Lockdown got me a little heavier like...
Our bodies truly are incredible, they house us on this planet, nourish us, feed us with happy endorphins, store our body organs and look after our intricate brain, and they help us dream, sleep, walk, run, dance, breathe and protect us.
We all know about the flight or fight response which triggers cortisone rush in our bodies as a protection mechanism. When we are scared, stressed or nervous our bodies react as they would with our ancestors and want to protect us, they go into immediate action and think that we are about to hit some dire times and there aren’t going to be any berries and wildboars to hunt, so they store fat to ensure we survive this upcoming famine. Our bodies are kind like that, they want us to be safe and in lockdown, they went into action fast.
Look, we can’t blame it all on the famine reaction of our bodies, we too tend to comfort eat when things are hard. Some people find solace in food, a certain dish will remind them of comforting childhood memories, safety, happiness, family, when all was well. For me that was ice cream, it reminded me of running after the ice cream truck, hearing the jingle tune play, the strawberry chemical topping, and the ice cream dripping down my hands as we headed home for a swim. Safe and happy. I ate tubs of ice cream in the early days of lockdown, in between checking the Covid death updates and the conspiracy theories and ensuring my family was safe, I ate and ate and ate, my ice cream, my home, my safe space.
And my body, being the trooper that she is, stored extra fat, just to make sure we could be safe through this crisis.
Did I thank her, no I did not.
Instead I became angry with her and ashamed of her. I told her she is ridiculously pudgy and I cannot go out looking like this, I have to wear granny pants. I called her names and cursed her when I passed a mirror.
She got sad and so we ate more to compensate for that.
We are told to be careful what we say to ourselves, as our words are powerful and manifest into our reality. The same applies with how we talk about our bodies and to our bodies. We need to treat our bodies with the respect they deserve, thank them for looking after us, for helping us live each day and with these thanks we should provide our bodies with nutrients that make them powerful and strong. Okay the odd ice cream is allowed, please…
I have started adding gratitude to my body in my daily ritual. Acknowledging what she has done for me, how she healed my broken arm when I was 8 years old, how she continued to breathe when I experienced grief and how she gave me the strength to survive a grueling life or death surgery more than a decade ago. How she has flipped tyres in the parking lot of the gym when I thought I was training for iron woman, how she survived pain inflicted by another, how she wears our scars with pride, how she protects me, nurtures me, and stores fat to cushion me should I fall.
I thank her, with deep gratitude I thank her.
This week make it your mission to thank your body, try it.
And remember super heroes come in all shapes and sizes.