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(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 22 of the Love Your Body Challenge!  I’m glad you’re here!

Yesterday was Day 21 and the reason to love your body was,

“Because it tells your life story.”

This was one of my absolute favorite reasons because I know so many women who hide their “war marks” whether they are scars or stretch marks or wrinkles… and when they begin to think of them as something to wear with pride, their entire attitude changes.

Hear what some of them had to say:

“What an interesting and fun action step today! The morning my 80 yr old self decided to write me a letter, she was in front of the mirror admiring her facial wrinkles, giving extra gratitude to all those smile lines. My, does she have a lot of them!

We lived our life smiling, laughing, loving and being silly with our friends, family and lovers. Sometimes impulsive and sometimes foolish, but always with love and the intention of creating and spreading joy. She laughed about some of our mistakes, but reminded me that we learned from them.

She thanked me for participating in the amazing 28 Day Body Image Challenge, because it truly changed us. Her letter made me feel good about the path I am currently on, the one I recently chose. She signed it,

‘With Love and No Regrets, Kristie’”

***************************************************************************************

“Dear me,

This body held our son to say goodbye and our daughter to say hello. I held hands with my daughter, my husband, my mother, my sister, my best friends. I hugged and touched and kissed and loved. I shared and commiserated and listened and helped shoulder the burdens of my loved ones, physical and otherwise. I walked down the aisle with the man of my dreams, looked into his eyes, and spent every one of the days that followed him loving him a little more than the day before.

I was big. I was small. I was soft. I was strong. I was wrinklier and greyer every year, but never lost the sparkle in my eyes and the sweetness of my smile. I watched that little girl grow bigger and smarter and sweeter and more mind-blowingly amazing every day. And now I’m old and wrinkly and so damned happy at all I’ve gone through. Good or bad, it all made me me…and I’m really awesome.

Even better? I’m YOU. Which means YOU, you right now in this moment, with all the mess and confusion and insecurity. YOU are awesome. You are strong and incredible and mind-blowingly amazing. Make space for that. Allow it in a little more every day. Baby steps are alright as long as you’re taking them.

Love, Me.

P.S. Being an old lady rocks. You finally realize you can say and do whatever you want to. You were always free.” – Heather

Such beautiful letters!  If you wrote yourself a letter, please go back to Day 21 and post it in the comments!

Now, Day 22!


Reason #22 To Love Your Body

22. Because it’s unique.

On Day 1 of the challenge, we discussed that you should love you body simply because it’s yours.  It’s yours and it’s unlike anyone else’s.

I love this quote from Oscar Wilde:

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There have been so many times I have felt that being myself wasn’t good enough, and I tried to be a copycat of other people.  It never worked, and it made me feel horribly uncomfortable.

And then, a lovely thing happened.  The more I let my true (and very strange) self shine through, the more I attracted people who actually liked me for ME, and the more they encouraged me to be myself.  It was marvelous!

Same thing with my body — the more I wished that it looked like someone else’s: petite, skinny, exotic, dark, tan… the less comfortable I felt in my own skin.  Once I started embracing that I was tall, thick, curvy, freckled, and fair… the more I fell in love with my body.

Today I have a very special guest sharing her journey to loving her unique self.  Julia Ladewski is a strength coach, gym owner, EliteFTS Training log team member, elite level powerlifter (in 3 weight classes), and occasional figure/physique athlete.  She’s also a wife, and mother, and I’m lucky to call her my friend.

I had originally asked her to participate in my Day 1 post about cellulite, but she took her own path, just like usual.

Here is her story:

“As I poured over my body, both past and present, I thought about all the things that could be my imperfections, similar to a cellulite issue.

“Well, my torso is a little blocky…” (thick abs, small chest)

But as I thought about it more and more, I realized that my biggest imperfection isn’t what you’d think. Better legs, rounder shoulders, less fat hanging over my sports bra… Sure, all those things could be better. But for me, the biggest thing that stood out as I pondered this…

 
My attitude.
 
Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I see all these images of seemingly perfect bodies and amazing people. Why can’t I have legs like her?  How is it that she looks beautiful all the time…even while she’s working out? Is she stronger than me?If I’m training for a meet, I compare myself to the lean figure women. If I’m dieting and prepping for a show, I compare myself to girls who are deep into powerlifting training. It’s a lose-lose situation.
 
It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else has. And when I do that, it drags me down. It sucks me into a hole of negativity. Pretty soon, everything I think is negative in nature. 
 
My biggest imperfection is something that requires daily concentration and focus. Who am is very different from who everyone else is. What am good at is very different from everyone else.  But I am me. 
 

Because screw what the world thinks I’m supposed to be.”

Jules just being Jules.

Jules just being Jules.

You can find out more about Julia on her website. She’s also on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.So for today, here is your mantra and your action step:

Mantra:  ”My body is unique and so am I, 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:  Spend 5 minutes writing down the things that you love most about both your body and your personality that make you unique.Mine have changed over the years as I’ve come to appreciate different things, but mine would be:
- my height and my shape
- my eyes and my smile
- my sense of humor and quick wit
- my (almost) complete inability to be offended
- my ability to connect with others quickly

What are yours? Write them below!

FIND DAY 21 HERE

FIND DAY 23 HERE

6 Responses to Love Your Body Challenge – Day 22

  1. bodynsoil says:

    Another excellent post. As I prepare to travel for a weeks vacation in celebration of my 50th, I am finding that I’m stressing less on the little body imperfections like I would in the past. I’m hoping to get a series of photos, both good and bad, to share much like your original photo series..

    As I read this post and you mentioning pouring over online photos mentally cherry picking perfect body parts. In the past I’ve done that as well, cherry picking the best features from multiple people and mentally comparing them to my whole self, of course I come up short. It helps to see photos of people looking normal and slightly imperfect so that you can see that they are human just like the rest of us..

    Nobody is a perfect specimen..

  2. what a great reason Molly! Here are some of my things:
    - my ability to make friends quickly
    - my ability to listen to others
    - my eyes
    - my smile and teeth
    - my beauty spots/moles

  3. Kristie says:

    My body is unique and so am I, and for that, I am thankful. I’m especially thankful for my: booty, pretty fingernails, long dark hair, golden skin, eyes, teeth, smile, toes, ability to make people laugh, ability to comfort people, intuition, flirting skills, intelligence, and my love for supporting, encouraging and cheering on my friends and their passions. The last one is definitely my favorite. I’m proud to be a “balcony person”, lifting people up and doing whatever I can to inspire them to keep going.

  4. Cathy says:

    Love this one!! Mine would be the following:
    * My smile
    * My freckles
    * My copper strands of hair
    * My tact
    * The way I work with kids
    * My positive outlook… that glass is not just half full, its OVERFLOWING
    * My ability to have never met a stranger!!!

    It feels so good to focus on positive amazing things about ourselves…. I feel like this journey is not only changing the way I think and look at myself, but helping me realize I had already come so far from where I was as a child on into early adulthood! Thank you thank you!

  5. Ashley G says:

    My shoulders
    My ability to connect without judgement
    My understanding, empathy and power to forgive
    My patience with my son
    My ability to appreciate a view, a smell, a feeling
    My work ethic, wish ethic, and get what you want ethic
    My style
    Beautiful nails
    My sense of adventure and willingness to try most anything

  6. Giselle says:

    Pretty good & important reason to love my body.

    I’ve got a twin & people don’t believe we are different. I struggle so much about feeling unique. I know I AM, but it’s hard for me to feel that way.
    I love that I am…:

    -Being little & small because (even though I used to hate it, now I don’t) I am able to do a lot of stuff & get where other people can’t
    -Not so expressive (weird at first sight, I know). Because I can hold on too many stuff & it helps me relax faster & easier.
    -My determination. If I want & know I can have something then I go for it. Whatever I set my mind to, I can get.
    -My ability to research. I find pretty easy & simple to find information than other people just can’t.
    -My feet. They hold my body along with my legs & keep me going even when I don’t feel like I can.
    -My voice. Especially if I’m singing, I love how it sounds.
    -My ability with my fingers because I can write in the computer’s keyboard pretty quick, as well as I can play piano or some other instrument (that requieres this).
    -The way I think. I quite aware that if I believe something, that thing may happen, so it’s a constant reminder to be more positive & try my best to think & be my best.

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