Saturday, December 24, 2011

Being Better Than Our Bodies

Over on Facebook, I've got a friend who keeps posting stuff about how we need to learn to accept our bodies and not be upset with what we look like.  And I'm sorry, but I think that's incredibly misguided.  While we are essentially stuck with who we are and can't all look like quarterbacks and super models, that's no excuse for just letting ourselves go and accepting whatever we look like.  

I myself suffered through that, as I once weighed sixty pounds more than I do now, and believed that I looked normal and complained to my wife on more than one occasion because I truly believed she was shrinking my clothes in the laundry.  Seriously.  Over time, I decided to not eat quite so much and to get a little exercise, and now I look at pictures of myself from ten years ago and I'm embarrassed that I ever accepted that.  Not that I looked bad, but wow, I look so much better now. 

And it wasn't that I had to go on some crazy diet or anything, as I wouldn't do that sort of thing.  I just realized that I was eating stupid and drinking too much, and learned to adjust.  Now I still eat fast food and drink, but not as much as before; and I look great.  While we should never expect ourselves to look like something we're not, that's no excuse to let ourselves go and do whatever we feel like. 

Anyway, here's what I posted as my comment.

I think it's dangerous to believe that we are our bodies. We are not. We are our minds and our bodies are stupid material things we are stuck with. If our bodies are unhealthy, it affects our minds and makes us unhealthy. In addition, when our bodies are unhealthy, it makes others treat us badly which makes things worse for ourselves.

It is wrong for someone in bad shape to think "My body sucks, so I suck." But it's equally wrong to think "My body sucks and I should accept it because that's who I am." The correct thing to think is "My body sucks and I'm better than it, so I'm going to fix it so it becomes what it should be." We are not our bodies. We are our minds.

To accept an unhealthy body is an excuse.  While there are many types of bodies, there is an ideal body for each of us. We should be our ideal body and fight to make sure we attain it. Not because we are our bodies, but because it makes who we are better. We should always strive to be our best selves, always. No excuses.

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