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It’s no secret that once we get older, the more sayings like “I wish” start to become more common in every day conversations. We start tugging on the wrinkles, lifting the eyelids, and sucking in the tummy to fix our “I wish” problems. And let’s be honest, we’ve all been guilty with saying things like “I wish I could get rid of this back fat,” or “I wish I could take 10 years off my face” and imagine our lives without all of our body issues.

It’s time to stop with the pulling, prying, and tightening things in the mirror and love ourselves! There aren’t enough years in a lifetime to be unhappy with ourselves just because we aren’t society’s “perfect size.” Here are five tips that I find useful to remember when waking up in the morning and starting my day.

1. Forget the to-do list and be spontaneous: When you wake up in the morning, throw the to-do list in the trash and just play the day by ear. Some of the most amazing memories are from the most random adventures. Life can be wonderful and meaningful when you throw caution to the wind!
2. Redefine your version of beauty: You deserve to be happy and have your best day! It’s time to shake the self-conscious thoughts right out of your body and really begin to love yourself. Focus on the positive features, both inside and out, and really redefine beauty.

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3. Be grateful for your body: Appreciate your body type rather than obsess on what you want to change. It’s important to realize how lucky you are to have those “flabby arms” in the first place, because those arms can give a hug or a handshake that can make someone’s day brighter. Finding one thing about your body to love each day is a great way to start appreciating your self.
4. Lead by example: It’s important as teachers, friends, and mothers that we are leading by example. The way you treat yourself and your body, believe it or not, influences those around you. Showing your kids that it’s okay to love yourself just the way you are, effects them in more ways than you know. Be the change you want to see and send a positive message to people in your life, because you never know who may have needed it the most.
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5. Live in the moment: You only get one life, so it’s important focus on the now rather than dwell in the past. Forget the body you had 20-years ago and realize you are beautiful now! You are a one-of-a-kind creation that can never be duplicated. So practice self-acceptance in the present day, because it can change your whole outlook on life!