By Lauren Denos: 4/13/2015 (Mindset)

Photo by Yuri Arcurs - I stock Photo

Your Body is the best ally you will ever have, so start treating it that way.

Too many of us treat our bodies as if they were the enemy. We get angry at our bodies for not looking better, for not being healthier, but this is very counterproductive. Your body has gotten you through this much of your life, and despite it not being "perfect," it is still working for you. The self-hate you direct at your body only serves to make you more stressed out. You are not doing yourself any favors by beating yourself up for not being perfect, and quite honestly, there is no such thing as perfect so that is a losing battle any way.

Your body is the best ally you will ever have. Even when you are having things happen that you do not like, your body is protecting you. Did you know that weight gain is a response to a variety of traumas, illnesses and stresses on the body? This is your body’s way of protecting you. Inflammation is also a positive response from the body. When your body has an injury happen, it triggers an inflammatory response as a way to start the healing process. When you have invading microbes in your system, it will respond with inflammation to expel the foreign substance. When you think about it that way, it puts it into a different light, huh?

I like the quote, "take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live." Until we figure out how to put our consciousness into a full robotic body, you have to truly appreciate the only one you have. So, start to treat it that way.

How can you treat your body like an ally?

#1 Feed it food that will keep it healthy, not just food that will taste good. Although, you really can have both. But the point with this is, when you are thinking of eating a snickers for lunch think about what this is doing to your body. Are you supporting it or hindering it? The fuel you put in your body makes a difference of how your body can function. When you put garbage in it, you are treating it like your enemy. Does this mean you cannot have some chocolate sometimes? No. It means that you should feed your body a good balanced meal, and then if you still want it have a piece of chocolate afterward instead.

#2 Give it the rest it needs. Many people have this idea that the less you sleep the more you are showing that you are a hard worker and successful. When you are doing this, you are working hard, but not smart. If you get the rest you need, your entire body functions better. You will be more mentally alert, your body can heal better, and sleep is a key to weight loss and muscle repair. So instead of reaching for that 4th or 5th cup of coffee, take a nap!

#3 Exercise. Exercise is not just about losing weight, contrary to what most people think. Rather, it is about keeping your body strong enough to do all the activities you need to do on a daily basis, as well as accomplish the dreams you have. Not only does exercise strengthen your lungs and muscles, but it also helps you with balance, coordination and keeps your blood moving, which aids with better focus. Best of all, it helps with stress relief. If you don't have a ton of time, then do something at lunch time. Even a walk will make a difference.

#4 Find a balance. Too much or too little of many things can be bad for you. Such as too much or too little food, both have unhealthy consequences. Too much exercise could lead to injury, and too little exercise can lead to wasting away or just overall weakness. Many of us (myself included) tend towards being extreme about things, it is either all or nothing. We do not need to be this obsessive. This can hinder us by either making it to where we are not getting the things we want in life accomplished (doing too little), or stressing ourselves out (doing too much). Find your balance so that you can have the life you want, but also enjoy it!

#5 Stop berating yourself. All that negative self-talk and second guessing, what is it doing for you? I'll tell you, it is making things worse. If there is something that is bothering you that you can change, then do it. If you are not feeling qualified enough for something, then take a class. Most of the time, people are berating themselves for stuff that is not 100% within their control or simply something that is a long process to change. Body image is one of the big key area of negativity people have towards themselves. But you do what you can and focus on what is amazing about your body. If you are overweight then clean up your eating and workout. See a doctor if there is something else going on. While you are doing this, you need to come to terms with who you are right now and realize you are great! When you have negative self-talk, replace it by thinking about how thankful you are for how far your body has taken you. If you can walk around the block, then that is something to be thankful for. If you can do half a pushup, that is something to be grateful for. Our bodies are not the enemy. You are letting yourself be fooled into believing negative things about yourself that are false. You do not always have 100% control on everything going on, but you do have 100% control on your emotions and how you choose to react to everything.

When it boils down to it, do what is best for your body. You are the only one who will truly know what that is. You can take tips and advice from others and test it out, but it all boils down to you. Start to treat your body with the love and respect it deserves, and always remind yourself that your body is your ally.



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