What Have You Done for Your Body Lately?


In all likelihood, today your body*:

  1. Took in the food you gave it, and transformed it into energy.
  2. Kept out innumerable germs, viruses, particles of painful foreign matter, and other harmful substances.
  3. Kept you safe from harm with its reflexes.
  4. Gave you great posture with its back and abdominal muscles.
  5. Took you from place to place with its leg muscles.
  6. Lifted anything you told it to with its back and arm muscles.
  7. Replenished your skin and hair with nourishing natural oils.
  8. Took in polluted air, grabbed the good stuff from it, and expelled the rest.
  9. Showed you the living world through sharp eyes, a sensitive nose, quick fingers, a curious palette, and attentive ears.
  10. Churned and churned out the genetic material that makes you uniquely, miraculously YOU.

Your body did all that and more for you today. Your body goes above and beyond every single day, without acknowledgment or praise. Your body cares what happens to you. It protects you, nurtures you, and cares for you whether or not you repay it in kind. And it’s the only body you’ve got, the only body you’ll ever have.

What have you done for your body lately?

Have you given it enough sleep? Enough vegetable matter? Have you used its muscles for something besides sitting in a chair? Have you kept it clean and soft with steamy baths and nourishing moisturizers? Have you helped it look its absolute best with clothes in colors that make you look positively radiant? Have you downed enough water? Have you stretched? Have you tended it with care and fed it with love?

Who cares about cellulite and wrinkles, gray hairs and pimples? You are alive, and your body loves you. And it’s the only body you’ve got, the only body you’ll ever have.

What have you done for your body lately?
What will you do for it TODAY?

*Bodies have different abilities, and some might not have the muscle or immune strength described here. If that’s the case for you, can you think of other ways your body served and protected you today?

Image courtesy Ingorrr.

Originally posted 2010-01-11 06:47:00.

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39 Responses to “What Have You Done for Your Body Lately?”

  1. La Historiadora de Moda

    Sal, this is just what I needed to see this morning when I'm tired and cranky and jet lagged. I'm going to go drink a glass of water right now and hit my yoga mat here in a bit.

  2. Nina

    What great advice, Sal … I promise, I'm going to listen to my body more!

  3. Erin

    Wow, beautiful thoughts. And you know what? I just realized last night I think I'm operating on low-level dehydration all the time. Time to remedy that.

  4. Tina Z.

    It will get stronger in my boot camp class. Thanks for a great Monday morning post!

  5. ranksubjugation

    Great way to start the morning…

    I've cut caffeine out of my life, which has been great!

    Today, I will continue my post-holiday-calorie-cutbacks, and I'll force myself to do SOME exercise (even if I reallllly don't want to).

  6. Laura

    I let my body rest and consume all the hot tea it wanted this weekend (I wasn't feeling well) and then I took it for a run on Sunday.

  7. Elissa

    Terrific, I love this! Taking care of your body because you owe it to "it"– and not to "yourself" is a really great way to use most people's mind/body disconnect to improve their self image and inspire better self-care. Very cool.

  8. the UNchecked other

    As cliched as it may sound, I have begun to see beyond the body parts and listened to the story they tell. For instance, my lips are a little too full, but I am proud that when I open them, the sound of Tsalagi (Cherokee) can come out of them proudly, confidently, and fluidly; this is proof that despite a past rooted in loss, we the Tsalagi are still here. We stand, chin up, as survivors. My hips also speak of the survival of my Hawaiian people; when I sway my hips to the chants and mele for hula, I tell the story of not only who I am, but the people from whom I came.The slight pouch of my stomach will someday tell a story of defiance and life; radiation may have affected my fertility, but it has not and can never take away my hope of becoming a mom someday. My small hands will one day hold and feed a child, biological or not.

    I cherish and nourish my body by seeing the beauty that shines beneath its imperfections. When it tells me to slow down, I listen. When I see weariness in it, I give it rest.

    I see my body's worth.

  9. Cupcakes and Cashmere

    your timing always amazes me. whenever i start to pick out every stupid detail that infuriates me about my body, you come in and save the day. thank you for your refreshing point of view that offers such great perspective. xo

  10. All Women Stalker

    THanks for this post. I needed a reminder to be nicer to my body. I will do yoga after I read my fave blogs 🙂

  11. Rebecca

    Well said! In addition to other healthy habits I've established in the last 6 months, I'm adding a cup of green tea and a handful of either walnuts or almonds 5 out of 7 days.

  12. Valerie Chapman-Stockwell

    I say, treat your body like the faithful dog it is. Nourish it, exercise it, let it play–it is your most constant companion.

  13. Natalie

    I like this mental twist on what I "owe" my body. Happy Monday everyone 🙂

  14. Anonymous

    Thank you for this! You are the first blog I read every day! It was a new realization to me to think on a "cellular" and "operational" ideal, rather than an appearance ideal.
    thank you for your daily posts!!

  15. futurelint

    I know! Our bodies are amazing as a whole and right down to a cellular level! It blows my mind every time I think about it! Hmm, I made my body an all fruit smoothie this morning, make it sit on a stability ball rather than a chair at work every day, and am taking it out for a five mile run tonight… but there are definitely days I'm not so good to it!

  16. lisa

    Ooh great post! I didn't give my body the sleep it deserved and needed last night–time to remedy that tonight.

  17. eliza

    A very timely reminder, just before I slid into a spiral of blaah and self-loathing on discovery of one grey hair too many.

  18. shizzknits

    What a timely post; I went to yoga class this AM and we spent the last few minutes of class "thanking our bodies" for many of the things you mention here. It was a good reminder!

  19. The Budget Babe

    Sal you are a genius. This is one of your best posts to date!

  20. D'Et

    What a wonderful post! Thank you! I'm not sure why, but it really struck a chord with me today. A few months ago I started eating cleaner, drinking more water, exercising smarter… all nice little ways to say, "I love you, too, body!"

    I love your blog. It always makes me feel wonderful. Thank you again.

  21. Melissa Blake

    Great post!! I slept in this weekend and let my body rest! xoxo

  22. Lady Smaggle

    I have been doing an hour of toning and yoga a day and drinking green smoothies! They are sound gross but they do amazing things. I'm also doing low-dairy.

    I just need to ditch the sneaky mid-week wines and crackers and dip habit I have going on… cheeky bites of Mr Smaggle's midnight toast doesn't help much either…

  23. Jordie

    absolute quote of the year;
    "Who cares about cellulite and wrinkles, gray hairs and pimples? You are alive, and your body loves you. And it’s the only body you’ve got, the only body you’ll ever have."


  24. a cat of impossible colour

    Aw, this is sweet. And also motivating!

    For once I'm actually happy with how I'm looking after my body – although my wine consumption over the last month has probably been a little on the … er … festive side. 🙂

  25. dreamsandschemesandcircuscrowds

    What I have done for my body is quit smoking. Five days in and, thus far, all is well.

  26. CrankyOtter

    It's possible that half a head of steamed cauliflower with herbed butter was a little too much veggie goodness along with the veggie heavy "chinese" chicken salad. But it was my assignment from cooking class, and the cauliflower tasted good and I ate all of it instead of half of it. So is that good for me or bad for me? Dunno.

  27. Sassy

    Great reminder – we sure do take our bodies for granted. I was quite good to mine … not as good as I could be, but I fed it well and hydrated it 😉

  28. zee

    Great post, what an eye-opener! Most of the time we take our body for granted — we don't take care of it enough! It's always good to ask ourselves what we give back in return. In my case, it's regular exercise with yoga and I've been trying to cut down on meat and soda!