(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Welcome to Day 17 of the Love Your Body Challenge!  I am so glad you’re here.  Yesterday was Day 16 and the reason to love your body was:

“Because it looks amazing in a dress and heels.”

Hopefully you recognized that the “dress and heels” is simply filler for “whatever makes you feel sexy and confident.”  We talked about how feeling confident about your outer appearance contributes to feeling amazing on the inside as well. Here’s what a couple of you had to say:

“For so long I wore baggy clothes because I was comfortable and they hid my curves, and I thought I looked thin. Which really wasn’t the case.  Then about 2 years ago I decided that I would wear clothes that fit my body, show off the effort and time I put into creating a more muscular, yet feminine build. 

I was so uncomfortable at first, I didn’t like what I saw. It’s been an uphill battle for me. It eventually became easier to wear the tighter clothes. Because now when I wear baggy clothes I am uncomfortable.  My new favorite pieces are more form fitting or pieces that show off my legs. And I always wear some cool boots or shoes. 

THANKS for bringing this issue to light, I don’t want my awesome nieces to struggle with this, because it can be very painful and unproductive.” – Maria

“I love wearing my tank workout top that shows off my strong shoulders & arms. As I continue to make changes in becoming healthier & fitter my arms & shoulders always seem to develop & change first. I find myself standing up straighter & checking out the different lines & cuts developing in my reflection. I feel strong. I feel unstoppable.” – Sandy

These stories are so awesome to read.  Thank you for sending them in!  And now, Day 17.

 

Reason #17 To Love Your Body

17. Because it’s connects me to an amazing groups of individuals – women.

Community.  It’s an absolutely critical component of the human experience.  We all seek community of some sort.  Even those who are introverted or those who replenish their energy by being alone — even those people seek some sort of community at certain times.

Honestly, that’s why I think groups like Girls Gone Strong, and certain blogs of mine like It’s Hard Out Here For a Fit Chick, and Cellulite, Stretch Marks, and a Love Your Body Challenge have been so popular.  We seek to be heard, and to have our feelings validated and understood.  There’s not much you can experience that’s worse than feeling like you are alone and that no one understands what you’re going through.

And that’s why you should absolutely love your body.  It gives you an instant connection to other women who can instantly help you feel heard, validated, and understood.  Whether it’s a bad breakup, body image issues, PMS, starting your own business, or clawing your way to the top of your industry, you will likely find that other women are your best: friends, confidantes, resources, shoulders to cry on, and mentors.

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I don’t know about you, but I can just look at my best friend, my Mom, or my sisters and we know instantly know what the other person is thinking.  This bond is unbreakable and beautiful.

 

Mantra:  “My body connects me to other incredible women, and for that, I am grateful.”

Repeat this (to yourself or out loud) 10 times right now,  10 times during your action step, and 10 times before bed.

Action step:  Take 5 minutes to write down your best memories and bonding moments with other women in your life.  You should be thinking back to moments and events when you felt extremely accepted and understood.  Relish in those irreplaceable memories.

That’s all for today!  See you tomorrow!

FIND DAY 16 HERE

12 Responses to Love Your Body Challenge – Day 17

  1. Love this one :) I love connecting with my girlfriends through fitness. Just yesterday I went on a snowshoeing adventure with a friend, and I’m so grateful my body was up for the challenge.

  2. Wendy says:

    I have the most amazing women in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. Each one teaches me unique things about myself and who I want to be as a person. My mom teaches me how to be calm, patient, completely selfless and forgiving. My sister teaches me how to relax and take life a little slower. My best friends teach me how to laugh and focus on what is truly important in life. I’m thankful for amazing family I married into also. My mother-in-law is generous beyond words and my sister-in-law has helped me find the fit girl inside. Both have helped me find the girly girl inside too. Yeah, this body of mine has certainly connected me with some incredible women, and I am thankful that this challenge has helped me focus on that and not take it for granted.

  3. Jodi says:

    A few years ago I followed a link to an online group of women interested in fitness, and it led me to the greatest group of supportive women I could have asked for. About a month ago I did my first powerlifting meet, at the age of 44! Not only did I have supporters in the physical audience I had a huge group in my online audience that followed the live video feed and posted on FB. I can’t tell you how great it felt to have all those ladies cheering for me in person and online! Their support has led me to do things I would never have thought I could do!

  4. Heather says:

    This one is GREAT for me. My mother, my sister, my daughter, all of my amazing female friends. My tribe of women is like no other, so full of of love and support and joy. I’ve never laughed so hard as I do with the women in my life, and by remembering that my body connects me to that tribe, I feel something new for it that I’ve never considered before. Today feels like a breakthrough, a build up of all the body happiness I’ve been sneaking into my mornings. Thank you so much for holding my hand through this. I’m excited to see what comes next.

  5. Rachel says:

    This one is pretty hard for me. I’ve never really felt like I had a community of women.
    I grew up as a “daddy’s” girl, lived in a neighborhood full of boys, and played soccer for the first few years on an all boys team. When I did start playing with girls, they certainly weren’t my friends, we didn’t go to the same school and as the coach’s daughter you only get so close to other teammates.
    I was betrayed by my middle school girlfriends when I was 12 as they suddenly and without reason decided that I was not good enough to be a friend. And again in high school, when I thought I had finally found girls who I could trust and be myself with, I was let down when I needed them the most during my parents divorce. My emotional struggle was too much for them. We were able to mend those relationships but to this day I still feel like it’s “them” and “me”. In college I felt similar exclusion from the group of girls who I surrounded myself with and those relationships have not lasted.
    My mother is anything but a mother; she has chosen to exclude her children from most of her life after my parent’s divorce and I have not spoken with her since Christmas. Even when she was more involved, our relationship was atypical and to be quite honest, I have few memories of her actively participating in my childhood.
    I know I have put up walls over the years and tried to ignore those aspects that help build these connections with women(bad breakup, body image issues, PMS, etc). There is a vulnerability that has scared me and that I’d always viewed as something to put out of my mind as it distinguished me as “weaker” than men. I’ve realized that is not the case and those things don’t make me weaker in anyway but I did feel that way for a long time.
    In 2008 I was diagonosed with cervical adenocarcenoma. It was caught before becoming cancerous but led to years of stirrups and uncomfortable doctor visits. I was too embarrassed and uncomfortable to talk about it with anyone and I realized that I didn’t have the relationships with other women to discuss this, not even my sisters. It was a very sad time acknowledging that and since then I have been working to rekindle some of those relationships and let go of the past.
    I may never fully get there with my friends, but over the last 6 years I have strengthened the bonds with my sisters and my step-mom. I forward this challenge to them and let them know how much I’ve been struggling with my body image lately, an act that I would not have done even 3 years ago. Though today I am having difficulty with the action step, I will remind myself to revisit this challenge from time to time to reminisce about all of the new experiences I have with them because it’s never too late to take action and change.

  6. Heather says:

    I love this one! I’m an introvert and it takes a lot for me to open up and connect with people, especially in groups. A year ago, I joined Kaia FIT, which is a women’s-only fitness program, and I’ve made true friends through it. The support and encouragement from the women I work out with has helped me grow stronger in physical and emotional ways. It’s the first time I’ve felt like a part of a community, and it makes me want to be better and give back. It’s amazing how influential a group of positive women can be to others. I’m truly grateful to those women – and to my body for making it possible for me to be a part of it all.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Love this one! I enjoy running with my girlfriends, have some races set up for this year. Haven’t ran a half marathon in a while but I am at the end of May with of my best friends from high school :) I am grateful to have so many amazing women around me from my mom to my sisters to my cousins to my friends to my yaya’s, I could go on and on. So blessed to have them all in my life!

  8. Deborah says:

    I have always been misunderstood. I don’t smile all of the time and it can come off as me looking like I’m a “B”. The real case is I am just shy at first. I am guarded. I like to observe and stay silent until I am ready and feel comfortable enough to engage. One person who has always accepted this is my sister Hannah. She’s one of the few people who has completely accepted me. She’s always been there. She’s seen me hurt through past relationships, dance silly and joins in, talked with me through stress with work, being bullied, held my hand when I was in the hospital after a car accident last year… I don’t know where I would be without her in my life.

    My sister was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in September of 2009. She has her ups and downs with her health. Just standing for multiple hours can take a toll on her body and put her in a relapse. We went and saw Lady Gaga last year and I’ve never seen her so energetic in such a long time. She danced with me the WHOLE time. Her body went into shock after the concert which I felt incredibly guilty for it. She told me that it was worth it. I’ll never forget every moment of that night because of the experience we were able to share together. I remember she just hugged me as we both teared up taking in the moments.

    Not only do I relish in these irreplaceable memories, I am also grateful to have such a strong woman in my life and knowing that she is my sister, my best friend, an awesome mother and a fighter.

  9. Joanne says:

    This one was very hard on me. I never feel like I connect well with people and because of this am a big loner.my dad left us when I was 13 to start a new family, and never looked back. My mom had five of us to tend to. I had to babysit my four siblings and missed the whole high school bonding experience. I am not close to my family as I am the only one to do the work ,college thing. No friends to speak of. But I did find a great group of people over at sparkpeople .com and that is where I ran into your great blogs you wrote there. So happy I did. Community and caring for yourself is important, I try to spread the message there also. Thanks for this great challenge. I know I am special and important just wished I had someone to share it with .

  10. Giselle says:

    I’m not the kind of person who’s always getting out & gathering with lots of people. I’m a loner & I think that is fine.
    The only person I spend most time with is my sister (she is my twin). We understand each other for bad & for good.
    Also what I’ve found is a ton of communities online, which has helped me to connect with incredible people when I need/want to & still take time for myself.

  11. Cathy says:

    I LOVE This action step!!! I was just saying yesterday how important my different groups of girlfriends are to me…. I have different groups who serve different purposes…. I call them all my sisters… And truly believe they are! Camp sisters, sorority sisters, work sisters, real life sister, childhood sisters, and church sisters!! The time we spend laughing and loving each other through so many life events is amazing…. I am such a believer in community just like you said…. They make life rich and I believe they are what many times help
    Us see what others already see about ourselves, those beautiful peices of us that we so easily want to brush off and ignore!

  12. Ez says:

    I’ve been looking at these challenges for 16 days now and thinking, ‘yeah I know my body serves me well, I dont need to do that’. Then I questioned why I kept looking at it every day, repeatedly. I finally looked at the ‘rate your feelings questions’ today and decided to actually do today’s challenge (obviously VERY late to start).
    My favourite memories with prominent women in my life generally revolve around food and toilet humour. Sleepovers with my highschool besty…at her mum’s house…when we were 30! and laughing about the best ways to expell gas pain (and getting caught by her mother who immediately had a flash back to when we were 12yo). Laughing with my mum, real, raw, raucous laughing, usually brought on by my younger brother and more toilet humour. Curries and red wine with another school buddy who could make me laugh for hours on end. My (much younger) sister-in-law cooking dinner for my family and being the most amazing sister-in-law ever, thank-you!
    However, this challenge is particularly poignant and relevant in my present moment. I have seen in the last two weeks, as I remove myself from a domineering, oppressive and abusive relationship, a gathering of strong women who have put their energies into my wellbeing. It’s quite humbling to find yourself surrounded by a figurative cirle of women’s arms, to protect, uphold, to be wept on… Some of those women aren’t even in the same country as me, but they’re there on the phone or on some other electronic device. Holding me up.
    My body connects me to other incredible women, and for that I am grateful! xxx

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