How Working In A Hospital Has Changed My Body Image

Last week I was taking the stairs up to a unit in the hospital (as I mentioned before, taking the stairs was a change I made in September and have since kept it up). Since there are two flights of stairs between every floor, it’s a doozy to get to the fourth floor. On about floor three, huffing and puffing a bit, I looked down at my legs and smiled. How amazing is it that hiking up stairs isn’t hard for me? I looked down at my legs and one foot went in front of the other, steadily climbing until I reached the fourth floor.

I didn’t look at my legs and think about the cellulite on the back of my thighs. I didn’t wonder how many calories that flight of stairs was burning. I didn’t have a single harsh thought about my body. I was grateful.

Always one of the best parts of my day.
Always one of the best parts of my day.

I see people every day whose bodies just don’t work the way they are supposed to. I honestly didn’t realize that working with people who are struggling medically each day would change my own body image so drastically. While I’ve never thought my body image was unhealthy, I think every woman has her moments where she is critical of herself. I’ve certainly had those moments. I have them a lot less now than I did before.

I can’t say that this has caused me to drastically change my habits but it has made me view my body in a different way. It’s not just this thing for me to be critical of. It’s not just about how it looks. It is capable and strong. My brain tells my fingers to move when I type. I can walk Archie 6 blocks or 16. I could do a cart-wheel right now if I wanted to. My body does what I ask it to do. How amazing.

  • Love this message, you are so right! We should be focussing on how blessed we are. Thanks for sharing this.


  • I had a similar mind shift after I had my daughter. I know a lot of mothers feel down about themselves during that time cause their bodies are different (or flabby), but I always loved thinking about how strong I felt for growing a human being.

    ps. I feel like passing out when I climb my 8 flights to my office so more power to you

  • This was so well said, we often forget just how wonderful and capable our bodies are its nice to reflect and think how fortunate we are. Thanks for making me think about this 🙂

  • Yes! I totally agree! I think we are all really hard on our bodies sometimes. Thanks for the reminder 😀
    xoxo Sydney

  • What great perspective!! Such a great reminder too. 🙂

  • What an inspiring moment. Great perspective. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Great perspective! I need to think this way more! Thanks for reminding me!

  • A great reminder for me! Thanks for sharing!

  • What an amazing perspective — we have so much to truly be grateful for, yet we tend to forget that.

  • So beautifully true!! If only we all could work in an environment where we were faced with those very honest realities on a daily basis. Will definitely be keeping this one in mind the next time I find myself frowning in the mirror. Beautifully written! xo

  • Being a physical therapist, I think about this almost everyday. I see people every day at work that can’t move the way they need to, to function normally. Every year at Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my health. You start realizing how important that is when you are surrounded by illness.

  • beautiful post

  • Wonderful perspective!

  • Such an amazing reminder of the small things that are truly HUGE blessings in our life, needed that!

  • Aly

    This post really puts things into perspective. Many people don’t realize how big of a blessing health really is. Thanks for the reminder!

  • really thought provoking. I am diabetic so I often worry about my long term health ad try to do quick little changes to make myself feel better.

  • Sometimes it is so easy to forget that having your health is a blessing. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Ahhh, stairs. Such a love hate relationship with them. love that I can physically climb them and love know that I’m getting good exercise from them, but when I’m carrying bags of groceries or my bike…an elevator is so much handier. :p

  • so, so true, something i need to remind myself more often. great post!
    xo, cheyenne

  • Oh my goodness, how amazing is that!

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  • Kait

    I stumbled across this post and OH! how I needed it. Thank you <3

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