Have you ever stopped to think about how significant your body really is? Without it we can't do much of anything we love. We wouldn't taste the amazing melt of divine chocolate, we wouldn't hear the sound of laughter, we wouldn't see the beauty of a sunset, or feel the loving touch of our closest friends. Whatever you believe about the spirit or your soul, it is clear that the body is our home here on this earth and that so much of how we are able to engage with the world depends on our relationship with our body. Even if some of our senses are stripped away, we still inhabit this body- for better or worse until we die. I am writing today to grovel and plead that you begin to take your body seriously. I know you have heard the quotes like, "Your health is your greatest wealth", and some of you live to up hold that. However many of you may be in the midst of the craziness of life and have fallen off the wagon a bit when it comes to listening and respecting your body's needs. The miracle is that the body will do whatever it can to keep going, regardless of how much you neglect it. That;s what makes the body such an amazing gift. We can ignore it and abuse it for years and it will say, "Whatever you wish". However, there will come a day that you will reap the consequences of what you sow.
I'll be the first to concede that sometimes things just happen. People who are incredibly "healthy" by our standards get cancer, sometimes trauma happens to the most ardent of the health conscious. But I am talking about those things you know you should be doing but you aren't. Let me lay it out for you. If you aren't getting the following items into your life on a consistent basis, then you need help and support regardless of your weight, blood pressure, or waist circumference:
- Sleeping greater than 6 hours a night of uninterrupted sleep.
- Drinking at least 1/3 your body weight in ounces of water daily *ideally more like 1/2*
- Eating minimal amounts of processed sugar and white flour.
- Avoiding all hydrogenated fats and oils.
- Getting the following recommended movement according to the American College of Sports Medicine
- Complete flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
- Complete resistance training targeting each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.
- Complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week which can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- Engage in stress reduction techniques daily through belly breathing, talking with a friend, meditating, or other methods.
Frankly, wouldn't life in general just be better if we committed to these 6 steps?
Emily Conrad says, “What we call a body, is Life, expressing itself”
So whether you choose to express negative or positive, the body will respond. Ultimately the question is, How Will You Live? Because what you do now has a direct impact on what you will feel later and what you will be capable of in the expression of your life right now.
"As embodied souls we are never less than our bodies. Our bodies are part of the gift of being a creature of God. We are born with limitations and needs because of our physicality." - Joel Shuman author of Heal Thyself. In his book Joel talks about the duality of believing we have a soul that lives eternally and a body that dies. In this sense we can begin to dismiss the body as less important, but the point he makes in the quote above is that our bodies are, if anything, a temporary gift. And we are to be the best stewards we can possibly be to this miraculous and beautiful gift.
To say it another way, "Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos—the trees, the clouds, everything." -Thích Nhất Hạnh
And the cosmos, God, and even I am begging you to see your body and your life as significant.
Rise up, take the 6 point challenge, and put your body back on the priority list!