Look at you. You’re incredible. Seriously!
I know you’re reading this right now so your beautiful eyes are sending messages to your brain about what they’ve seen. You didn’t have to ask or nag, they just did it. Amazing!
We sometimes take it for granted that our wonderful bodies just ‘do stuff’ all the time. Our heart will just beat, our lungs will just breathe and our cells will just do all the brilliant things that cells do. It’s friggin’ incredible!
But they’re just some of the zillion things that make your body absolutely fantastic. I’m asking you… no wait… I’m begging you to realise just how perfect and brilliant your body is – for what it does every single day and not what it looks like in skinny jeans!
Last year, I was involved with an Instagram photo challenge with Earth HQ. Every day for a month we had to post photos of all sorts of different things. Nature, Lunch and Hot Beverage were just some of the daily ‘themes’ (you can see what I posted here).
On day 22, the theme was ‘Imperfect’ and I posted the photo you see, above.
They’re my hands and by conventional definitions, they’re imperfect. Actually, most of my body is conventionally imperfect. I have heaps of scars and missing pieces (not just fingertips – you can read more about that here).
Seriously, screw convention. Sure I’m not waiting by the phone for a casting call from Victoria’s Secret and Paparazzi will never mistake me for Jennifer Hawkins but that doesn’t mean my body isn’t amazing – and so is yours!
I’d love you to join me in being proudly imperfect – and it’s easier than you might think.
Let me give you an example…
Growing up I was a ‘late bloomer’ and had the upper body of a ten year old boy for most of my teens. At the time, I didn’t appreciate my flat chest but as I got older and played a lot more sport, I began to appreciate my body for what it could do, rather than what it looked like.
That sort of thinking has helped me enormously when getting on with living a life I love in a perfectly imperfect body.
Here’s another example…
My hands look imperfect but I think they’re perfect because of what they can do. My perfectly imperfect hands give me the ability to pursue my passion for writing. My perfectly imperfect hands have written two books and hundreds of thousands more words, including this blog post – albeit very slowly!
You’re perfect, just as you are. Your brain says so every time it tells your heart to beat.
My own story is a bit extreme but there are millions of other amazing bodies in this world and yours is one of them!
So here’s a challenge for you. Think of something that you don’t like about your appearance then flip it. Think of a reason to be grateful for what that part of your body does, rather than what it looks like.
To help get you started, here are six examples.
1. Your nose – It’s only because of your nose that you can stop and smell the roses, literally. Appreciating the sensory bliss of your favourite scent or even your favourite meal, you have your nose to thank for that. Amazing.
2. Your stomach – That meal you ate before? Right now there’s a heap of complex biochemical reactions happening in your stomach. It knows the difference between vitamin K and vitamin D3 (and what to do with them) without having to do a Google search. Amazing.
3. Your feet (no, not crows feet!) – Because of your great feet (yes, the same ones you’ve called ugly and disgusting) you have really been places. Maybe it was around the world or maybe it was just around the corner but it was your beautiful feet got you there. Amazing.
4. Pregnancy stretch marks – Maybe your fantastic body created and sustained life? As Jessica Rudd said in her Mamamia piece a few years ago, her beautiful pregnant body “just knew what to do”. Stretch marks are a sign that your wonderful body CREATED LIFE! Seriously amazing.
5. Your lips – It’s those lips, attached to your winning smile that your partner first noticed about you. Don’t have a partner? No problems. I’m sure you’ll have a friend who loves those lips for all of the wise words that pass through them. Amazing.
6. Your arms – The last time you wrapped your arms in a comforting hug around someone, do you think their first thought was “tuckshop arms!”. No. They’re the same arms that carry groceries, clean the toilet and hang up the laundry, without complaining once. Gotta love ‘em!
Can you think of more? I’d really like to know about the things that you think make your body fantastic. Remember, screw convention – let’s all be proudly imperfect together!
I think you’re amazing and I hope you think so too.