Maintaining leadership over the body facilitates health and happiness. Leadership is on a spectrum. At the far end of non-leadership is scapegoating.
Those who too often and too fully separate their body from their mind will—in their mind—imagine a separation of their body-choices from their body-consequences. This inaccurate imagination must cause a hypocrisy, where the inattentive mind scapegoats the body as a hypocritical punishment for the body developing precisely to support the mind’s chosen habits.
To scapegoat the body is to hate the innate harmony between mind and body. This hatred segments the body. The segmentation is fragmentation. And a body fragmented more than briefly is dead.
The opposite of body-scapegoating is body-leadership. To remember how to lead the body—remember how to lead generally:
(1) a leader, by definition, accepts responsibility: they accept response-ability, i.e., the ability to respond;
(2) a leader actively rejects excuses (but remember: reasons for shifting or changing an objective are very different from excuses for justifying failure to reach a goal: reasons add good information to the formula; but excuses add only a bad tolerance for the poor habits, poor preparation, or poor execution that caused the failure);
(3) leaders regret failure (the modern addiction of avoiding and downplaying regret is a key cause of the massive mediocrity that we see among so many people);
(4) leaders reject excuses and regret failure—but they “hate the sin while loving the sinner”: a leader is quick to reject excuses and to regret failure—but slow to reject or regret the actual person who fails or who offers excuses, because a leader knows the far greater importance and value of a willingness and ability to learn from mistakes.
Our body has a literally stunning and awesome ability to learn from our mind’s mistakes. But our body can only learn from our mind’s mistakes when the choice to body-lead rejects and banishes the choice to body-scapegoat.
Plenty people are just too vainly angry or fearful to accept their natural body (e.g. a short guy who hates or fears his height and compensates by being hyper-aggressive all the time, or a woman who hates or fears being a woman and compensates by mimicking men).
Setting aside these and other angry, fear-filled, self-doomed people: rejecting and banishing body-scapegoating in favor of body-leadership requires only the courage of being humble enough to accept that your body does not need to “get in shape”: your body is in perfect shape.
Your body is in the perfect shape to help you continue the habits you have chosen. And the only true, enduring (non-neurotic, non-hypocritical) way to change your body’s shape—is to change your chosen habits.
One easy example of this is how the body perfectly adapts to help the mind’s chosen habit of sedentariness (sitting too much).
Sedentariness is the mind’s active choice to be a glutton, a slob, and a coward. If you do not want to shape your body like someone who sits excessively—then do not sit excessively. If you think that you “have to” sit excessively because of work or school: reexamine, and maybe there are alternatives. If not, then change or quit your job or school (or whatever). But if you refuse to change or quit your school or job (or whatever), then body-leadership requires that you accept responsibility—and have enough courage to humbly realize that your refusal to change is an active choice to keep things as they are. To blame your body for your refusal to change your mind’s habits is foolishness and hypocrisy (and far harsher and unfair than me calling you a glutton, a slob, and a coward).
And despite the huge market of modern lies: no amount of neurotic body-torture, in the evenings or on the weekends, will safely and enduringly shift your body’s shape from the best shape to help you continue your main life-mission. That mission is chosen—and manifests by your “day-to-day” chosen habits. Barring horrible, exceptional ailments: your body—right now—is shaped perfectly to help you continue your chosen habits. To change your body, change your habits. If you refuse to change, then that is your choice—and not your body’s fault.
Body Leadership vs Body Scapegoating