This month I put my big girl pants on, faced my fear and did something I have been putting off for pretty much 10 years.
No, I didn’t add up all the money I’ve spent on junk food and alcohol since I’ve been legally able to drink (although I am sure that would be frightening also)… This month, I went and gave blood. Well, plasma. Due to my recent trip to PNG to volunteer on a medical ship, I was ineligible to give blood. I was able, however, to give plasma which is a part of your blood that can be separated on site and used to help people 18 different ways including serious burns victims and cancer patients, which is awesome. But man, the process of working out if I was eligible to give blood or plasma was MASSIVE.
For people who haven’t given blood before, you go into a private room to fill out an extensive form related to your lifestyle and health. It was this process that left a bit of an impact on me. In a world where we are bombarded with what is “wrong” with our bodies, it was so refreshing to be confronted with a literal list of all the ways my body is “right”. If I’m honest, it’s not something I think about too often, and being grateful for how well my body functions which allows me to live a life I love is definitely not something I do enough.
I sat in that Blood Donation consult room and watch as I ticked “No” to so many conditions I’ve never even had to think out. Cancer, blood cots, blood pressure, arthritis, strokes, diabetes, heart conditions… the list went on and on. I sat there with a sudden and quite overwhelming sense of gratitude for my body and its current ability to function.
I’m not sure the last time you took a moment to thank your body for what it can do rather than beat it up for the things you think it should be, but I want to encourage you to do that. Just take a sec, take a breath and say thanks. Think about all the things it has allowed you to do this week. Maybe you’ve been able to work out, sleep through the night, go to work, have sex, read properly, enjoy concerts or sports events… the list goes on of all the things we as “healthy” people are able to do.
So today, I just want you to take a little break from your usual pattern of negative or ungrateful self talk about your body, and swap it over for gratitude. Because I bet you any money, these are the days you’ll look back on as amazing if your body ever starts giving you more problems than perhaps holding a little more fat than you’d prefer.
Sending my love always,