This picture was taking on our honeymoon, when we adventured to Asheville, NC. I chose this picture because it relates to this post. I’ll come back to it.
I think I was pretty late to The Body Book party, but when she recently realized The Longevity Book, I was too curious not to pick it up. She basically goes through all the basics of the human body (specifically us girls), good health, the value of exercise (which she calls movement), even our mind and soul. It’s an easy read, but quite the book. I don’t want to spoil it if you do intend to read it, but below are some of my favorite passages, and the occasional thought.
“Your body is your past, present, and future. It carries the memory of your ancestors, because you are made up of the genes given to you by your parents and their parents before them. It is the culmination of everything you have ever eaten, all the physical activity that you did or didn’t do, all the efforts that you’ve made to understand and take care of it. And how well you care for it will determine how well you are able to live your life.”
Ever since I began going to physical therapy, my posture has been whipped into shape.
My dad was constantly (and lovingly) on our case when we were kids to sit up straight. Did I listen? Not as well as I should have been.
I personally think that better posture is going to be my long-term solution to this degenerated neck situation. But, in the process, I’ve learned how many other reasons there are to have good posture.
Want to have more confidence, more motivation, lower stress and the ability to basically rule the world? Time to sit up straight. I smile as I type that, but I’m serious.
Minimize lower back pain. Good posture is critical to reducing back and neck pain (I’m learning it firsthand). Slouching adds strain to muscles and put stress on the spine.
Look and feel better from head to toe. Being upright does wonders for your appearance. You’ll taller, slimmer and more successful when you sit and stand (and think) tall.
Strengthen your core. I have a stand up desk and spend an average of 2-3 hours a day standing up. When I’m not engaging my core, my lower back starts aching. But the minute I straighten up, and engage my core, the pain eases. It’s quite fascinating.
The back story to this post is a simple and interesting one. I was packing up my stuff to drive home from Charleston last weekend, and thought ‘I’m only driving home, I don’t need makeup.’
I got home, unloaded the car, and hung out with J. In the midst of this I found myself glancing in the mirror, and thinking “I don’t dislike how I look right now.”
That may sound strange. Let me explain.
While I am not the type of gal who wears a lot of makeup (my routine is pretty simple), and while I am not afraid of people seeing me without it, I rarely think of myself as pretty without it. Maybe you can relate.
In that moment I felt fresh, pretty, and unique.
This is one of the things I’ve learned in my process of growing up.
Growing up to become a wife.
Growing up to be a better daughter, sister, and friend.
Growing up to be a working professional graphic/web designer (what?!).
Growing up to be a deeper and faster repenter of my shortcomings.
Growing up to choose the Spirit over my flesh more often.
Growing up to see God daily in circumstances, people, and nature.
Growing up to communicate more clearly, to be more self-aware.
But mostly, growing up to know the value of being honest. Honest with myself, honest with other people, honest before God, etc.
Do you understand what I mean? Honesty is a difficult thing sometimes (in my experience). Not the ‘don’t tell a lie’ kind of honesty, but the ‘are you being completely truthful?’
I eat bread. I eat ice cream. I really like pizza.
At the same time, I really enjoy breaking a sweat. And I like fruit and vegetables. And salad.
I drink lots of water. I don’t drink soda. But I do like iced coffee and sweet tea.
I finally understand that, for me, balance is more important that being an extreme fit person or an extreme donut eater.
To love yourself as a whole person means to nourish, sustain, and care for not only your physical body but also your mind and soul.
Restricting my favorite foods tends to make me moody and a tad miserable, but over-indulging on sugar and pizza oftentimes leave me lethargic and bloated (let’s be honest).
I really like an iced coffee with caramel swirl from Dunkin Donuts, I’m not opposed to caffeine, but I probably drink about 70 ounces of water a day.
It’s a fact of life: when I eat well, I simply feel better – with more energy and a better ability to focus. And that’s marvelous news. But, when I eat my favorite foods (that wouldn’t be put in the ‘clean eating’ category), I also feel good.