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What to Do If You Want a Good Body

Not only is my handsome male rescued box turtle, Bruce, a natural at yoga, but he doesn’t struggle to make “feel-good” body choices. He eats when he is hungry and stops when he is full. When he is tired he sleeps. When he wants to run around or take a swim, he just does it. He is my hero.

I am currently taking my favorite 30-day online yoga course for the fourth time. It is called “True.”

So when I share what I am about to share, you will understand that it has taken me 100+ days to catch this particular nugget of wisdom…even though my teacher, Adriene, has said it all four times I’ve done the course.

If you want to have a good body, you have to do things that feel good.

Like, seriously? HOW did I miss that the first three times she said it?

Perhaps it is because she is literally chock-full of other tidbits of wisdom just like this and so I was too busy noticing those to catch this one.

Or maybe it is just because, until now, I didn’t really grasp her meaning.

After all, you are reading a blog written by a person who spent the better part of the first third of her life either restricting or binging/purging, when not otherwise occupied with crippling bouts of depression or anxiety.

So….I’ve been busy. I have had a lot of learning to catch up on.

But today, when Adriene said this for the fourth time while we rolled around on the floor together to “give our back some love,” I heard her. I took note. I wrote it down.

If we want to have a good body, we have to do things that feel good.

As I pondered this instruction more, I started thinking about last night’s ill-advised second glass of wine, which felt very good at the time but then not so good this morning, and I asked myself, “Wait a minute. What does she mean by ‘good?'”

Since Adriene didn’t define it for me, and given my past history of making “feel good” choices that felt good until they didn’t, I have decided it would be wise to define it for myself before proceeding further.

This is what I have come up with thus far: 

When I look at the word “good,” and then I look at myself, I see a whole system of parts (a physical body, a mind, a heart, a spirit). And I see how each part often has a very different opinion from the other parts about what feels good. So it makes sense to me that, in order for a choice to be a true “feel good” choice, it must be one all my parts can agree about.

A true “feel good” choice must also last. In other words, it must feel good now and it must also feel good later (i.e. no morning-after regrets).

And a true “feel good” choice must add value to what I’ve already got that feels good in my life.

For example, if a muscle temporarily aches after a yoga class, does that mean it wasn’t a feel-good choice to do yoga? Not necessarily. If that muscle then gets stronger, it was a feel-good choice. If it is just sprained, it means I must take more care next time when I am learning a new pose.

A true feel-good choice can also mean taking rest.

It has to Рafter all, Adriene regularly includes soft, stretchy days in her 30-day courses. These are the exact days I would otherwise skip if I was left to my own devices, but I am now learning they are the days that will ensure my sore muscle is on its way to greater strength rather than a painful future sprain.

Now that I have decided what “feel-good” means to me, there is one question remaining. What is a “good body?”

Adriene specifically stated that a good body is more than six-pack abs (thank goodness). But after that she left the question open.

So now I have to decide what a good body is to me. Here are my thoughts thus far.

A good body is a friend. It is a place I can come home to and feel safe and comfy. It is a willing partner to share new experiences, learn and grow. It is also honest and willingly lets me know what it needs.

A good body allows me to dwell within it as long as I need to and welcomes me every day. And a good body has the patience I lack to weather my ups and downs as I learn to be patient with it too.

Today’s Takeaway: What does “feel good” mean to you? What about “a good body?” I’d love to hear your insights!

What to Do If You Want a Good Body

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2020). What to Do If You Want a Good Body. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Apr 2020
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