While we’re preoccupied with how our bodies look and spend valuable time bashing their inability to lose weight, their cellulite or stretch marks, we forget their true magnificence.
We forget not only what our bodies do for us, but what they are and the fantastic functions they perform every single second, minute, hour and day.
Remembering just how amazing our bodies are isn’t only important for improving body image; it’s important for self-image as a whole.
As Glenn Schiraldi, Ph.D, writes in his book, 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem, “The way we experience our body typically corresponds to the way we experience our core selves. If we reject our bodies overall because of particular perceived flaws, we are also likely to condemn our core selves for some present imperfections.”
But we can learn to appreciate our bodies. And this can help us, according to Schiraldi, “to a adopt a more accepting attitude toward our inner selves.”
Here are five facts from Schiraldi’s book to remind all of us about our miraculous vessels!
1. “The blood vessels of the body stretch over 75,000 miles…The heart, weighing just eleven ounces, beats tirelessly, each day pumping enough blood to fill several railroad cars.”
2. “The 206 bones of the body are stronger, ounce for ounce, than steel or reinforced concrete. Science cannot duplicate the durability and flexibility of a joint like the thumb, which requires thousands of messages from the brain to direct its complex movements.”
3. “Under the skin, an area the size of a fingernail contains hundreds of nerve endings that detect touch, temperature and pain; scores of sweat glands to cool the body; and numerous melanocytes to defend against the sun’s rays.”
4. “Each of our cells contains the genetic plan for producing all of the cells in our bodies. The genetic code contains billions of steps of DNA that would extend more than five feet in length if stretched out in a line. However, this code is coiled to a length of only 1/2500 of an inch within the nucleus of each cell…The trillions of cells in the body, millions of which are replaced each second, would stretch over a million miles if placed end to end.”
5. “The brain, weighing in at three pounds, contains one hundred billion nerve cells…continuously monitors the body and then initiates needed adjustments in temperature, blood sugar, fluid balance, and blood pressure…the brain allows us to recognize unique faces, understand subtle facial and vocal expressions, mobilize to fight or flee when we are threatened, remember vital lessons and set goals.”
What are other facts about our amazing bodies?
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Last reviewed: 27 Jan 2012