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Body identification

June 11, 2008

Happy Wednesday!

I usually read between a few books, and right now I am reading the very popular “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle (yeah, Oprah book club, usually don’t go for these types). BUT, there is a passage that I particularly liked because I think we can all identify with it to some degree (and if you don’t, GOOD for you!!):

“Those who are identified with their good looks, physical strength, or abilities experience suffering when those attributes begin to fade and disappear, as of course they will. Their very identity that was based on them is then threatened with collapse. In either case, ugly or beautiful, people derive a significant part of their identity, be it negative or positive, from their body.

To be more precise, they derive their identity from the I-thought that they erroneously attach to mental image or concept of their body, which after all is no more than a physical form that shares destiny of all forms-impermanence and ultimately decay…if you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way”.

Well, easier said than done, right? This passage spoke very clear to me because for years and years (and presently, but to a lesser degree, thankfully!), I identified myself with my body. I am now beginning to learn how to detach from the idea that I must attain a certain body image or “type” to please myself or others.

The number one thing that I see in the women (and men) I train is the inability to accept what is inevitable-a natural shift in the body, changes that we cannot control, regardless of how much or how hard we work out. If we cannot accept that changes will occur in time (i.e. cellulite, increase and shift of body fat, changes in skin tone and texture, etc. etc.), we will never truly be happy with ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely an ongoing battle and fight. But if you place outer beauty on a higher scale than what is within, you are in for a long, hard battle. Gravity always wins.

There are a hundred ways to fight Father Time this day in age-injections, liposuction, peels, surgery-you name it, it’s out there.

However, don’t fool yourself in thinking that this will create a happier you. It may temporarily, and who knows, it actually may solve all your problems. You and I are different. However, if you don’t truly LOVE yourself and the body that you were given, no procedure will change the way you feel about yourself.

Again, I am the first person to admit that this fight is NOT easy. I constantly battle with what I once had, the runner I used to be, etc. I still think that I can do the things I did when I was 19…but the body tells me otherwise. I am certainly not saying that I am shutting down, and I don’t plan to anytime soon. But there ARE changes, slight changes, mentally & physically, and training for this last marathon was definitely another wake-up call.

Once again, you can’t compare yourself to who you were or what you did in the past. Each year brings about changes, new experiences, a gradual decline, all which change the way you feel, recover, and look.

HEY! This is not supposed to be a downer of a blog. 🙂 The point is-LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN!!! I am sick and tired (even of myself) of all of us complaining about our bodies, what we don’t like, what we want to change.

What about how beautiful and strong our bodies are? What about the things we CAN do? (Because believe me, there are many people who only wish they could run/lift/jump/swim/etc.)

The body is a beautiful, powerful machine, and we need to respect it, love it, cherish it.

Start today! Because you know what? I’m not hearing it anymore!!! 😉

Much love, always.
~Jeannette

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