It’s easy to say, “You should love your body just the way it is!” But it’s much harder to make that actually happen. We live in a culture with all kinds of body ideals, setting often unattainable standards for everything from weight and shape to age and ability.
As a result, it’s easy to get lured into focusing on the areas in which your body falls short of the ideal. Maybe you hone in on how small you wish you were or how much you wish you were taller. Maybe you can’t stop worrying about a pimple on your chin or a stretch mark on your thigh. Whatever your insecurities, they can build up fast. Amid all the self-deprecation and attempts to change your body, you might forget how wonderful of a thing it really is to even have one.
When’s the last time you took a second to just appreciate that you have a body? People tend not to do this; and in fact, some people can’t remember even one time they ever felt gratitude for their body at all. But no matter how your body looks and no matter how you perceive it, here are 20 things you can appreciate about your body right now, as is.
Part of the reason your body is always changing is because it’s incredibly adaptive. If you’re dehydrated, it will retain water. If you’re tired, it holds onto more energy. If you’re too warm, it cools your skin with sweat. Your body can even do this with food. If you’re not getting enough to eat, your metabolism can slow down. If you’re eating more than usual, your metabolism can speed up.
You receive constant signals from your body notifying you of its wants and needs. When you’re hungry, you know. When you’re tired, you know. Some people are so in tune with their bodies that they can interpret exactly what nutrients they’re missing and when they’re drinking too much caffeine. But regardless of how much you’re paying attention, your body’s signals are always in action.
No other human being on the planet has your capabilities, your features, your brain, and your body. Just take a second to think about the magnitude of that — you are the only one who gets to go about life in this body. Reframe this as a privilege, because it is! If you’re feeling down on yourself or focused on the things about your body you wish you could change, try some of these tips to stop feeling insecure in your body.
And isn’t food great? We at The Daily Meal certainly think so — from comforting dishes filled with cheese and carbs to elegant meals prepared with care, none of those taste bud sensations would be possible without your body.
Your senses — touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound — rely entirely on your body. It’s a privilege to experience any one of these sensations; enjoy them! Look at something beautiful today. Listen to a song you love. Wear something soft or cozy. Breathe in the delicious smells of a batch of freshly baked cookies.
No matter the task you put it through, your body reacts to become better equipped for that same task in the future. As a result, you get stronger. Live on a fifth-floor walk-up? It might be a tough climb at first, but after a few months you’ll grow closer and closer to an effortless ascent.
Every cut, scrape, and bruise goes away all on its own! When you get sick, your body fends off the germ invasion. When you break a bone, it mends (with a little alignment help from your doctor).
Whether you’re a knitter, a writer, a runner, or a button collector, none of that would be possible without your physical body. Your body is the vehicle that allows you to enjoy life!
Every time you communicate, you’re relying on your body. It allows you to express a thought, sadness, hilarity, affection. Human connection is important — some studies show that relationships are impressively powerful in helping people to live longer.
When important things happen, your body takes initiative and stores the memory. These reservoirs of your life remain tucked away in your brain whenever you may need them — and sometimes when you don’t. But either way, none of those memories would be possible without the elaborate brain mechanisms that make them happen.
Your nervous system has an intricate set of responses that fire off any time your body perceives a threat. Let’s say you’re suddenly in danger — of running into someone that jumped out in front of you, for example. Before your brain has even registered what’s happening, your body reacts with a jolt of energy and a quick response. It can also warn you of emotional or situational danger by triggering feelings of nausea, clamminess, or unease — a “gut feeling.”
You know how frustrating it is to try losing weight on a diet — it can feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t shed the pounds you want. There’s a reason it’s so hard! Bodies are designed primarily to keep you alive. They know what weight they need to be to function at their best — when you try to throw this off, your body starts to do everything in its power to preserve itself. Many people get frustrated with this, wishing they could control their body size effectively. But when you think about it, it’s actually pretty amazing. Even when you’re not looking out for yourself, your body is looking out for you!
Even when you’re resting, it’s working. Your body gets no days off. But that’s okay — it doesn’t need them. As we speak, thousands of intricate processes are going down in your body from the cellular level to the functioning of your major organs. How cool is that?
Most of the processes that keep you alive are happening on autopilot — without you even needing to try, your body continues to breathe, digest, and perform a plethora of other complex tasks. It’s kind of incredible. Can you imagine if you needed a reminder every time it was time to metabolize your food? Could you imagine having to think about it every time you took a breath?
If you’ve ever worked a desk job, you know the feeling. You get stiff, achy, and tense. Bodies love to move. When you’re stationary for an extended period of time — whether it’s from sitting at a desk or lounging in front of the TV — your body nudges you to get moving again.
When you eat food, your body processes the nutrients and stores the energy. Then, it uses it at will; but always keeps some energy on hand. Whenever something exciting happens or an opportunity arises that requires you to expend energy — a soccer game with friends, maybe, or a celebration of success — your body fuels you with exactly the boost you need. If it’s having trouble doing that, or you’re feeling fatigued and drained of energy, something strange could be going on.
Want to go someplace? Your body has your back. Want to dance? Any time. Want to eat a pint of ice cream while laughing in a fit on the floor? Your body is ready and willing. It’s the only thing in life that, no matter the circumstances, is present and prepared for whatever the world throws at you.
Joy, amusement, sadness, guilt, love, and every other emotion that flits through your brain would be virtually impossible without your body. Even more incredible is the way in which your emotions in turn affect your health — click here for 20 incredible ways that happiness can affect your body.