By Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger. (That’s her in the picture — woot, woot!)

I recently had this realization of why some of us have been abusing our bodies. It’s because we don’t love our bodies enough. I realized it during one evening while playing this crazy game with my friends. The mechanics were to rate ourselves first in the ‘hotness’ scale from 1 to 10, and afterwards, we’d ask random people to rate us and compare the scores. I rated myself a 5 (because I was thinking 8-10 are for celebrities and those from 6-7 are those ladies who look like they always have somewhere important to go to).

As for the score that I got from random people, I got 8’s and 9’s. It surprised me! I then realized that the reason why I have been abusing my body was that I thought it wasn’t ‘worthy’ of the love that it deserved. The harsh reality was that I haven’t been giving it much importance, because I had such low self-esteem.

I realized that I have to love my body and myself more. I noticed that a few of my friends have been asking for a list of things that they can do to show love for their body. I came up with this list:

1. Read up and understand how your body works.

(Personally, I’m taking a 400 hour Yoga Teacher Training Class this January to accomplish this!) Be amazed about how parts of the body work together and how each part plays their own role. This is the reason why I love watching Grey’s Anatomy, haha! The body is such a wonderful thing to study and be all excited about!

2. Be aware of how your body works each day.

Be aware of how you’re breathing. Be aware of spacial movements. Be aware of where your body is at a given space, at a given time. Look up the word PROPRIOCEPTION *wink*.

3. Take time to meditate.

I have found that after meditation, I get to see the world in a different perspective. I find myself focusing on the numerous blessings that have been given rather than looking at flaws and at the things that are missing. Try meditating for a few minutes each day, when it is most convenient for you. It’ll do you a lot more good than you think.

4. Take time out to move!

Look for that physical activity that you love doing and enjoy every minute of it. We are often confined by the unwritten rules of exercising, such as ‘You have to workout at least 45 minutes a day’ or ‘you have to make 10,000 steps a day to have an active lifestyle’. But these are just guides and we need not be stressed about following them to the letter. Just find something you enjoy doing that makes you move, like walking the dog or window shopping. Any form of movement will be a good jump start towards that active lifestyle!

5. Be mindful of what you eat and drink.

I have a very functional view of food. I think that food is there for nourishment and for sustaining the body so that it can work properly. I’m not saying that we should deprive ourselves of cake, sweets, beer, etc. We can indulge in these, but we should be mindful of how often we take in these kinds of food. We can ingest them, but do they really give us the nourishment that we need? Balance things out. Everything should be enjoyed in moderation.

6. Remember to take a break.

We are never too busy; we just have to decide to allot time to rejuvenate and recuperate. Schedule a spa day once every month or quarter to just relax — as in, put it in your schedule and stick to it! Even as you go through the day, take a 15 minute break from work every hour (if you can) and just breathe and relax. This will greatly help in managing stress.

These are the six things that I intend to do to show my body that I love it and I care for it. Have you thought of how you will take care of your body this year?