We show appreciation to our friends by making hot chocolate when they come over for a venting session at 10pm, talking to them on the phone when they move far away, and waiting in line with them for a Black Friday deal they're excited about.
We show appreciation to our significant others by filling up their car with gas, by cooking dinner for them, and by putting down our phones so we're not distracted when we're with them.
Parents show appreciation to their children when they compliment their children's efforts to master a new benchmark or skill, when they go to work to provide for them, when they read to them, and when they ceaselessly take pictures of their every move (actually, I think that last one's just me.)
Teachers show love and appreciation to students by spending their weekends planning lessons and grading papers, by spending their precious recess breaks outside playing basketball with them, and by coming in during the summer to plan and prepare for students they haven't even met yet.
It goes on and on. We show our appreciation for a good blog post by commenting. We show appreciation for a good business or shop by leaving a positive review. We show appreciation to our car by changing the oil and performing regular maintenance (I'm still working on the regular maintenance part on my car).
Now comes the hard part: showing appreciation for our bodies.
I was actually doing fine with this for a long time. Look, my body is growing a baby! Look, my body birthed a healthy beautiful baby girl! Look, my body is feeding a baby! Look, all this exercise is making my body get stronger and leaner! My baby belly is going away!
And then came the cruel twist of fate. In the end of November, I finished my Insanity program and stepped on the scale. I had finally lost all the baby weight (HOORAY!). And then I turned around to look in the mirror and just started laughing. It was one of those high-pitched insane cackles. It was a Curse you, powers that be, for making my pre-baby weight and my pre-baby body entirely different things! type of laugh. Hahahahaha! How funny! Fate has thwarted me once again! Hahahaha! It's like all my hard work was for nothing! Hahahaha! Also, I think I'm one second away from crying! Do you know what I'm talking about, or am I the only one who has those types of laughs? (Maybe I'll write more about my post-baby body on a later date if I'm feeling brave enough.)
Let's just say that the scale and the mirror said two totally different things. And it made me feel resentful towards my body. I felt somehow betrayed, like it wasn't doing what it was supposed to be doing anymore. My body must have failed me somehow, because I lost all the baby weight, but still didn't look or feel quite the same as I did before.
But, I'm trying to love my body nonetheless. I'm trying to focus on all the great things it can do, and not on the small things that aren't perfect. And just like everything else, I show my appreciation for my body by treating it right and spending time on it.
One of the biggest ways I do this is by moving my body. I take Claire on walks all the time, which includes lugging the big stroller up and down from our third-floor apartment. I go jogging. I go to the rec center (on the days work ends early enough). For the first time ever, I'm trying to exercise because I love my body, not because I hate it. It's a big shift for me, but it's a good one. I'm trying to make every day Self-Appreciation Day.
These pictures are from a little family walk a few days ago. (The location is #4 on this list of my favorite places to take pictures in Provo.) We love this park, and we love it all the more because of the beautiful boardwalks and wetlands hidden away in the corner.
Another thing I do to appreciate my body is eat food that's good for me. This is basically the lifelong struggle of my life. I WANT ALL THE CANDY, ALL THE TIME. I do love the light, delicious taste of this Kozy Shack® Simply Well Tapioca Pudding, though. And at only 90 calories and with no sugar added, it's an afternoon snack indulgence I can feel great about. (Find them on Instagram here.) #SimplyWell https://ooh.li/f002180
What do you do to show your body appreciation for what it's done for you?
What are your favorite at-home workouts
for those days when exercising at home
during nap time is your only option?