I had an interesting conversation with my 6-year-old daughter, my dear Miss M, last night:
Miss M (trying to make her hands like the hooves on Olivia the Pig*): It would be hard to hold on to anything with two fingers!
Me: Yes, it would. But did you know that some people are born with only two fingers on a hand?
Miss M: Really?
Me: Yes. Or some are born without an arm or a leg.
Miss M: Wow... it would be really hard to do stuff without an arm or a leg.
Me: Well, people learn how to do things without it because that's all they know. Or they might get something that helps them, kind of like the hearing aids Daddy uses.**
Miss M: I am sure glad I have all my fingers and arms and legs!
Me: And we show our appreciation to God for our bodies by eating nutritous food and getting exercise to keep us healthy.
After I said that to my daughter, I sat back and thought to myself, "Yeah, we do. Or we should, anyway." Of course, when being honest with myself, I know that I haven't shown that appreciation very often -- quite the opposite, in fact.
Whether or not you believe in God isn't the point here. It's about realizing how amazing the human body is! It deserves to be treated with love and respect, not abused with inactivity and with food that does nothing to nourish it.
No matter what has been happening in my life, it wasn't my body's fault. And yet, when I have been sad or angry or stressed out or bored or celebrating or whatever other excuse there is, I have chosen to harm this vessel that is carrying me through life. It's sad to realize what a dysfunctional relationship I have had with my body
This ended up being a positive epiphany (despite the fact that it made me feel bad for all the choices I have made in the past). To see that I have been actively working for the past month and a half to greatly limit my previous choices is gratifying. To understand that eating nutritous food and exercising isn't a chore, but showing appreciation for my wonderful body, was a little bit mind-blowing. It helps make this all a bit easier on some levels.
*Olivia is a storybook character created by Ian Falconer. She is quite precocious, much like Miss M :)
**My husband is hard of hearing.