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30 For 30/30 #13 – The Daily Practice of Respecting the Body

This is the 13th post in my 30 for 30/30 series where I am publishing a new post each day for the next 30 days within a 30-minute window without much of a plan. You can read about why I’m doing this by clicking this link


This post also concludes a series on The Five Daily Practices for a Contented and Happy Life. You can find the other posts by visiting the links below:

  1. The Daily Practice of Spending Time in Solitude
  2. The Daily Practice of Adopting Simplicity
  3. The Daily Practice of Engaging in Kindness
  4. The Daily Practice of Cultivating Self-Expression

And today’s final post in the series is…

Daily Practice #5 – Respecting the Body

About this Practice

The practice of respecting the body is a moment-by-moment choice we make each day to honor the living, breathing shell that houses our being.

We only have one body and despite the pervasive belief of the young that their bodies will last forever, they are prone to break down; Simultaneously, they are also resilient and capable of recovering from decades of abuse due to alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, and even heroin. 

We are presented with numerous opportunities each day to respect the body. From the moment we wake and choose our first bite of food and drink to the moment we return to bed for sleep we maintain the ability to choose what we put in our body, how we move it, and our resting posture.

The three main categories for respecting the body include nutrition, exercise, and position

Why You’d Want to Engage this Practice

The most obvious reasons for engaging this practice:

  1. your health will improve – you will feel better and live longer when making the best choices possible for your body. 
  2. your clothes will fit more comfortably – when we put on weight, it’s never an even and proportional addition, and our clothes become uncomfortable in places. Usually our response to just buy a larger size.
  3. your self-respect and self-esteem will increase – when you respect your body, you feel better about yourself overall creating a positive feedback loop.
  4. your mood will improve and you’ll experience less depression – a win-win situation.

How to Engage the Practice of Respecting the Body

Thus far I haven’t told you anything you probably don’t already know. You already know that natural foods are better than processed foods and fats and protein are better for you than carbohydrates (sugars).

The secret everyone wants to know is how they turn their decades-old habits into a practice they can be proud of and stick with over the long term.

The answer is to start with an easy win and build from there.

Here are some principles to keep in mind:

Specific suggestions for respecting the body

Observing the triad we mentioned earlier of nutrition, exercise, and position, experiment with these suggestions and see if they work for you… and remember, start small.

Nutrition

  1. Increase your daily consumption of low carb veggies – broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, green beans, and kale (if you’re superhuman)
  2. Watch out for hidden sugars – fruits, bread, grains, and legumes are high in carbohydrates.
  3. Increase your water intake – try to drink your weight in ounces of cold water. Yes, you’ll pee a lot but who cares. My rule is for every cup of coffee or tea I drink, I follow each with at least eight ounces of water.
  4. Increase your consumption of good fats  – avocados, nuts, cheese, fatty fish and meats, and full-fat dairies like whipping cream and half-and-half
  5. Cut one fast food run per week – if you hit McDonald’s at least twice a week, cut it to one. Over time you will lose your taste for it altogether…I have and if I can, you can.
  6. Reconsider the roles tobacco and alcohol play in your life – at one time I drank two bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale with dinner seven days per week. As much I loved it, it was a habit that didn’t exactly respect my body (unless you call adding ten pounds respect). I reconsidered the role alcohol was playing in my life and gradually decreased to nearly none at all.
  7. Find a nutritional plan that works for you and don’t deviate from it – whether you’re following Atkins, Primal, Keto, or the South Beach nutritional plans, stick with it, educate yourself, and join groups populated with others on the same plan. They can be a great source of support.

Exercise/Position

  1. Decide on what type of movement brings you enjoyment – I absolutely hate to run, so I don’t. I don’t mind walking and actually, I love hiking. If you engage in a type of exercise that brings you satisfaction, you’ll do it more often and for a longer period. I also like lifting weights, though I’ve not been regular about it for about two years. 
  2. Start with a minimal commitment that you can keep – too many people commit to going to the gym five days per week and, of course, they don’t so they live with feeling guilty. That leads to depression and abandonment of their program. Start small, celebrate the win, and move forward from there.
  3. Find a partner – exercising is always more enjoyable if you have a partner; having an exercise partner is also a great way to provide accountability as well as gain a source of mutual support in the tough times.
  4. Pay attention to your sitting posture – We’re a population of slouchers. When you sit, try sitting on the front half of your chair seat. This encourages your spine to rest in a neutral, more erect position. When you sit in silence, use this position as well.

Additional Tips

This post concludes “The Five Daily Practices for a Contented and Happy Life.” I hope you’ve gotten some helpful suggestions from these posts. If so, I’d really appreciate hearing from you in a comment below. 

See you tomorrow! 



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