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May 18, 2010 - May 18, 2010


I really liked Heidi's pep talk. Now, raise your hand (mine is up) if "bikini ready", while a worthy goal, hasn't applied to you since you were maybe twelve and probably never will. Some bodies were not meant to wear bikinis.
I would like to bring up a different idea, for those of us who never really learned how beautiful our bodies are, no matter what their shape. Make friends with your body! It should be your #1 BFF; if she ever leaves you, you're going to be sunk!

I've always had a low body image. Growing up with a brother who always said nasty things and loving but somewhat clueless parents who never refuted them left me feeling the wrong size and unable to truly appreciate what I had. While never a stand-out athlete, I've always made sure I was physically active, though. It keeps my brain healthy as well as my body, even though re-training that brain is even harder than getting in good physical shape.

Sixteen years ago I was lucky enough to spend about a year working with a personal trainer. I learned that there are three basic body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, and for once I was happy with the body I was given. Genetics account for body types, and the differences are mainly in metabolismand bone structure.

Ectomorphs tend to be long and thin, have low body fat and don't gain muscle easily. Because our culture highly values thinness, the rest of us often look at the thin girls with envy, but if you ask one of them, she might tell you she might like to not have to fight so hard to gain strength.

Mesomorphs are more curvy, gain muscle easily, but also gain fat easily. We (yes, this is where I fit in) have to be careful how we eat, but will get great rewards, in terms of muscle mass and strength, in return for our hard work.

Endomorphs have a rounder physique, and have the greatest difficulty losing weight, but can gain muscle easily, like mesomorphs.

Now for MY pep talk. Remember that old truism, "it ain't what you got, it's what you do with it" ? Time to put that into action! Pablo Casals, the Spanish cellist (and apparently a very thoughtful human), said, " Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything..." We DO have the capacity for anything, and we are so lucky to have these bodies that can move, dance, run, walk, lift things! And I would like to say, you may become a Stephanie, a Darah, a Wendy, a Tina. Because what you have inside you is yours alone, and needn't be compared to anything that has come before.

I would give you the whole Optimist Creed, it is so inspiring. But you can look it up. Here is the last line: "[Promise yourself] to live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you." Now let's get out there and show ourselves what we can do!

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