body image · fitness

6 things that make me feel great about my body

1) Yoga

Hanging out in downward facing dog or wide legged forward bend, I feel strong, stretched out, grounded, engaged with my muscles.  In shavasana (corpse pose for resting on the mat at the end of class) I connect with the floor, feeling my limbs and back and head and belly all sink into relaxation and stillness.  And when I get up to leave I feel grateful for the body I have. Here’s one of my posts on trying ropes yoga. Kim wrote about yoga here. And of course, Tracy reconnected with yoga on the beach here.

And then there’s the post about doing 366 days of yoga in a row.

2) Reading Natalie’s posts

Oh the body positive posts from Natalie always always make me smile and then shake my head slightly and say to myself “maybe I can be like this sometime”.  It’s impossible to pick a favorite (there are so many!), but here are a few to revisit:

Belly patrolling

why I hate going to the doctor (but go anyway)

big arms and making bread

3) Sex with myself

There’s nothing like ordering up an orgasm when you’re feeling off kilter (or not).  The fact that my body does this super nice thing for me also makes me smile.  And it clears the cobwebs and is relaxing.  I wrote more about it here.

4) Engaging in some manner of primping or poufing or attention to some part of me that I want to prettify

For me it’s my hair:  I get color, highlights, keratin, cuts,  blow dry and flat iron from time to time, and I feel (and I might add look) marvelous.  Some people attend to nails, or body ink, or piercings, or shoes (love the witchy Fluevogs, Sam!).  Or something else.  These are nice ways to feel pretty or boss or bad ass or however you want.

Here’s where you can get a look at one of the pairs of Sam’s fabulous Fluevog pointy-toed dancing shoes and her festive sparkly outfit.

5) Walking

On the beach, in the woods, around my neighborhood, on the university campus where I work, downtown in the city.  I feel purposeful, in control of speed and effort,  entertained by whatever’s happening around me, and aware of what’s doing well and not so well for me at that moment.  Walking gives me time to check in with my self, and it always always works.

Here’s a guest post on walking as a feminist act.

6) cycling on my own or with friends on a mellow ride

Cycling is my primary exercise love, and it soothes me and challenges me and revives me and exhausts me. That is, cycling is life to me. These days I’ve felt more challenged by it because of lower fitness and accompanying fears. But I got a new bike– see my post here.

And I’m also making plans for riding—alone, and with others. I’m seriously thinking about doing the one-day PWA ride with Sam and crew. See more info here.  All in all, the year is shaping up nicely for upcoming riding.

What makes you feel good about your body? We’d really like to know.









11 thoughts on “6 things that make me feel great about my body

  1. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately since that thread on Facebook we were both in on. It’s what got me thinking about why growing up fat has advantages! (I reshared that post after re-reading it.) So it’s never been looking in the mirror and thinking I look remotely like supermodels, etc. Never, ever. It’s just not on my radar. And I’m not attracted to people who look like that either. So for me it’s always been about the way my body feels and the tremendous things it does. Sex, babies, riding bikes, hiking, lifting heavy things…(And I know for some people that might be as far off as the super model thing.) In me and in others, I admire strength and confidence, physical competence, movement with purpose. Lots of the things you mention are on my list. (Though not yoga! Yoga makes me wish I were more flexible and graceful.)

    I’m really really hoping you ride with us this summer. Come up for the 1 day ride, meet all the people, and then, if you like it, do the 6 day next year.

    Great post.

    Thanks for making me smile this Sunday morning.

  2. Cycling, snowshoeing and even just winter snow walking in city heightens my body of feeling alive. We forget just walking with the sun on us, is in itself….life.

    When I cycle up a hill for a short piece after a long winter, it’s being grateful for being alive and mobile.

  3. I love this… thanks so much, Catherine. I try to keep some of these things alive for me too (see my post that will show up tomorrow morning about spinning) — and it’s so good to hear this in your words.

  4. I get a blow out every Friday. I have a standing appointment. My hair is long and thick and curly, but when I leave it’s smooth and wavy and shiny.
    Dry shampoo takes me through most of the week, even with yoga every day.

    For years I wore a ponytail. Not anymore.

  5. My body & spirit feel great when I have sex, or equally, when I dance for 2 hours at 5Rhythms 🙂
    A sleep in and big healthy brunch is good too 🙂

  6. Great post. (I might have blushed a little but it’s true.) There’s usually nothing a good workout and a hot shower cant fix. I’m also very fussy about plucking my eyebrows and having my toenails painted.

  7. Activity in general! When it’s nice out, I try to spend at least a few hours every weekend outdoors, normally biking/walking/running at a local park. It’s the best way to disconnect from work and get back in touch with my body and nature.

    Yoga is good too–this week I went to a yoga class immediately after a run and marveled at my leg muscles, which are apparently hardening/growing with the training program I’m on. That was a very cool feeling.

    Your point about hair: I normally don’t spend much time on mine, but I really love it right after a wash. I have curly hair, so I don’t wash every day. But toward the end of a not-washed cycle, my hair starts to get a little limp with oil and residue of gel/conditioner/etc. A full wash makes it super shiny and bouncy and awesome. 😀

    Being reminded to think about those things was awesome. Thanks for this. 🙂

  8. Running, yoga, walking, swimming, and resistance training all make me feel good about my body. I get a sense of physical capacity that I never really had when I was younger. So does wearing clothing that feels comfortable and not constraining. And spending time at the beach or on the boat, wearing a bikini every day, or even better, being somewhere where I can be nude outdoors around others. I feel self-conscious at the beginning but in a short while I’m at ease.

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