Day 33 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

This is Gutsy…

My rationale for embarking on this 177-day journey has been to expand our definition of health, to create a larger pool for healthy experiences and practices to seep into our lives in some unexpected circumstances. If you don’t remember my intro to the project, click on the link to the right called “177 Days of What? About the 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project.” If nothing else, it’s another read to squeeze into your already busy life. At any rate, I mentioned that get-slim-quick claims were a scam and promised that I’d explain later. Well, later is today. Because today, in the midst of trying on clothes, I discovered some very Unexpected Health…in my dressing room.

Let me first clarify by saying that dressing rooms are not necessarily healthy. Actually, a dressing room (at least for a female) can be a torturous location. Three-way mirrors, bad lighting and a stack full of clothes that don’t quite fit can really tank a perfectly normal day. But in almost every dressing room is at least one mirror; and in front of that mirror is you. As we grow ‘in’ (Day 28), we are all faced with looking at ourselves; seeing–with bad lighting and all–who we are and what we have become. What I noticed today was that my gut (and I use this word very purposefully) is more prominent than it used to be.

I used to pride myself on my abdominal muscles. Because of volleyball (you use your abs all the time), my belly was in tip-top shape. But as my time on the court has lessened substantially, my core muscles have slowly dwindled, leaving a less-than-rock-solid gut. But today, as I stood in the dressing room, I thought about how my bigger gut is more prominent because it has a larger, more healthy, role in my life; and appreciating ourselves for exactly as we are–today–is healthy. Let me explain…

You’ve all heard the sayings, “Go with your gut;” “My gut feeling is…;” “I have this gut instinct.” I have always had these ‘gut moments’ but when I was younger, I ignored them. Now, I listen to the butterflies in my stomach; I emotionally examine the knots that form when I am anxious; I pay attention when I am sick to my stomach. Our gut is our second heart. It tells us instinctively what we KNOW (intuition) but what our brains have yet to compartmentalize. Because of this, having a more visually present gut can actually be a very healthFUL reminder to pay attention. Now of course, excessively large bellies pose known health concerns, but a little extra padding around our second heart is not such a bad thing after all. The trouble is, one of the biggest targets of the get-slim-quick programs is the belly. We are taught to ‘crunch’ ourselves to abdominal agony; we do sit-ups by the 100s…1000s. All of this is healthy, of course, because you can’t have strong extremities without a solid core. But you can’t have a strong sense of self without listening to your gut. So the next time you pinch your gut, instead of thinking about how you need to slim-down, appreciate the extra wisdom you are given…from your belly’s voice box. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

If you squint your eyes only then can you see, that below is a place for comments to leave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s