Every Valentine’s Day, so much focus gets put on the love we get and receive from other people. Although valuable, I want to try something different this month: Let’s count the things we love about our bodies. I’m serious. I want you to scribble down a love letter to your body. I’ll go first.
5 Things I Love About My Body
I love my arms.
Yes, my arms are in pretty good shape—they help me lift heavy things, put food in my mouth, and clack away on this keyboard. But more importantly—and most wonderfully—my arms allow me to hug. Not just any old hug, but a long, full hug that connects me to my children and other loved ones. My arms speak for me, letting other people know how I feel and allowing me to physically feel their love back.
I love my fake knee.
In 2016 I had a full right-knee replacement due to repetitive trauma, which is a fancy way of saying I jumped a lot and should have stretched more when I played volleyball. I’m still rehabbing and the darn thing isn’t straight yet. But I still love it. Why? Because like most challenges it’s a teacher, and it’s forcing me to continue to learn and grow. My knee is a constant reminder of how grateful I am for my overall health and that I appreciate that this is the only health issue I’m dealing with.
I love my derrière.
Do I fret over whether there is any cellulite or sagging back there from time to time? Yes, after all, I am a woman who owns a mirror. But mostly I just appreciate my rear end for helping me get off the ground for so many years. Plus, it keeps my pants up and is good cushioning from time to time if I take a spill (like when trying to snowboard or ski).
I love the adventures my body takes me on.
When I think about all the places my body can take me each and every day—from driving a car, to smelling a flower, to riding a roller coaster—I’m in awe. I am not my body, but it does provide me a vessel to do amazing things.
I love the fact that tomorrow I could be even better.
Can I be chronologically younger tomorrow than I am today? Nope. No, vampire here. However, I love that if I am diligent in caring for my body, I have the opportunity to be just a little better tomorrow than I am today. If I, let’s say, start stretching consistently, chances are in a few months I’ll be more flexible than I am in this very moment—with a straight bum knee to boot! Pretty great, huh?
These are just five of many reasons why I love my body. What would your letter say? Remember to focus on the good. So often we judge ourselves (and are judged by our physical appearance) when there is a much deeper, richer, and not so torturous type of relationship we could be having with our bodies and our minds.
Treat your vessel well and enjoy your body. Swim in the water. Smell the garlic cooking in the butter. Enjoy the nervous butterflies you get before doing something exciting. And if things get tough or your confidence wavers, just pull out your letter and remember all the things that make your body great.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.