Have you ever thought about your body?

That should be a pretty silly question. In a lot of ways, we think about our bodies constantly, being aware that things are aching or that we feel tired. Our bodies are us, if that’s not too weird a way of saying it. But that’s not what I mean. I think we usually think about how good our bodies look, and most of us do this far too much.

I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of the thoughts we have about our bodies are negative. We want them to be bigger, smaller, thinner, wobblier, less wobbly, different shapes, different colours. We compare them to each other – usually comparing our normal bits with the best example we can think of for each part. We love to complain about all the things that go wrong with them, and obsess over ways we might be able to fix them with crazy diets and exercise plans.

What we don’t really do ever is really think about all the stuff that’s going on in there, the miracle that is present when a bag of chemicals organises itself into a coherent being that not only grows like plants do, but actively contemplates its own existence – or crazier still, writes books that help other bags of chemicals contemplate their existence. See where I’m coming from? This is pretty amazing stuff, if you can sit outside it for a second.

Your body is vastly complicated and amazing. I’m always discovering new ways that our bodies are ‘designed’ (I’m going to use that term whatever you think about whether there is a ‘designer’ or not, because it’s the best way I can think of to talk about how this stuff seems to work in some coherent fashion). Things seem to fit together in amazing ways, and there are systems that all work together to make sure that you can keep being you even though almost all of your cells die and are replaced every few years.

How about a few interesting facts:

You can remember about 50,000 different scents.

By mass, your bones are stronger than steel.

Every day your body produces 300 billion new cells. And you regrow all your skin every 4 weeks.

Your body can actually heal itself. I mean, that’s just crazy, surely? You can scratch your eye and in a few days it’s back to normal. Your actual eye! Even just the eye itself is pretty crazy. To be able to actually see stuff at all is amazing! The engineering for that is really complicated, but that’s inside you. It’s like being a cyborg, with amazingly engineered parts, and you’re self-healing, self-balancing, self-regulating, with a range of sensors and the ability to learn, grow and improve. Wow.

My point is, even before you go into your personality and individuality at all, you’re a pretty stunning creature. If you’ve ever watched nature programmes and thought some animal or plant was amazing, imagine if you were able to be another animal watching you on TV and thinking wow, those people thingies are pretty amazing. How do they do all the stuff they do?

Well, that’s you. You are amazing, and that’s before you’ve even done anything yet. Wait until you get started!