A Celebration Of What My Body Can Do Rather Than How It Looks

A woman holds up the skirt of her long polka-dotted dress in a field
Pete Bellis / Unsplash

In a world in which the focus is often on aesthetics and appearance, body positivity doesn’t always come naturally to us.

At the grand old age of 22 however, I have arrived at some sort of body neutrality by focusing instead on what my body can and has done rather than what it looks like.

With that in mind, isn’t it about time we celebrate the big and the small things that our bodies can do? OK, I’ll start.

1. It regularly runs up the stairs when the lift takes too long.

2. It carries groceries up the three flights of stairs to the flat I share with my boyfriend.

3. On a good day, it can deadlift over 100kg in the gym.

4. It once accidentally ran 12k when I naively joined an Adidas running club forgetting that running isn’t my ‘thing’.

5. It has survived Bikram Yoga, an experience that was as sweaty as it was soothing.

6. It enables me to run for the train, luggage in tow, all too often.

7. When there is a dog in sight, it has been known to speed walk in order to pet said dog.

8. When my budget was too tight for a taxi in New York and we missed our return boat, it walked from Brooklyn to Central Park in minus temperatures.

9. It has endured hours of searching for deer in Richmond Park.

10. It also endured walking 10k a day, to and from work for over 6 months, while living in London as an unpaid intern.

11. It has recovered from an excruciating bulged disc post-Crossfit competition. Not the fault of Crossfit but my own ego.

12. Over the course of several years, it recovered from Anorexia – a physical and mental feat like no other.

13. From my chubby cheeks to my button nose, it is a humble reminder of my parents and my grandparents.

14. It has tolerated countless Friday nights at university dancing to Destiny’s Child and Sean Paul.

15. It carried me 20k around Barcelona in flimsy sandals when I was adamant that the hotel was ‘just around the corner’.

16. It has helped me to meet some badass friends through Crossfit and weightlifting through our mutual appreciation of what our bodies can do.

17. It kept me warm-ish in Iceland when we (unsuccessfully) went looking for the Northern Lights.

18. It survived a generic girl’s holiday to Magaluf on barely an ounce of food and too much alcohol.

19. It was strong enough to race to the top of the Batu Caves in Malaysia and fend off the monkeys while there.

20. Much to everyone’s surprise, it weathered the wind, the rain and the 2 am ‘watch’ for 11 days on board a Tall Ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

21. It was strong enough to compete in the Crossfit Open.

22. It can run a marathon, both of the running and the Netflix kind.

23. And lastly, every day, come rain or shine, it shows up and endures.

This was by no means supposed to be a humble brag but an exercise in celebrating the every day and the once in a lifetime things that my body has achieved in 22 years. TC mark

Regularly mistaken for a 12-year-old.

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