Tuesday, March 8, 2011
5 Reasons You've Got the Perfect Body
By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
This Sunday kicks off National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Meanwhile, this Public Service Announcement -- which has been running on massive screens during Fashion Week in New York City -- makes it uncomfortably clear just how important it is to change the negative feelings many women have about their bodies.
So, starting today, we urge you to realize that your body is pretty darn awesome -- regardless of size, shape and scale reading. Here are five great reasons to rock what you've got:
1. Your Heart Kicks Butt. Beating about 100,000 times a day (40 million times a year!), your ticker pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through tens of thousands of miles of blood vessels to feed your organs and assorted body parts. Different cultures see this fist-sized organ as the home of our spirit, our hub of happiness and of course, a source of love. Yep, it's cliche, but true: It's what's inside that counts.
2. Your Brain Is Pretty Smart, Too. The 3-pound ball of protein and fat has more than 100 billion neurons that control your emotions, let you have unique thoughts and points of view and provide physical coordination. And you can store up to 1 billion bits of information in your brain over the course of your lifetime -- more than the amount of text in the Library of Congress. No wonder it sucks up 17 percent of your body's total energy!
Next time you hit the gym, make it about your brain, rather than your body. "Physical exercise may be one of the best ways to maintain cognitive function," says Fred H. Gage, Ph.D., professor of age-related neurodegenerative diseases at Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif. How? Increased blood flow to the hippocampus generates new cell growth and improves mental processing.
3. Your [INSERT BODY PART HERE] Rocks. Everyone has a body part that they think is pretty darn hot. It might be your toes or your nose, or the cute dimple you get on your left cheek when you smile. Write down your best attributes, put them on your bedside table and make the list the first thing you look at in the morning. For more inspiration, check out Caitlin Boyle's "Operation Beautiful" initiative to find out how one Post-It note can change the way you see yourself.
4. It's a Marvel -- Just Ask Your Admirers. Think about the people who love you the most --your grandmother, the niece who idolizes you and, OK, even your dog. When you have a negative thought about yourself, imagine looking at yourself through their eyes instead. See, now you're a smart, gorgeous woman who is really good at scratching behind Fido's ears.
5. You Have the Power to Change. Don't blame genetics or your body type. Instead, get inspired to give your body the love it deserves -- by keeping it as healthy and strong as possible. That way, your heart and brain can function as efficiently as possible. As a bonus, know this: A study by the University of Florida found that hitting the gym can make your confidence soar. As you run or lift weights or dance, focus on all of the amazing things your body is doing -- your heart sending oxygen to your muscles, your brain firing off commands to your legs -- not whether your thighs are shrinking before your eyes.