I Am More Than My Body

I’ve been thinking about this ever since National Love Your Body day, and meant to include these thoughts on this post. That was the post about choosing to be different and trying to maintain my weight at 168 pounds. The truth is, I don’t ‘love’ my body.  Blame it on our national obsession, or cultural conditioning or whatever, but I find smooth firm skin appealing on a body.  Which mostly I do not have.  Blame it on being overweight most of my life, or aging or whatever.  That’s just the way it is.  But don’t worry about me–there’s plenty of self-love going on over here.  That’s never  been a problem for me.  Maybe a little too much, but never too little.

Plenty of doggie love, too!

What I was thinking about is this.  I am more than my body.  We all are.  We are all body, mind, and spirit. As a Christ-follower, this takes a specific slant for me.  So part of choosing to maintain at 168 pounds is so that, hopefully, I will not have to spend quite as much time thinking about food/exercise.  But also a most important part is that I want to be strong and healthy so that I am able to follow God wherever he might lead  me in this world.  That ‘s the part I left out of that definition of me:

Something along the lines of ‘an older woman who is overweight but still reasonably attractive, who exercises not in the hopes that her body shape will change or become smaller, but to stay strong and healthy and flexible and mobile so that I am able to follow God wherever he might lead me.’

We are all spiritual beings, whether you like it or not.  We all have wonderful minds (I know, I read your excellent posts.)  I encourage you to think as much about these aspects of your life as you do about improving your physical body.

Here is my most favorite quilt from the show.  Japanese quilters do the most amazing beautiful detailed work on their quilts.  Their quilts have a different look that I am drawn to.  When I first saw it, this quilt reminded me of getting a glimpse into heaven.   That was almost the same meaning as the quilter wrote in her description.

Detail shots:

I’m off to take on the day,  which will include the obligatory long walk with Noah, a lot of clutter-removal (creativity creates clutter, in case you didn’t know,) a little baking, and hopefully more creating!  I started the day by reading the most amazing Psalm in The Message (modern version of the Bible)–Psalm 19.  Check it out–it’ll lift your spirits!

10 thoughts on “I Am More Than My Body

  1. There is so much truth in the statement that the body, mind and spirit are connected. I know FOR A FACT that when my spirit is at it’s lowest is when I am meanest to my body and have the worst body image.

    Now I’m off to find your Psalm.

  2. different slant
    not disagreeing
    but adding

    I think most of us didn’t SEE a whole lot in the past. And I think on some level we didn’t SEE our old bodies at all. Part of the process, in general, is learning to SEE all kinds of things – like nutrition and exercise and health things. It is like we learn some mature level of awareness. And with it comes this awareness of our bodies. Part of it is very natural – because we learn how to exercise. So I think the not liking all that we see is just part of seeing the whole. That has been a big part of healthy exercise for me – working on particular parts – tone, strength, flexibility of specific areas/muscle groups/limbs.

    I am not at all sure how much of all of this we would now be feeling if we had not stretched our skin out and sort of inflated our fat cells. I keep telling myself that undoubtedly, in our 50’s and 60’s, we would be going through many of these same feelings even if we had never been heavy. Because gravity would still be there. . .

  3. I took a class once with Gwen Marston who taught in Japan. She said that a lot of the quilts we see from Japan are done by more then one quilter. They have a master program where the “master” designs the quilt then other quilters that she is teaching do some or most of the work. I’m not sure if that is true but it would explain how that gets such detail but are able to send a quilt each year.

  4. I’d like to think that if I were a tall, willowy blonde with gorgeous skin and perfectly smooth skin, my contribution to life would not be predicated on my looks. Just as the short, lumpy, crepey, wrinkly me (still blonde!) with teenage acne is not my definition. Don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m agreeing with you.

  5. I think my “body love” is coming more from a place of seeing it as integrated with the rest of me. I think I used to disassociate from the body, including it only so far as it was involved in toting my brain and soul around and pleasing myself with sensory input – food, music, experiences, pretty views, etc. Once I was forced to take care of it, I became aware of how much better my mind and soul felt as well.

    And, for me, I’m not defining “body love” as having to think that I look hot. Like everyone, I feel like I have my pleasing/not so pleasing parts, and I feel pretty objective about the “not so”. Some of it is from having carried excess body fat, and some is just simply the aging process; no point in beating myself up about the not so pleasing parts. I’ll do my best to take good care of myself, and these things will correct…or not.

    You’re so right-on about needing to tend the mind and soul as well, though. That’s probably more of why I follow and comment on the blogs I do: for me, they offer not just food for mind & soul (such as a book would be), but it’s almost like a communal table. “I just ate soup” isn’t just that, it becomes “I just ate soup with my friends and enjoyed some laughs and conversation.”

    Don’t know if I’m making sense, either, but I think I’m agreeing with you, too. 😉

    • PG, You said it better than I could. Completely agree with you, well, about everything. Esp. the body love paragraph–that is so right. I know I kind of got ‘stuck’ mentally on the ‘perfect body image’ thing.

      Love your description of the communal table. I MISS my bloggy friends when I don’t hear from them or they don’t have time to blog for a while.

      And thanks for the laugh. again. “I just ate soup”–still chuckling and smiling.

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