Prompt: Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?
I have come to appreciate my body’s ability to recognize when something is bad for it. And I mean this in a very real, visceral sense. Obviously I have always been aware of the fact that the human body is put together in such a way that it generally tries to protect itself and keep functioning – using the good stuff we put into it and getting rid of the bad. Sometimes getting rid of the very bad very quickly, if you know what I mean. What was perhaps less clear to me (or maybe I just tried to ignore it) is that your body can be telling you that something is reallyreallyreally not so good for you long before your brain and heart parts catch up.
This year (and I s’pose last) I finally acknowledged the extreme toll stress can take on me and how unpleasantly that can manifest itself. Sounds like a not fun thing to appreciate, right? Maybe not, but recognizing it and appreciating it means that I feel like I have a little more control over negative influences. When stuff gets really really super ugly, I don’t eat. Not in a “maybe we need to talk to her” kind of way, but I am definitely not a stress eater. I’m a stress not-eater. And it’s not that I don’t like to eat because oh man, do I ever.
It’s that when I am overcome by life events, eating just goes out the window. I don’t feel like it, I don’t enjoy it, and when I force myself to, well… things don’t turn out so hot.
So, again, what is there to appreciate in all of this? I appreciate that I have a tangible, rock solid way of knowing when badness is making a beeline for me. Given that I sometimes miss other kinds of red flags, it’s comforting that my very own self has an alert system that can help protect me from ick before it really digs in and sets up shop. How do I express gratitude for these marvelous internal bells and whistles? Well, I finally started listening.