So I was recently looking through some other health and fitness blogs and came across this ‘Five Star’ affirmation exercise. There are five headings, and for each you have to list five points. The headings are as follows;
- Five Things You Love About Yourself
- Five Things Your Body Can Do
- Five Things For Which You Are Grateful
- Five Things That Make You Happy You’re Alive
- Five People Whom You Love
This appealed to me as I never, ever think positively about myself. I’m one of those people who cannot take a compliment, never puts myself forward for things and generally feels the likelihood of me achieving anything is rock bottom. Looking back, these thoughts are unfounded. I was a Music Scholar at my Sixth Form and came out with three A’s at A-Level, was an Academic Scholar at my university and graduated with a first in Classics and Philosophy, I bagged myself a training contract with a top global law firm within weeks of graduating (in a recession) and have just been awarded a distinction in my law conversion. I’m a reasonable runner – my first 10k time was 54 minutes and 20 seconds, and I’m currently on course to finish my first half marathon in under 2. I have had an amazing boyfriend for the past 9 years, and a lovely flat in London. So, WHY do I doubt myself so much?
In truth, I have no idea. What I do know, however, is that sadly I’m not alone. I often feel sad and isolated, but when I talk intimately with friends about this, so do many of my friends. Most women I know will never admit to feeling confident or self assured, but will only ever admit self doubt and worry. My sister is a successful barrister in London, yet admitted to feeling it was all just luck and one day she would be “found out”. This is ludicrous.
So, this is the first of my five star series. Positive thinking can have a profound effect on your body, and the mental battle is half the battle. Once you’re winning in the mind, your body will follow. So, my new project for this year is to think positively. Having faith in yourself can be the difference between some success and great success, so..here goes!
You’re meant to start with the things you love about yourself, but I (sadly) found that too hard. Instead, here are the five amazing things my body can do. Have a think yourself and see what you would say – learn to love and appreciate yourself, body and soul. You cannot change who you are, so embrace yourself and be the best version of YOU possible.
Five Things My Body Can Do…
- RUN! My body can run, and it never ceases to amaze me. It can keep going, summon up a sprint and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like that much hard work. I love how my body adapts to my trainings and learns to go further, faster and stronger.
- Recover. I spent a few years abusing my body, not feeding it, feeding it the wrong things, bombarding it with excessive exercise and (I’m ashamed to say) daily laxatives. It was a huge strain. However, since healing my mind my body has followed, and it amazes me that it’s bounced back so well.
- Function. Everyday bodily processes fascinate me (think digestion and healing cuts – how?!). I once saw a programme on how the body fights infection and have never felt so in awe. When you realise how hard it works, you realise how important it is to look after it.
- Adapt. As I increased my mileage, my body adapted until it felt as if I’d always run 30 miles a week. When I increase me weights or reps in the gym, my body learns and adapts. When I retrained it to expect frequent smaller meals as opposed to three large ones, it adapted. I love feeling as if I’m getting stronger and fitter, and I have my body to thank for that.
- Hug, kiss, cuddle, snuggle, pat on the back… Contact with the people you love is the best cure for anything. When I’m miserable, a cuddle from my boyfriend will always make me feel better to some degree. When I’m holding it together and ‘being strong’, a hug from my Mummy is likely to make me cry and share and generally stop being such a mug who tries to cope on their own. For these reasons, cuddles will be the final amazing thing my body can do.
What five things can your body do that amaze you?