Happy New Year! I hope you have had a safe and enjoyable festive season.
Have you set your New Year resolutions? This year, I'm trying something new. Instead of focusing on several different things, I want to pay attention to one single matter. My health.
Korean's place a lot of emphasis on their health and well-being. They eat incredibly healthy food, exercise regularly and maintain their sanity by visiting temples and meditating. Being surrounded by such health-consciousness has inspired me. Mountain climbing is very popular here amongst Koreans. Every week-end people flock to the nearest mountain and hike to the top. I've never really been into outdoor sports, but I decided to try it out.
Last month I climbed a mountain that is within walking distance from where I live. It took me over an hour till I reached the top. I was going pretty slowly. I wanted to enjoy the scenery and fresh air. When I reached the top, it was certainly worth it. Although it was absolutely freezing, the view was spectacular! The hike back down was about 45 minutes and the only thing I could think of was, "I did it!"
I recently got into a discussion with a friend about our body being like a temple. A temple is typically a place dedicated to worshiping some kind of divine presence. If we were to worship our bodies, what exactly does that mean?
Basically, worshiping ones body does not mean becoming conceited in any way. It means taking care of it. This entails proper nutrition, regular exercise and sleep and treating yourself with respect and compassion.
I have come to realize how amazing our bodies are. We are walking machines with hearts that beat and eyes that blink. Our bones, muscles, organs and hormones work in perfect harmony and most of the time we don't even realize the processes going on beneath our skin.
Often when we're sick, we're unable to perform certain tasks. Being ill is nature's way of telling us to slow down and take care of our health. Many of us are guilty of taking our bodies for granted. We spend a lot of time, money and attention on our hairstyles, facials and manicures. Yet, we continue to pollute our bodies with poor nutrition, drugs, alcohol, stress and lack of exercise.
So many of us use the line, “I have no time.” “I have no time to work out” or “I have no time for relationships.” I have stopped using this sentence, because I have found that anything is possible if I practice good time management and actually prioritize.
True, we have rushed lifestyles with the stress of families, studies, careers and early morning traffic! We rely on cars, elevators and fast foods that are easy to prepare, but unhealthy. We are all stressed about one thing or another, but that’s just life. There will always be something going on. So instead of complaining, let’s just focus on the things that are going smoothly. If anything, let’s celebrate being alive!
So why am I harping on about good health, you may ask? Because I have started to respect and appreciate my body. I feel liberated to say that I don’t aspire to have a body like a supermodel. Perhaps it takes a certain level of maturity to come to this realization. I am currently living in a society that promotes beauty and ‘perfect’ bodies. Well, I’m not perfect. I’ve never been and I doubt I ever will be. Instead of feeling pressurized to ‘fit in’ (excuse the pun), I have chosen to embrace the shape and form that I have now.
If I was meant to have a figure like a runway model, I’d be enjoying a career in modeling now. But this is me. Thighs, hips, bust and everything - I have the complete package!
It is human nature that we want what we don’t (or can’t) have. Who doesn’t want the confidence of strutting down the beach in a bikini? That isn’t going to happen any time soon for me. So in the meantime, I’m going to focus on the body that I do have. Treat it well and nourish it with healthy food, and try to maintain an exercise regime.
I truly believe that we are all amazing. Let 2009 be the year you worship your body and the true spirit that lies within you! You may not be a model, but you’re certainly precious and beautiful just as you are.
Have a fantastic month and see you in February~