loveyourbody

If your social media pages are anything like mine, you probably see more than your fair share of headless, tan, buff bodies draped in inspirational quotes.  We are constantly bombarded with images of “the perfect body.”  Fitspiration has taken on a life of its own online.  These types of images can be helpful if they inspire you to rock your next workout or stick to a healthy eating plan, but you don’t have to look a certain way to love your body.  You can (and should) celebrate your amazing body today and everyday! Here are a few tips to help you start embracing the beautiful body you already have:

1. Banish Bad-Mouthing

You can’t get past a negative self-image if you’re always picking yourself apart.  Set aside tomorrow as a day that you will refrain from saying or thinking anything negative about your body.  If you feel yourself going down that path, just stop!  If you wouldn’t want your daughter saying the same thing about her body that you’re saying about yours, then you shouldn’t be saying it at all.  Repeat this affirmation:  I am amazing.  I am lovable.  I am enough.  You have to believe it to make it so.  Drop the self-hate, now! Photo Credit here.

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2. Set Achievable, Health-Based Goals

Working toward any goal is like walking a mile – you have to go one step at a time.  Don’t let the grandness of your aspirations make you feel like you’ll never achieve them.  Break it down into manageable parts, and take a step toward it each day.  Focus on positive lifestyle changes that will improve your health, instead of setting an arbitrary number and racing toward it.  Deciding to stop eating sweets altogether, for example, is setting yourself up for a binge.  A more reasonable goal might be to have one square of dark chocolate a day.  Likewise, vowing to spend an hour each day at the gym is unrealistic if you are just starting out.  Instead, try making it a habit to spend ten minutes each morning being active.  You will find that small, realistic, achievable goals are what create lifelong changes.  Plus, watching yourself accomplish these smaller tasks will boost your self-confidence–you will see that you are on the right path to reaching your larger goals. Photo Credit here.

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3. Think Before You Weigh

Many women, myself included, practice daily weigh-ins as a way of keeping themselves accountable and on track.  It can be discouraging, though, if the number you see in the morning isn’t what you were expecting.  Weight fluctuations are completely normal, and we all know that, but that doesn’t change how we feel when we see we’re up a pound or two from the day before.  Make a promise to yourself that, regardless of what the scale says, you won’t be defined by a number.  Don’t let the morning weigh-in ruin your day.  The number on the scale does not reflect who you are, nor does it measure your worth. Photo Credit here.

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4. Redefine Beautiful

Beautiful doesn’t have a right weight.  You won’t be more loveable ten pounds lighter or two dress-sizes smaller.  Cultivate self-love and spend time each day nurturing the incredible woman that stares back at you in the mirror each morning.  Setting goals is wonderful and achieving them feels fantastic, but it’s important to realize that you are enough already.  Not after you lose twenty pounds or after you have your tummy tuck or your eye lift.  Not once you’ve gotten your tan or before you had stretch marks or if your thighs were thinner or when your chest was perkier.  Nothing on the outside will make you look as beautiful as loving yourself inside will.  The person you see in the mirror today is perfectly imperfect and uniquely beautiful – just as she is. Photo Credit here

Campaign for Real Beauty

5. Dress to Impress {Yourself, That Is}

Your clothes should make you feel great no matter what size or shape you are.  Invest in wardrobe staples that make you feel amazing.  Do it now!  Don’t wait until you achieve your ultimate goal to go buy a pair of flattering jeans.  You deserve to feel great in your skin and clothes today! Photo Credit here.

Woman Shopping for Clothes

6. Accept Setbacks

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have a few missteps on your road to health and loving yourself.  There will be days when the negative talk returns, days when the scale rules you, days when nothing fits, and you feel like you’re never going to get where you want to go.  We all miss workouts, get sick, and over-indulge on occasion.  Life happens.  It’s what you do most of the time that makes who you are.  Let the challenges remind you that you are going against the current.  You are moving in the right direction.  Acknowledge your setbacks and then keep moving forward. Photo Credit here

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Consider these words from one of the world’s most beautiful women:

“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.”  -Salma Hayek