July was a bad body month for me.
Not only did I get 29 ant bites while enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday by the lake (yes, I counted them), but I also almost sliced the tip of my left thumb off while preparing a salad for lunch one afternoon (that’s never happened to me while preparing a juicy hamburger…just saying). In addition, I’m always battling a recurring bout of adult acne. My skin clears up for a few weeks and then BAM, “did someone order a pizza?” Normally, I would say I am pretty confident with the way I look, but like everyone on the planet I have a little voice in the back of my head who likes to occasionally remind myself that I will never be America’s Next Top Model (does that show even exist anymore?)
After waking up in the middle of the night to put apple cider vinegar on every single one of my itching bug bites, I caught a glimpse of my naked body in the mirror. Instead of doing the usual scan for flaws, I thought to myself, “what a lovely body you have — long and lean.” For some reason it took a sleepy moment like this to see myself in such a pure state.
I'm the most happy when I'm using my body in the way it was intended (dancing, biking, walking, running, jumping, zumba-ing. sleeping, stretching, laughing, loving) and should therefore celebrate my body, not curse it for having imperfections.
Let's stop with the body bashing, shall we?
We give ourselves so much hell when our bodies fail us. Why, however, don't we take time to appreciate all the lovely, miraculous things our bodies do for us every single day? Replenishing, regenerating, renewing.
Guess what? My bites stopped itching. My thumb healed (and my nail grew back.) My spotty skin cleared up (for now)—(though I’ve recently discovered a benefit of having adult acne, people always think I look younger than 29..score!)
My sister is having a baby this September. Through the magic of Skype, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her belly grow little by little. I can’t get over how amazing it is that her body is nurturing another life. I hope that my niece never has insecurities about her body, that she never looks in the mirror and sees flaws, that she never gets her worth from how beautiful she thinks she is on the outside. Instead, I hope she finds joy in nourishing her body with healthy foods, celebrates her body’s strength every chance she gets, and feels most confident when she’s moving her body the way it was intended (probably on the dance floor, if she's anything like her Aunt Kiki :) )
Repeat after me: Today I love my body. And tomorrow I will too.
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