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Instrument not Ornament


I think my absolute favorite part of the Runner’s World Magazine is the very last page.  It makes me sad to get to the last page because I have to wait another month to read cool and fun things for my running addiction.  But this page is where they feature famous people who are runners.  I loved reading about  Sarah Palin that didn’t have to do with her politics…I could care less.  I enjoyed seeing Anthony Edwards last month because he was my second favorite to Julianna Margulies on ER.  And this month they had one of the people I loved throughout my teen years….Alannis Morrisette.  She said some things that I’m not down for like the fact that she does a little medical marijuana at times but she said one thing that really stuck with me.

I got over my eating disorder when I started to think about my body as an instrument and not an ornament.


That just really hit me hard while I was running on the treadmill.  For so long I treated my body like an ornament.  I beat it up constantly with my issues with food because I thought it had to look a certain way in order to be correct.  I thought that my body was only good to show off clothes and attract the opposite sex…neither of which I did very well.  I went through so many cycles of not eating and then bingeing or using laxatives to get rid of what I had binged on.  I never thought I was good enough because my body didn’t look “right.”  I never thought I would be happy because I didn’t fit the part of the pretty girls who always got the boys and the jobs and the good things in life.  No matter what diet I tried or ED it turned into I was not happy and my body showed it.


But then something clicked.  I realized my body was not functioning as a real body.  I already told you that I had no energy and that I got short of breath going up stairs.  So I started to treat my body the way it needed to be healthy not pretty.  And the weight started coming off.  I was excited at what my body was able to do more than how it looked.  In fact I hid under the same sweater the entire time I was losing weight so you really couldn’t see the difference except in my face.  In fact I still have that sweater because it was so comfy and it is a reminder of how big I was.  I was just happy that my body allowed me to walk around town and do an entire step class without stopping and use the elliptical when before I just like to lounge on the couch.  I was proud of the fact that I could pick up my friend’s son and daughter like sacks of potatoes and play with them.  I loved that I could lift cases of food in the food pantry at my church when we got our weekly delivery.  I was proud of what I could do and so were others.  Even now I enjoy the compliments on what I have DONE instead of how I look.  I don’t even really see how I look sometimes and pay more attention to how fast and strong I am now.


Michelle and her exposed movement really outlined this for me.  That is why I had to be a part of it.  My body although it is not perfect and I’ll never wear a bikini allows me to run races and hold up my back post surgery when no one thought I could.  I’m so happy that I saw that post and that it has gone so far and has gotten so much press.  Check out some of the other bloggers who have joined in.


So how about you?  Do you see your body as an ornament or instrument?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 13/12/2009 4:10 PM

    Thanks for the link! I’m glad you found my blog and all the other awesome people who have done exposed.

    I love your idea of treating your body as an instrument. It’s so much more than just an ornament that needs to look a certain way. Great philosophy.

  2. 14/12/2009 2:24 AM

    I love this post! It reminds me of the journey I’ve had to take to reach the point I am at now. I used to treat my body as an ornament. I still sometimes do. However, most of the time, I treat my body as an instrument. I am truly happy that I now have this mentality. Because it makes me value my body more. I love how my body allows me to do my chores, to help my parents, to enjoy activities with my boyfriend and my friends. I have learned to love my body more.


    • 14/12/2009 2:47 AM

      I think we all still treat our bodies like ornaments from time to time but recognizing what it can do is so huge.

  3. rebecca permalink
    09/08/2010 11:50 AM

    omg-you have the same problems as i do!…now i dont feel like sucha a bloody

    • 09/08/2010 4:27 PM

      You aren’t a moron. We all see our bodies like this sometimes. Treating yourself with care is important.

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