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No Place Like Home: Loving Your Body in Spite of Your Mind

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I am pregnant and my body is playing me up. I can't do what I could a few months ago, and it sucks. It sucks so bad. I realise now that I took my unfertilised body for granted. I didn't appreciate that I could bend over without getting out of breath. I didn't appreciate that a 20-minute session in the gym would not induce mind-bending tiredness. I lived in my body, but did I really know it? Did I love it?

Or did I spend time trying to make it bend to my will and behave?

Society encourages us to be healthy, but at the same time the underlying message is that we should eat our weight in the products we are sold. We are encouraged to exercise, and at the same time slovenliness is promoted through a billion different electronic conveniences. We think of our bodies in terms of good or bad, attractive or unattractive, fit or unfit. Our body image is based around what our head thinks that our body looks like, and not enough on what our body does for us or how it holds our whole lives together. We love or hate based on appearance, we adore or detest our image. We struggle with weight and self loathing and we never stop to think outside of the literal body box.

Irrespective of what shape it is in, your body is the only place that is set to house you in this lifetime. You can have a nip tuck, you can starve a body or force it into rigorous exercise, but this is beside the point. The point is that we must attempt to value and love our bodies, but we so often don't. We barely give them a second thought except to bemoan the state of them.

Like any naughty child my body had seemed rebellious and unruly. But the thing is, it wasn't, it was doing what I needed all along. It was giving me a shell, a home, a place to exist from. It was me. I owe it alot of love, because my body is the only thing I will ever truly know. For 33 years it has been on good form, and even now whilst I am creaky with pregnancy, it is bringing forth the greatest gift I could ever have hoped for. Our bodies are not fat, skinny, ugly or old. They are everyday miracles.

I have now found out now that my body was not rebellious, but my mind was. My mind was too quick to judge, too quick to compare my love handles to that of some starlet plastered across the cover of a perfume ad. We should switch the focus from our bodies to our minds and challenge what we find there. A bad body attitude is not the fault of your wayward thighs, but the attitude that deems them wayward. Those thighs are what has carried your through this life, to all your good times and safely home again. If we can change our attitude we may find that self-love is easier to come by than we think.

Our bodies are the homes of our souls. As long as they play house to our souls and allow us to exist in happy, healthy, harmonious ways they are utterly perfect. Vanity is but a whisper in the breeze and it is one that we should allow to bypass us. I will from now onwards conclude that I love my body, that it is a temple, irrespective of whether or not that temple is an old mud shack or one fitted out with full on six pack style altar. There is, as we all know... no place like home.