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Forum #4

Body Appreciation: What has your body done for you lately? 

So much of the time we are either taking our bodies for granted or actively disparaging them.  And yet they keep serving us, day after day.  Take a few moments to think about how your body has been loyally functioning on your behalf, and write anything you'd like to share with others. 

Perhaps your body has:

  • Fought off an infection
  • Taken you to the top of a hill
  • Stayed awake so you could drive home safely
  • Learned a new skill
  • Rewarded you with the sight of a sunset
  • Healed a bruise
  • Given you a new sensual sensation
  • Gotten stronger
  • Kept working despite being in pain
  • Expressed a strong emotion through your face and body language
  • Made another human being
  • Defended you from an attack, or healed from an attack
  • Grown into its current form from a sperm and an egg
  • Given you sexual pleasure
  • Let you know through pain that something needs your attention
  • Released you from pain 
  • Given you the sound of children laughing
  • Rejuvenated during sleep
  • Allowed you feel the exquisite touch of another person

Thank you! If you want more, read the Body Appreciation Meditation.

"Recovered from cancerous tumors within the uterus 13 years ago, and gave me a beautiful daughter 12 years ago."

"My body is awesome. It makes it possible for me to go another day-everyday. I love living-and love to share that life with my family and my friends. I work, play and love all the time because my body keeps me alive. My body talks to me when it needs special attention, and I try to hear what it's asking me to do. Recently, I stopped smoking. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But, I'm okay, and my body feels better. What a great piece of art we all are! Caring for our bodies is important. Loving them, and all their little flaws is even more important."

"Provided a feeling of security and acceptance to a child who needed it after a particularly hard day at school."

"My body is allowing me to train to walk a marathon. After years to not too much exercise, suddenly I'm an exercise machine and my body goes right along with my crazy mind!"

"Remembered every positive interaction with another body, (and this memory can be as powerful as the 'negative' interactions)."

"My special saying is "This is one hell of a great body." When I say this my body stands erect and feels tingly."

"My body is amazing. It runs, it lifts weights, it bends and breathes and sings and sighs. It is easy to get lost in what my body doesn't or can't do that I wish it could, but far more beneficial to revel in it's wonder."

"My 350-pound, 50 year old body recently saw me through an attack of erysipelas, a rare and potentially fatal diease that is not weight-related. Although one leg is significantly disfigured, I did survive! I credit, at least in part, the fact that I was well-nourished both physically and emotionally. I gave up (reluctantly at first) on dieting years ago, and have eagerly embraced self and size acceptance wherever and however I could find it. It really does, and certainly did for me during my recent ordeal, make a difference! I firmly believe acceptance is the only way to go."

"I have always moaned about my "fat" thighs (UK size 16 trousers) and wished them thin - until recently when they carried me up and over Englands third highest monutain in a perfectly respectable 5 hours. I know many skinny girls I envy couldn't do that and I have finally begun the journey of acceptance. Now I go to the gym to improve my time on my next climb, make myself stronger and healthier, not thinner. Besides it's all rubbish anyway, on a recent night out I was the biggest girl there and I had the most male attention because I was enjoying myself and not obsessing about whether my bottom looked big as I shook my funky stuff!! I know that getting male attention isn't the be-all and end-all but this whol issue is about acceptance and that only comes from others when you have it within."

"I feel so ashamed of the way I've treated my body!! It does so many nice things for me, I am going to try to learn to connect with it more, and maybe not take all my inner frustrations out on my physical self. The body is truly a gift from God, and I just now realized that, and feel so awful about what I have been doing!"

"I had to walk a great deal the other day as part of my job. I don't usually get lots of exercise at work, so this was out of the ordinary. I was worried that I would be so "out of shape" (whatever that means) and have trouble getting around because of my weight. I have been trying to get more gentle exercise lately but always feel its "not enough". However, my body pleasantly surprised me! I walked at an even, steady pace and did just fine! I even felt great afterwards, which I didn't expect at my weight...this has encouraged me to keep pursuing movement as a fun, invigorating activity and not turn it into a chore."

"My body has given me life and been there everyday without checking in sick no matter what! Thanks!!!!"

"Run 8 1/2 miles."

"My poor body has taken so much abuse from me, and always maintained perfect health for me. It's really a good body, and I'm ashamed that I've treated it so hatefully. It got me through Marine Corps basic training and ran ten miles a month ago. I have two legs that carry me where I need to go and two hands that can type and two eyes that can read. I belittle my body but without it, I would have nothing!!"

"My body has given me great health. We should be worrying about cancer, aids and other life threatening diseases, not if we have a roll. When you think about it, being "fat" is really irrelevant compared to some of the other thing people must go through. It's really not that big of a deal."

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"My body has showed me who i was attracted to by blushing, sweaty palms, butterflies in my stomach and shaky hands...bad as that sounds, i wouldn't take it back for the world!!"

"My body has given me a nice soft spot for my one-year old niece to be held in."

"My body has allowed me to know the joy of dance."

"Made other people smile."

"Feel the love of another person."

"Climb five flights of stairs and not be out of breath."

"Has been smarter than me, makes me stop and rest
even when I try foolishly to continue and burnout."

"Given me pleasure through an orgasm."

"My body has functioned with perfect synchronicity, allowing me to play the piano to sing and to compose music. Thanks smart body."

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"My body has given me three beautiful healthy children."

"My body is so healthy. Here I am 52 and have not had a hysterectomy, or a cholecystectomy! I don't have headaches, tummy aches, hot flashes, or arthritis. I've never been in the hospital except to have my tonsils out, and that was when parents took all their children en masse to have it done.  I have lots of energy. I play on the floor with my grandchildren, bike with them, hike mountains, camp out and out eat them. I love to garden, take walks, run, sing with my kids, read and e-mail. My big b--- can be easily disguised. Not many people realize how out of proportioned I am. I'm tall and am blessed with a pretty face. No bust at all...but I have a big heart."

"My body has been holding my brain for a while, and now I'm just starting to use it to help other people. I teach, and I'm always thinking, thinking of new ways to get my point across. My muscles may not be as in shape as they were, but my brain is still getting its constant workout! Hey, thanks body for having my head on top!"

"Although I struggle with my fatness, I am able to enjoy a rewarding and fun sex life with my partner. I have been smaller than this and bigger than this and my body has never let me down. It always functions properly. Sex is the only time I can truly let go and not feel self-conscious, it helps me feel better about myself, because I feel loved and desired by someone who thinks I am sexy and beautiful DESPITE the fat.

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"My body has produced beautiful, body-positive images through art and painting."

"My body has recovered from two herniated discs and rewarded me for the pain with even more flexibility than I had before the injury. It's taken care of me and kept me going through every self-destructive road I've taken it down."

"In Zurich there was a wooded hill right behind the hotel and I longed to climb it. Finally on the morning of my flight I got up at 4am and went for it. It was so difficult - I asked myself why on earth I was doing this. But with every step that I went forward I could feel my heart being forced open, widened. I am. I can. Wheezing and gulping I kept going and finally an hour and half later I made it to the top. I inhaled the dawn and the mountains and it fed my soul."

"I try to be aware of my body signals. They give you plenty of notice as to what is going on within your life. This is my belief, anyhow. I used to be a heavy smoker and I gave up for 6 years in which my throat felt almost perfect, I had no colds, better taste, better breathing at night through my nose. After six years I started to smoke the odd cigarette, never more than two a day and I went without any for long chunks of time. Lately, my throat started to sore again, which indicates that something is wrong again. My body is quite receptive and appreciates my care, I just feel bad about letting it down. But controlling the mind is not an easy skill. That is my share."

"My body has delivered a healthy, happy, lovely baby girl named Sabrina. My body has, through this delivery, completed my life."

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"My body made a new human being recently. after all the years of diets, anorexia nervosa, obsessive exercising, i'm now very unhappy to say that my pregnancy made me very chubby and untoned, i'm a 31 year old woman which is still fairly young but my hair went gray with the pregnancy, and I no longer have the good figure I had before I got pregnant. I thought I was fat at 110-115 lbs, now I'm steadily staying at 160 lbs, a huge difference from what I was last year. But my body did the extraordinary thing of bringing someone into the world. I must let go of my vanity, my body ideal, and my obsession with super thin female bodies, and love the body I have now. Really, what does our need to be perfect tan, toned thin people have to do with truly living well? Madison Ave and the fashion industry has made us INSANE. Love your size, your CURRENT size, and love your life, what will thinness matter when we are dead?"

"I love that I can shut the car door with my hips and give wonderful hugs to all my friends with my arms. I love that people come in all shapes and sizes. How beautiful!"

"Warned me when I'm working too hard, or when something isn't right. If we listen to our "gut" and follow our instincts, i.e. listen to our bodies, we'd do better."

"Kept working despite being in pain."

"I love tuning in to my body when I'm working out. I become very conscious of my
heart, lungs, muscles and blood when I'm moving and I realise what a brilliant, awe-inspiring machine I own. If it were a car, it would never be allowed off
the shop floor. I have never been in hospital with this body, it looks after me day and night, despite the continuous verbal barrage of abuse I give it.
Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be denied physical movement, and it puts the whole weight thing into real perspective. Recently I learned to flyfish! It was a new physical skill I thought I'd never be able to master, but my body tried hard. I'm very grateful for it."


"My body has recovered from anorexia, major depression and malnutrition. It has
grown breasts (an odd thing to suddenly acquire at 19 :) ) It has gone from hauling itself around like the walking dead, to having a life force. It has begun to strengthen and form muscle where there was a sudden onset of weight. It has redistributed itself and continues to battle on even though it would been so
much simpler to just give in. My body is me. That's an odd statement to make, and it's only when I look at it as a separate entity that I realise how powerful my
body, I, am. As my body rejuvenates, so does my mind.

If you have become aware of things you feel appreciation for, you might set aside some time each day to thank and appreciate your body.

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