On Hating Your Body

This scenario is something I have seen played out personally and professionally hundreds of times with Clients on Macroholics. I want to talk about it today.

Let’s say, I have hit my targets perfectly. Worked out every day. Weighed every bite of food that entered my mouth for two weeks straight. I have lost 5 pounds. I feel great. Heartburn is slowly going away. Things are good.

Then, I have a cheat day. I eat within reason everything that sounds good. I don’t weigh my food, I don’t even consider macros. I don’t go CRAZY, I just take a day to enjoy.

The next morning, I am up 6 pounds. I have gained a pound...since I started. I have ‘lost’ all the progress I have made for those two weeks. My heartburn came back. I am so discouraged.

Why does my body suck? Why does all that work go away SO fast? Why is it so easy to gain and SO hard to lose?

Now, imagine this scenario-

It’s 9,000 years ago and I haven’t had a meal in 4 days. I’ve walked 10 miles, nursed babies, carried heavy packs, I am thin, tired, hungry.

Then, I have a chance to eat as much as I want. (Idk, a wooly mammoth buffet. Work with me here) I eat until I am full.

The next day, I am up those same 6 pounds. I am energized, happy, thankful.

Why does that scenario feel so different? Our body is doing the exact same thing for us. It is storing energy, fat, for us to use until our next meal comes. It is providing, storing, planning, helping. The only difference in those situations is perspective. Because we didn’t have a choice to restrict our food before. Because things are SO GOOD, it feels...worse?

Our bodies are survival machines! They are designed to carry us through the hard times. Designed to help us make it from our comfortable couch, to a stream 100 miles away if everything quits being so great. They are perfectly designed. Intricately woven together.

The jealousy you feel for that person that ‘eats whatever they wants and looks perfect’ (which, is by the way, basically never true but let’s pretend it is). That person would be at a distinct disadvantage if the world was basically any way other than the way it is right now.

It is so easy to look at the negative. It’s so simple to focus on the hard things and feel sorry for ourselves. But look at the beauty! Look at the wonder. Look behind the hard, see what the roots are!

Those stretch marks you are so scared of showing? Those came from your bodies ability to grow, to change, to accomodate LIFE.

Those wrinkles? Those come from time. Time spent on this Earth, under this Sun, seeing beautiful things, learning beautiful songs, dancing to beautiful music. Those wrinkles are not ugly, those wrinkles are unique. Special. PERFECT.

That extra skin that hangs on your belly? That you twist and turn and hide in photos? That skin was stretched to accommodate the weight that you carried. Weight you gained eating foods, falling in love, learning to cook. That weight came from living in a time of excess! A time where food is easy to get. Sugar and fat, and salt and sweet, they are cheap, close, easy to find! That skin something people from all over history would covet. Would give anything for!

Perspective is a powerful, wonderful, LIFE CHANGING thing.

Hating your body, hating the things that have such a beautiful story, is a tragedy. And I want it to stop.

I want you to exercise because it is amazing to be able to do something you’ve never done before. I want you to eat good foods, and enjoy them, because you know they are nourishing your body and not harming it. I want you to celebrate the victory of weight loss, not because you hate yourself and can’t wait to be someone else, I want you to celebrate it because your body is responding in a healthy way to the stimulus you are giving it!

Your body is only a summation of the choices you made. It is not an enemy. It is not a definition of you. Your body is able to be whatever you want it to be, and that, THAT ALONE, is something you celebrate.

Let’s make 2019 the year that we celebrate. The good, the bad, the happy and the sad. Our bodies are wonderful things, we are blessed to have such wonderful control over them. Do not punish you for choices you’ve made. Pick a destination, and let’s walk there together, telling all the beautiful stories as we go.

David Barnett