Join me this week of Thanksgiving . . . as I focus on gratitude.
And . . . right outta the box, my Week of Gratitude starts with a double whammy!
Because you’re getting a “two-fer” here!
Yep. This first post in my Week of Gratitude . . . happens to ALSO be your . . .
Last month, I challenged you to begin a home balance practice and I gave you a series of 5 simple-and-quick balance exercises to incorporate into your fitness practice each week. I hope you’ve given them a try! (And if you haven’t gotten around to it yet, you can always . . . Begin Again.)
This month’s Fitness Challenge is challenging in a different sort of way, but I hope you’ll give it a try:
Challenge #14 – Be grateful for what your body can do.
Most of us are pretty hard on ourselves . . . for what we see as the limitations of our bodies. We focus on the things our bodies CAN’T do. And especially as we get older. It’s easy to disparage ourselves. And I know you’ve all got your “lists” of things that are “wrong” or “can’ts” when it comes to your body . . . because, well, I have a long list myself! I can’t run anymore, for example. My arthritis acts up now and then. I need “cheaters” for my eyes and hearing aids for my ears. My arms sag. My boobs sag. My face sags. Shoot, everything sags. I get tired quicker than I used to. But I also don’t sleep as well as I used to. My bladder is smaller. Yada. Yada. Yada.
But during this month of Thanksgiving, I ask you to spend a bit of time thinking about the things your body CAN do; to be grateful for the body that supports you. Here’s your challenge . . .
Make a list of 10 things that your body CAN do. And then keep that list close by . . . as a reminder that your body (today; right now) is a marvel.
Not sure where to start?
- How about starting with all those things your body does without your even expending any conscious effort. Breathing. Digesting. Healing. Laughing. Sneezing.
- And then maybe move on to your senses. Eyes that see. Ears that hear. Noses that smell. Mouths that taste. Fingers that touch.
- Next, think about movements your body CAN make. Walking. Sitting. Laying down with your feet up. Lifting your arms over your head. Pushing a grocery cart through the supermarket.
- Lastly, consider those things your body can do this year that maybe it couldn’t do last year. Maybe you can walk longer distances. Maybe you can get up from a chair without using your hands. Maybe you can do a downward dog. Or bend down to pick something up. Or stand on one leg for 10 seconds.
Your list doesn’t need to be fancy or carefully thought out (unless you choose to go that route). It’s just an exercise; an opportunity for you to think about what a wonder your body . . . IS. Right now. A chance for you to be grateful for what your body CAN do!
See what happens.
Your body is a marvel. Even as it ages.
(And keep doing those balance exercises, too. Okay?)
“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’
It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’”
Previous Get Strong Monthly Fitness Challenges:
Challenge #13 – Develop a home balance practice.
Challenge #12 – How’s Your Balance?
Challenge #10 — Create a 2-minute Every Damn Day routine for yourself. (And then do it . . . every damn day.)
Challenge #9 — Try this 10 minute beginners yoga once a week for a month.
Challenge #8 — Give yourself a couple of hugs (every day).
Challenge #7 — Pay attention to how you walk. (With every step.)
Challenge #6 — Get your feet off the ground! (And make it an everyday practice.)
Challenge #5:Get down on the floor. And then get back up again! (And make it an everyday practice.)
Challenge #4: Identify your core, learn how to engage it, and . . . do your Kegel exercises every day!
Challenge #3: Increase your physical activity every day.
Challenge #2: Stretch your hamstrings, activate those glutes . . . and spare your back just by changing the way you bend over.
Challenge #1: Strengthen Your Lower Body by Doing Body Weight Squats . . . All Day Long
An excellent way to begin gratitude week! I am profoundly grateful for all the things my body can do! And I will be making my list and thinking about it all week long!
I started thinking about this several years ago. My SiL has a long driveway as we do and one day when I was complaining about shoveling for several hours she said she was grateful she could still get out there and do it. So I’ve tried to approach the yearly outdoor chores like raking leaves and shoveling with a sense of gratitude that I can do them. (I am grateful that I don’t live in Buffalo or upstate NY!)
A fabulous reminder Kym – thank you! It is so easy to be negative (I can’t do this or that) – nice to flip it and be positive!
There is a lot to unpack when it comes to our feelings about our bodies. If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that we ALL criticize our bodies constantly and we all have things we hate about our bodies. I find that heartbreaking and I’m working hard to love my body for what it can do. One thing we did in style school was to pick a part of our bodies to send love to each day and that was pretty helpful overall. Your take is great – let’s cheer for the things our bodies can do!
When you have a chronic illness it is easy to focus on what you can’t do. Your post was a good reminder to also think of the many things it can still do! Your post was spot on and for that I am grateful.
Your ‘list of 10 things’ today reminds me of post-partum days, when so much about my body was challenging. But remembering all it did to birth those babies…and nurse and love and tend…that shift in perspective was BIG.
I may be repeating myself by invoking the Danish poet Adam Oehlenschläger, but it’s a sentiment worth repeating: Teach me, O forest, to wither happy. (Lær oig, O skov, at visne glad.)
I keep it on a sticky note near my writing chair, to remind me of all I still have.
I have to say that as I’ve gotten older and noticed where my body occasionally lets me down, I am more and more thankful for what it can do. And I think I’ve really started treating it better as a result.
What Sarah said!! Thank-you for this reminder Kym!
I love the positive take on what a body can do. Watching my husband get around in a big boot brings this all home in a very personal way.
During my walk this afternoon I thought about your post today and how grateful I am for my body and what it can do. Focusing on the positive really brightened my mood!