It’s Okay to Laugh

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It's okay to laugh
Today my teen laughed at me. She laughs at me frequently but this time it caught me off guard. It wasn’t the mom “please stop dancing in the parking lot or please stop trying to sing that song,” laugh. Sidebar…Among those closest to me it is not a secret that singing and dancing are not my specialty. I expect to hear commentary. I don’t even care. Those are not things that I take seriously. This was different. It landed differently in my spirit.

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Total health, emotional, physical and spiritual are very important to me. I hate to see someone suffer or in pain. The comment I made to my girl prompting her fit of laughter was regarding a study that I had recently seen between the correlation between smell and memory. Her response accompanied by a snicker was, “of course you read about that mom.” Another such remark came from my husband when I was lamenting about my shrinking clothes and growing belly. He mentioned that my lack of physical activity in the last year could in no way be a factor…hahaha. Of course it was the clothes! We laughed together about that comment. He meant no harm. However, it did serve to bring me back from my momentary denial of the truth. Relying on genetics alone, was showing it’s ugly, inconsistent head.

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You may be wondering where this is leading. I’ll tell ya. While I am all about the body positive movement, sometimes it seems as though it has become another attempt to justify poor eating choices, lack of physical activity and failing health. Having come from a family that struggles with obesity, diabetes, depression and food allergies, this topic is very serious to me. It’s just not a laughing matter. Laughter helps, and maybe even hides, but it cannot eliminate pain. If we are honest, the majority of the American population is in some type of physical or emotional pain stemming from broken down bodies as a result of less than optimal choices. While I agree that we must love ourselves in the skin that we are in, we also have a responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones to take care of our machines. These physical bodies are the temples of the most powerful spirit in the universe. We only get one. I read on the news about the upcoming head transplant but let’s be realistic. It is easy to claim we are content with our mouths but the truth will always be seen through our emotional and behavioral responses to the conversations we participate in externally or internally.

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Having a young teen daughter myself, I’m no foreigner to the constant balance between being real, critical or understanding to the juxtaposition of healthy body image with healthy self care. It is important that the way she hears me talk about myself as well as how I care for myself are intentional. Admittedly, I fall short more often than I’d like. While genetics ultimately have a large factor in the outcome, our daily walk must not be downplayed in the importance of this matter. We can’t always rely on genetics.

It's okay to laugh
Four things I try to include in every conversation we have about self image are:

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1) Your body does not define your beauty, your mind does. A healthy mental and emotional state will contribute positively to a healthy body. But you must live with intention and your physical exertion should be in proportion to your intake.

2) You are what you eat, drink and meditate on. Don’t be deceived that genetics will carry you forever. Immediate gratification may come with some results you may not like. Count the costs before you choose. Make your choices wisely with the end goal in mind.

3) Moderation will carry you further than deprivation. It is also more sustaining and fulfilling. Exercise notwithstanding.

4) It’s your life and body. Think about what you want to get out of it and that will predicate what you put into it.

It's okay to laugh

Hopefully one day, we will find a way to love and nurture the bodies we are in at the same time. We should be able to have both without the need to choose. Healthy is the goal. That is all. I realized that some things are worth being laughed at over. So if being health conscious makes me a laughing stock, than I’m willing to be that. And my clothes are not shrinking…my exertion level did. Back at it…it starts with a regular walk. My Fitbit or my shine trackers are my constant companions.

Charisse Rhodes

Just an ordinary superwoman trying to keep her crooked cape on while being a blessing to folks along the way. Find her online here.

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