If you’re a mom, my guess is that you don’t spend too much time focused on your own body, because you’re probably spending most of your time focused on other little bodies. I know this is true for me.
I recently had to take six weeks off from working out due to knee surgery and recovery – after a period of working out a LOT for several months. It made me realize that unless we have a regular practice of physical activity, such as running, working out or doing yoga, we tend to gravitate into our heads and spend most of our time there. Maybe even our whole lives.
One exception to this is pregnant women: never have I felt so gloriously grounded in my body than when it was playing host to a beloved, invited parasite! That entire 9+ months found me very much at home and centered in my body. No wonder I loved being prego so much. (I know not everyone’s experience is the same.)
However, since that time, only a regular running habit (thank you, Sunrise Run Crew friends!) and hardcore gym habit (thank you, Rock N Shock Fitness!) have helped keep me in my bod and out of my own head. In contrast, my beautiful 7-year old daughter is almost always in her body, and that’s why she loves doing physical things like running, jumping, climbing, swimming, diving, biking, scootering and more. She revels in her body and all it can do!
So why is it important for us grown women to get in our bodies and stay grounded there? It’s my belief that when we’re in our bodies, really inhabiting and appreciating and living in them, the following things are true:
- We’re more likely to be engaging in healthy activities and physical care of ourselves
- We’re less likely to have negative thoughts about our bodies
- We’re more likely to eat mindfully (and probably make healthier choices)
- We’re more likely to treat our bodies well across the board, whatever that might mean for us (think: massage, chiropractic, even just a bubble bath or lovingly slathering on lotion after a bath)
- We’re more likely to love our physical selves – even if we know that we still need to work on them
Too often we play the role of spectators about our physical selves, usually in a negative sense: criticizing, complaining about or critiquing our bodies if only in our own minds. When we’re doing something physical – especially strenuous activities – it takes us out of our heads and puts us back into our own bodies, giving us an appreciation for all the wonderful things they can do and smell and taste and hear and feel and conquer. It helps put us in a mindframe of body positivity.
Trust me, I have a long way to go in my health, fitness and weight loss program – but I love where I am today, even still with 30+ lbs to lose. I love how strong I’ve become, how much I can lift and carry and heft in the gym. I love the transformation of growing fitter, firmer and stronger over time – and it has all given me much more appreciation of the physical self.
I am thrilled to be able to work out again, but I’m also glad for the time off because it gave me these insights. I don’t want to put these thoughts aside and forget about them. I wanted to jot them down here because I think it’s truly important to have an appreciation for our physical selves as well as our emotional, spiritual, psychological, intellectual, moral, etc.
What are you going to do today to “get back in your body”? I’d love to hear in the comments below or over on Facebook. Here are some great tips I just found from another source.