and sometimes I give into my not-so-healthy cravings. I love chocolate, an occasional decaf latte, and tacos. And while those things may not be the best for me, the occasional splurge is normal.