It took me two weeks of thinking and reaching for ideas, but I finally completed the list of 42 things I like about my body. Forty-two is a LOT of things to like about yourself without digging into personality traits and accomplishments. Don’t worry, I won’t subject you to the full list, but I will share a few here on the blog, both for accountability on completing the Thing and because it was a good exercise for me and maybe some of what I share will help someone else think positive things about their body. Now I did expand the rules to things my body can do, but I really tried to stick to things related to physicality.
Number 3: My body made Ramona. — This was a big one and making Ramona was what gave me the idea to want to make peace with my body. Not only because my daughter will base a lot of her body image on how she sees me treat myself, but also because I liked my pregnant body. I felt like a powerful force to be reckoned with. For the first time, I felt like I really was IN my body and at peace with my body. It was a great feeling. And I was growing another human being. Pretty incredible stuff. Which I did with my body. So, good job, Body! Maybe I shouldn’t be so mean to you…
Number 4: My body heals well, is resilient. — I’ve been lucky to have a very healthy life, but I have had some minor things to deal with here and there. The big two being my back surgery in 2011 and recovering from my c-section last year. In both of those, I learned that my body is stronger than I give it credit for, and I should appreciate that more than I do and celebrate it and honor it by doing what I can to stay healthy. <–Working on that one…
Number 5: I have pretty eyes.
Number 8: I like my smile.
Number 19: I have a great laugh. — It’s true. I do. I have a few different laughs but the real, unguarded, full-out laugh is the best and I really have to feel comfortable around someone to let that laugh out. Or they say something so hilarious that it escapes me even if I’m not totally comfortable around them yet, and if they don’t mock the laugh, I know I’ve found a new friend. I feel like I can credit my laugh with making several of my important friendships “click”, and it was one of the first things Adam noticed about me because he managed to get a real laugh out of me on our first date. Which I didn’t know was a date. But that’s another story.
Number 23: My body is an excellent brain bag. — This is a reference to Carrie Fisher’s recent tweet in response to people discussing her looks in the new Star Wars movie. Love her.
Number 31: My body carries Ramona. — My growing girl may not slow down enough to sleep on my chest too much anymore, but she does still love to be carried, and when she crawls up to me and stretches out her little arms, I happily pick her up, grateful that I have the ability. Good job, Body.
Number 34: My non-wink wink — I can’t wink, but I can make a hilarious and awesome trying-to-wink face.
Number 42: My body is healthy — I’m a little ashamed that it took me so long to think of this one. Or at least to let myself write it down. I thought it several times along the way, but I kept telling myself, “I’m too fat to say I’m healthy.” And, yes, my weight isn’t healthy, but I don’t have any illnesses or physical conditions that I know of. There’s nothing physically limiting me from walking in the sunshine, carrying my baby, making and eating good food, reading and writing, hugging my husband, and doing all the things I love to do. Could I do better, be better? Sure. But my body is healthy and I like that and I’m grateful for it. Good job, Body.
So there it is. I did it! I can’t say it changed my whole relationship with my body and it’s all love all the time, but it’s a good step in a positive direction. If you’ve got a tumultuous relationship with your body like I do, I encourage you to try making a list like this. It doesn’t have to be 42, but pick a number that’s bigger than 20.