Whenever I would open a magazine and see an article titled, “The Best Clothes/Food/Exercise for you Body Type,” I’d devour the article, thinking it would give me some insight into what was best for my body. Was I Kapha, Pitta, or Vata? What about Ectomorph, Mesomorph, or Endomorph? Don’t even get me going on the fruits and vegetables! There’s the usual apple, banana, and pear, but I’ve also recently seen carrot enter in into the equation. Maybe it’s where I held my fat–abcentric, hipcentric, glutecentric, or omnicentric? The list goes on and on and the more I’d read, the more confused I would get. How are we supposed to keep all of these straight? How are we supposed to fit perfectly in one category?
The ONLY time I ever found a label that fit me was in an article in a fitness magazine back in the late nineties. Based on the descriptions of the body types, I was a “spark plug,” which basically meant on the shorter and more compact side. Finally there was a name that I could grab on to and define myself. I was also drawn to this name because I felt it described my personality–someone with a little bit of sass.
Spark plug (shorter with thick limbs)
Despite finally having a “label” for myself, though, I’ve sometimes found myself envious of other body types. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a bit curvier, with slightly rounded hips and a larger bust? A friend of mine has this body type and I think she looks fabulous–so feminine with her curves, someone who looks like they’d give the most wonderful, comforting hugs.
What about a long, lithe dancer-type body? These women always seem so elegant with their endless slim limbs. Again, I have a friend with this body type and she owns it, but this will never be me.
And then there are the people who seem to have muscle all over. Wouldn’t it be great to evoke a sense of powerfulness just with the way your body looks? People would think twice before messing with you and you look like you could conquer any physical feat. Though I don’t have any friends like this, Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake comes to mind.
A body-type thing I have learned from this picture: spaghetti straps do not properly complement my shoulders!
A few recent conversations have led me back to what I, what we all, need to remember, however: we’re all unique, with our own quirks, our own advantages, and our own weaknesses. We shouldn’t long after having another person’s body because we will never have it. I’ll never have Jillian Michaels’ abs, but she’ll also never have my butt (which, believe it or not, is the body part she doesn’t like!). I’ll never be taller, my arms will never be longer, and I will always have a short neck with a round face. In fact, I distinctly remember my doctor telling me way back when that I would couldn’t change the fact that I had a round face, no matter what. Life is too short to get hung up on what we don’t have instead of celebrating what we do have.
The things you can do with strong legs and arms
So I’ve been trying to celebrate parts of my body that I may take for granted. I have these strong legs that have always been that way. I even jokingly call them “thunder thighs,” but in a positive way. As in, “Check out my thunder thighs! They could squeeze you to death!” I’m trying to feel lucky that I don’t have to worry about busting out of tops or having inappropriate cleavage thanks to my insanely small bust. And as I admire long, elegant fingers and compare them to my “doll hands,” as my father-in-law calls them, I remember all the little places I can put them or pry things open that someone with larger fingers can’t.
We need to honor our bodies just as they are. Treat them with respect. Properly fuel them and move them and love them.
So, at the end of the day, I’ve finally found my body type: me!
Questions: Have you gotten hung up on finding or understanding your “body type?” Have you found ways to celebrate your unique body? What are you most thankful for about the way your body was built?