10 Insanely Amazing Things Your Body Can Do (Other Than Look Good!)

I appreciate that you want to look good naked.

Looking good naked is fun, and striving to change your body with healthy habits can be super empowering. But our culture puts so much friggin pressure on how your body looks from the outside that we miss out on tons of opportunities to experience gratitude and joy from within. The truth is, there is so much happening inside your body at all times; stuff you can’t see, and often stuff you can’t even feel! Think about when you start a new workout routine. Whether or not you lose weight, you might be improving your bone density, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, mobility, blood pressure, aerobic threshold, hormone balance, and resting heart rate. Those are all awesome markers of success that you would completely miss if you considered only the aesthetic results!

Valuing your body only for how it looks is a real bummer. First of all, how your body looks is meant to fluctuate, but its natural ebbing and flowing will drive you absolute batshit crazy if you’re only comfortable when it looks one certain way.


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But also: the human body is fucking insane. Like, how are we not constantly walking around going “OH MY GOD, MY LIVER IS LITERALLY CLEANSING MY BLOOD RIGHT NOW?”

I mean, I know why. Because the brain has a mechanism to automatically filter out information like that, so that you can actually get stuff done. Which, again, is pretty insane and impressive, no?

Your body is so much more than how it looks, and if you want more gratitude and body-love you’re going to have to dig deeper. So without further ado, here are a bunch of things that I think are utterly miraculous that your body may (or may not!) be able to do. Let’s take a moment to switch your focus away from the mirror, and onto the absolute ridiculous miracle of being alive in a human body.

10 Insanely Amazing Things Our Bodies Can Do


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1. Adapt. Our bodies are prepared to adapt physically to whatever we need, from being able to run long distances to learning to snowboard. It’s called the SAID Principle, or Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It basically means that your body will get better at exactly whatever you do regularly. It’s the foundation of all progressive fitness programs, and how we’re able to improve our physical skills, strength, and fitness simply by practicing. This mechanism has allowed us to survive, and also makes it possible to do fun shit like lift weights and learn to salsa. Boo-yah.

2.  Fight-or-flight-or-freeze. This is your body’s response to a perceived threat, and it can save your life. What activated, the body’s stress response can do all kinds of cool stuff like shutting down blood flow to the digestive system, and redirecting it to where you need it, like your muscles, heart, and lungs. That enable you to run or fight if you need to, and can give you super-strength, like in that urban legend of the mother who lifts a car off her baby.

3. Dilate. Our eyes get all Puss-In-Boots when we see something we like. Our pupils dilate to help us see better when it’s dark out, but they also dilate also when we’re looking at something of interest to us! That means they might dilate when we look at chocolate cake, a video of kittens, the person we’re falling in love with, or Zac Efron’s abs. So thank you, eyes.


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4. Give birth. Holy bajeezus. Some of our bodies can grow babies. This will never seem less batshit crazy to me. The pelvic bones are designed to move out of the way while you push a tiny person you’ve been growing for 3/4 of a year out of a flexible birthing canal. I mean what?! I don’t know that I necessarily want to do it, but it’s pretty rad that this is a thing. And it’s even radder that throughout history we’ve always just sort of… known… how to do it.

5. Run Fevers. Our bodies literally know how to just burn up the temperature-sensitive pathogens (viruses/bacteria) that are making us sick. That is so cool.

6. Sweat. Not only can we heat up, but we can cool down! Our bodies have built-in central air: we sweat when our body temp gets too high, and we cool down as the sweat evaporates from our skin. Brilliant.


7. Hurt. Pain can serve as a warning that something needs your attention, like in the case of appendicitis. Pain can also serve to distract you from things happening emotionally, like with a tension headache, or peptic ulcer. Your body can even flood you with natural anesthesia to put off feeling pain until you’re safe, like in the case of being wounded in a war. Pain is a part of the ongoing dialogue your body has with you about things you should avoid in the future (like touching a hot dish), as well as what it needs you to address now (like a broken bone). Without pain, none of us would live very long.

8. Attraction. One of my all-time favorite studies found that when women smelled the sweaty t-shirts from a bunch of men, they were always attracted to the scent of the men whose immune system gene (major histocompatibility locus) was different than their own. The biological reason for this is that two people with opposite immune system genes have the best chance of having a child who is healthy/survives. OMG you guys. This means your body has already decided who you’ll be attracted to, and it has nothing to do with any of the stuff we think we want out of a partner. It’s about healthy offspring. *mind blown*

9. Tears. Our emotional tears are a scientific mystery, though it’s theorized that we cry as a social signal of distress, which may have been especially important for infant survival. Those of us who continue to cry often into our adult lives can testify to the fact that there is a great deal of emotional relief that is expressed through tears- both positive and negative. Aka:  crying feels good sometimes. (Fun fact, we’re not the only elephants who cry for emotional reasons- elephants do too, it seems!)


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10. Atoms. To give you an appreciation for how much insane magic is going on inside you at every moment, consider for a moment how many atoms you are made up of. An average adult is made up of around 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s 7 octillion) atoms. And all those atoms just kinda hover around nearby each other, and the collective outcome is this thing called the “human body.” I mean. How insane is that?!  #bodiesaremagic

 

I am passionate about helping women learn to love their bodies. That includes unlearning what a woman “should” be, feeling empowered and confident in yourself, embracing your authentic power, and creating a life so kick-ass and beautiful that you hardly have any time or energy left over to think about how your body looks. 😉

That’s why I created 

The Empowered Women Project

— for women like you, who are sick of being judged for what you look like, and want to focus instead on all the amazing things you can do and be.

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