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something else amazing

Posted Feb 14 2011 1:48pm

Ok, brace yourselves because I'm going to say something about human bodies. No, it's not going to be x-rated or anything like that... sheeesh.

This is a really amazing thing about how our bodies are designed. You know when I was at that conference the other week? One of the presenters was talking about, well, eating disorders of course, but about the wisdom of how the body is made. She said something that I knew from years ago but hadn't thought of for awhile.

The average human female is designed to have about 22% body fat. You want to know why? And it's not random! 22% body fat is enough to let a human female survive a famine for 9 months. How amazing is that?! So, just long enough to carry a baby full term and have it be healthy and strong enough to be born. (thanks to Margo Maine, PhD, for that important and remarkable piece of info)

Now, I can just imagine the annoyance going on, and the eye-rolling, and the thinking I'm making this up as a way to convince people they "should be fat" or "let their bodies go" or "stop trying to keep things under control."

But, think of it. Our bodies are designed for use. They're designed to DO things in life. Our bodies aren't designed to sit around in a museum and "look thin enough" or "perfect enough" or "tan enough" or "toned enough" or anything else like that. They're designed to be out gathering sticks or hiking, or rowing, or swimming, or holding a hand, writing a paper, having fun, making a friend...

So, it's no surprise that our bodies are equipped to be able to survive a famine just long enough to support a child. No surprise, but sure amazing!

Why is this important? Partly because it's just way cool, and it shows how our bodies have wisdom far beyond our consciousness. And, partly because the next time anyone out there is railing against their body, thinking they should make it "thinner" or "get it into shape" or any other kinds of harsh, against what our bodies really need and want and are designed for things, they might want to try to remember that their body is actually pretty smart and pretty well designed- on its own. There's no need to micromanage our bodies.

And, yes, I do get how difficult it is to trust that when you're in the middle of an eating disorder. The last thing you believe is that your body knows what it's doing and that you can trust it to do what it's truly supposed to without you micromanaging.

Worth working on though :) Especially since it's all true!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you :)

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