Gratitude For Our Precious Bodies
By Brooke Parker
With the November theme of gratitude still going through my head, I would like to focus this month’s nutrition article on creating a positive body image full of gratitude.
All too often the thoughts and focus toward our bodies are based on what we don’t have, what’s not working right, or what’s starting to fall apart. I am certain that collectively the human race does not make the effort to adequately appreciate the amazing gift of the body. Just think about all that DOES go right within all of your body’s systems each day. It is truly amazing. Whenever I start to become frustrated by a minor ache or injury I try to stop and remember those amazing people who truly do have physical disabilities or chronic illness. Then everything is quickly put into perspective for me. If I have my health, who could ask for anything more?
My career choice as a dietitian has led me to the area of eating disorders. Every day at my office I see first hand the lives of those who have a completely negative body image. They are a shell of the person they want to be. They have convinced themselves that their inner strengths and unique qualities are meaningless, simply because their bodies do not match up to society’s ideal. I am devastated at all of the potential that is lost or hindered because these amazing people simply have lost any gratitude for all their bodies allow them to experience. My job is to help them find the gratitude and acceptance they need to get their lives back. I would like to share a few of my tools/techniques with you.
- Identify your three favorite body parts and focus on them whenever you feel down on yourself.
- Accentuate the positive. Learn to enhance those features you find flattering.
- Stop comparing your body to others.
- Get active. Great pride and acceptance is achieved when you do things or push yourself harder than you thought you could go.
- Start a body gratitude journal. Identify three things each day that your beautiful body allowed you to experience.
Once appreciation for your body is achieved, you will find it more attractive, and more importantly, you will have more motivation to take care of it. People try harder to maintain and care for something they truly love, so I urge you to focus more on loving and accepting your beautiful body!
Brooke Parker is a registered dietitian currently working for Utah State University. Her specialty is eating disorders. She is the author of Love Your Reflection, recently published by Leatherwood Press. Love Your Reflection focuses on the connection between a non-diet approach to eating and techniques for a positive body image. Brooke is a wife and mother of three. © 2009