Be Thankful For Your Body

Posted November 25, 2013 by Marie Arcidiacono in Life After Five

I’ll be the first one to admit it: I am not always happy with my body.

I am my own worst critic. I could always, “lose a little weight,” “be a little more fit,” and may or may not be chasing a rock solid six-pack. Any other Career Girls out there who have ever felt like this—wanting to improve their body?

We live in a society that is constantly bombarding us with images of the “perfect body.” Every day we see airbrushed models on magazine covers and advertisements which can seriously distort our idea of a “normal” body.

Recently elite athlete, Lauren Fleshman, was featured as a runway model. She looked awesome and let me tell you, I was envious of her amazingly fit physique. What I loved more than her runway debut was her follow-up article where she put the truth out there and showed her readers what she really looks like on her blog. It was refreshing to see another female who was willing to let the world know that what we see on a runway/magazine cover/advertisement is NOT reality. I thought that was courageous and it got me thinking:

What is a Career Girl to do when they are down about their body image? Run out and get plastic surgery? No thank you. Get on the latest fad diet? I’ll pass. Abandon all hope and stay inside in your sweats? Tempting, but no.

So, then what?

I decided to go back and re-watch a documentary that I had watched during college called, “Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women” by Jean Kilbourne. If you haven’t seen any of this documentary you need to. It will help you re-evaluate the distorted body images we are bombarded with on a daily basis.

After viewing the documentary I have challenged myself to think not just positively about my body but more importantly, to be more realistic when it comes to my body image.

So to all my fellow Career Girls out there, I challenge you to be thankful for your body. It seems like everyone has jumped on the, “November: Today I am thankful for…” train so let’s be thankful for our bodies!

Our bodies are capable of so many amazing things—hello childbirth! I mean it’s pretty awesome that our bodies can sustain and produce another human being (if we choose this path, no pressure from me here, I’m still on the fence about this one too).

Beyond that though, think about all of the other reasons you and I can be thankful for our bodies.

If you’re like me, you probably push your body to the limits, mentally and physically. Whether you are out running races, working long hours, running errands all over town for the office, on your feet all day, or typing away at the computer for hours—we work our bodies and need to appreciate them.

Appreciate the body that you have. Try to stop comparing your body to others. One thing I learned from my dad was that there are three body types out there: ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs. Thank you, William H. Sheldon Ph.D, MD for this research in the 1940’s.

It’s good to remember that many of the body types we see in the media are only one type and that not everyone can be that body type; genetically it just can’t happen.

Be thankful for the fact that your body helps you achieve extraordinary things each and every day.

Remember, there’s no need to beat yourself up for grabbing the doughnut in the break room, or eating too much this Thanksgiving. You just have to be HAPPY with who you are. Finding that inner happiness can start by looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you love your body.

Love it; be thankful for it and treat it well—it’s the only one you’ve got.

About the Author

Marie Arcidiacono

Marie is a Speech Communication professor who also coaches a debate team. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue to teach for decades to come. In her "free time" she is an avid runner. Marie enjoys running a variety of distances, including the Half Marathon. She is dedicated to living as healthy a lifestyle as she can while balancing a very busy schedule. Marie loves to network and share ideas so writing for Career Girl Network is perfect for her. You can also read about her adventures on Why Not Girl!.