Monday, May 19, 2008

Be Grateful For The Body You Have

I often tell the story of an elderly woman who attended aqua classes at a gym where I worked as a personal trainer. The woman used a cane and moved very slowly and with much effort. Unfortunately for her, the pool happened to be at the opposite end of the building, and yet, multiple times a week this woman showed up for class and slowly made her way back to the locker room and then to the pool.

She could have stayed home and read a book or watched TV. She could have rationalized that just getting to the pool was pretty strenuous and she could get just as much exercise from cleaning or gardening or something. She could have told herself that she was old and had so many physical problems that a few water classes were not going to make much difference. But she didn't.

I think of this woman often when members and clients speak with disgust about their bodies.You may not have the figure of some wafer thin movie star but are you capable of enjoying a walk around your neighborhood? Could you make it down your basement steps if a tornado was coming? Are you strong enough to pick up a baby? Do you breathe without the use of an oxygen tank? Would you be able to get yourself out of a burning building?

If you answered yes to those questions then I suggest that you stop programming your mind with hateful, counterproductive messages about your body. Stop focusing on what you don't have, be grateful for what your body is currently capable of and work toward improving it.

The vast majority of the people reading this are not physically incapable of getting stronger, dropping fat and being healthier. Some may have to start out more slowly than others but you can definitely make improvements if you are willing to make an effort.

Be grateful for what you have now while you work toward what you want.



Madam Z said...

Thank you for the valuable reminder, Mickey. It's much more important to function well, than to look good!

Mickey said...

Absolutely, unless you're Billy Crystal playing Fernando. :-)