Our lives are filled with airbrushed ads, sexual campaigns, new dieting tricks and size zero models. Then people tell us to love ourselves. We think, how. 

In a world that spins on defining beauty, it’s hard to live up to the expectations the media sets for us. You tell us that under eye bags aren’t normal, our hair should be thick and luscious and if you have cellulite-WELL, you definitely shouldn’t.

That’s why I’m here to add to the voices that need to be turned up. It’s painful to hear how many of my close family and friends bash themselves for the way the look. It’s equally as painful to hear myself chime in with my own insecurities.

Flaws become a contest to see who has it worse or to fish out those compliments that give us some of our self-worth back. Because we lose it way too fast and much to easy. “Ugh, my thighs are huge.” “If only my love handles would just squeeze in a little bit.” “Omg, I wish I had legs like that.”

Let’s be honest, we’ve all thought and probably said these things but what is that doing to yourself? Every time you think one of these thoughts, you are telling yourself that you’re not good enough. Think of it as instead of telling yourself these things, you are telling your best friend. Would you EVER say to her, “Wow, I just wish you had the legs of that girl over there.” ABSOLUTELY NOT. So why on earth would you say it to yourself? You love your best friend just the way she is so give yourself that same courtesy. How do you expect to create self love if you are telling yourself how much you wish you could change?

You should love your body for so many different reasons. So please, do your mind and yourself a favor and believe in what I say.

Here are SEVEN reasons to love your body.

1. It’s a tool. It is a beautiful tool that allows you to do many things. Run, walk, dance, hug, kiss, make love, hold a child, climb a mountain, swim across seas, build incredible projects, fight wars and so much more. You underestimate your body. Don’t do that. Can you walk? That’s a blessing. Did you just scroll with your fingers down this page? Bless UP, my friend. Your body is working.

2. It will work with you. Have you ever joined a sport? Did you notice yourself getting better? Your body adapted to the skills you wanted it to learn and that task became easier. The harder you work with your body the more results you see. That’s why our weights get heavier, our miles get faster and our handstands hold longer. We practice with our body and it learns to give what we ask of it. That is incredible.

3. You only get one. You only get one body to use in your lifetime. I’m sure you can think of someone who is missing a part of their body. I can think of a few who have made their lives meaningful and proved that having an ‘imperfect’ body can still get them to inspiring heights. So don’t you dare take your body for granted. If you have the ability to even see yourself in the mirror, be grateful. While it may seem like a given right, others aren’t so lucky.

4. It is capable of incredible things with the right fuel. Of course, exercise is good for your body. Take care of the tool you have and go on a walk and be mindful of what you eat. Coming from a girl who skips runs and enjoys chocolate, you don’t have to be perfect to keep your body healthy. You need to challenge it and not poison it with food or drinks that will hurt you. You don’t have to change over night but nutrition will make you feel 100x better every single day. So take care of it with the right fuel!

5. It’s uniquely beautiful. You’re your own worst critic. You judge yourself harsher than you would ever judge another person. You notice every single pimple, freckle and scar. This is because we see ourselves every single day and somehow always find something new to bash. If you could see yourself through someone else’s eyes, you would be shocked to find how they might notice you in a completely different way. Breathe in and find something to love about your body. Even if you have to force it. Eventually, you will start to believe yourself.

6. Comparing, frankly, doesn’t make sense. There are not two people in this world who have the exact same body, inside and out. Why would you compare an apple to an orange or a banana to a pineapple when they are all just different versions of fruit? That’s what we are. Different versions of human beings. We are built differently and the women that we see in magazines represent a teeny percentage of the population. They are beautiful but so are you. You don’t have to be on the cover of a magazine to prove that.

7. You. Are. Sexy. People think that feeling a certain way about themselves might make others think they are cocky or self-absorbed. When you walk past a mirror and you notice you are having an extra good hair day, rock the rest of your day with that confidence. Do you have a nice ass? TELL yourself that. The best way to improve your self-image is to tell yourself what you love about you. Linger in those store mirrors and appreciate your long legs or your pretty smile. Check yourself out and say “damn, I look GOOD.”

This fight isn’t easy. We are battling against years of messages installed into our beings. That’s why we need to stand up to recognize what our bodies our for and appreciate our bodies so we can take care of them. But if we don’t start today, when will we? You need to recognize the strength and beauty in every limb. If we take care of our bodies, they will be able to hang in there with us. But we also have to use our mind to truly love who you are, inside and out and practice every day.

SO- Love your body! Word on the street is it can do some pretty incredible things.

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