(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!)

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My goodness.  I almost can’t believe that Day 28 of the Love Your Body Challenge is here.  This month has absolutely flown by for me, and it feels like just yesterday we were kicking off Day 1.

Thank you to everyone who has followed along on this journey.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed hearing your from all of you — crying with you, laughing with you, having epiphanies with you… it’s been incredible.  You all have changed my life, and I hope I have impacted yours as well.

Before we move on to recapping yesterday, I have a small favor to ask you.  If this challenge has at all impacted your life, touched your heart, or made you think… would you please let me know?  I’d like to add a “testimonials” page that other women who are considering doing the challenge can read to convince them that it’s worth their time.

It would be so helpful to me, and you’d be helping to convince other women to do the challenge and change their lives as well.

You can put it in the comments section below.  If you’re not comfortable with that, you can send it to me at: 28DayLoveYourBodyChallenge@gmail.com.

Finally, do NOT forget to fill out the questionnaire again at the bottom and compare your scores from before Day 1!  That would be an amazing thing to put in your testimonial (how much your score went up).

Let’s get started!

Recap

Yesterday was Day 27 and the reason to love your body was:

“Because it allows you to love and be loved.”

I discussed all of the different ways that we give and receive love to others, whether it’s our spouse, our children, our friends, our parents, or even a stranger.

We give and receive love through all kinds of physical touch, a warm smile, kind words, and much more.

When you think about it, there is love all around you, and your body allows you to participate in it in so many ways.  That’s something to be grateful for!

So here we are.  Day 28.

No pressure, right?

Reason #28 To Love Your Body

28. Because it’s perfect (and it could use a little improvement).

This is adapted from the following quote:

“You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.” – Shunryu Suzuki

From the moment I laid eyes on this quote, I fell in love.

There was a period of time where I DID feel like I loved my body even if I wanted to change a few things, and I struggled because I let other people’s opinions get to me.  People told  that I couldn’t possibly be at a point of love and acceptance if there were anything on my body that I wanted to change.  I allowed them to make me question myself, and how I felt about myself.

But that idea never felt right to me.  I just knew that I could love my body as it is right this moment, while still wanting it to look or perform or feel differently than it does right now.

Then when I saw that quote, it summed up exactly what I knew all along.

photo (73)

You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.

Wow.

How powerful is that?  How powerful is it to believe that you, exactly as you are in this moment, are perfect?  Just perfect.

And yet, you could use some improvement.  We all could.  And that’s OK.  But it doesn’t mean that there is anything “wrong” with us right now.  It just means that we are in the middle of our journey.  A journey whose destination we never reach, and yet it’s still a worthwhile journey to take.

Mantra:  ”I am perfect, just as I am.  And I could use a little improvement.”

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

Action step:   Your action step for today is to retake the test from before Day 1 and compare your scores, and then to (hopefully) write me a short message or testimonial in the comments section below about today’s reason or how the challenge has changed your life in general (including the improvement in your scores would be amazing!)

As I said above, I want to have testimonials so that other women who are considering starting the challenge will get to hear how it could change their lives from the women who did it.

Rank how you feel about a few things on a scale from 1-10, 1 being the worst, 10 being the best.  Print the questions out or write them down and write down your rankings for each one, and compare them to your original score to see the tangible improvement.

1. How do you feel when you think about how your body looks?
(1 = absolutely terrible, 10 = freaking awesome)

2. How often do you think about things you’d like to change on your body?
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

3. How often do you look in the mirror and think, “I look really awesome!”
(1 = never, 10 = always)

4. How confident do you feel when you’re in a swimsuit?
(1 = not confident at all, 10 = extremely confident)

5. How confident do you feel about your body during intimate moments? 
(1 = not confident at all, 10 = extremely confident)

6. How often do you catch yourself saying/thinking negative things about your body? 
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

7. How often do you catch yourself saying negative things about your body to other people? 
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

8. How well do you receive compliments from others?
(1 = not well, 10 = really well)

9. How often do you have feelings of shame in regards to your body?
(1 = constantly, 10 = never)

10. If I told you that you could drastically change your perception of your body in 28 days, would you believe me?
(1 = absolutely not, 10 = no doubt about it)

Also, please remember, just because the challenge is over, doesn’t mean that your duty to spend time being kind to your body is over.  That should still be a daily task that you spend time and energy on if you want to retain the lasting effects of the challenge.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for participating.

xoxo,

Molls

26 Responses to Love Your Body Challenge – Day 28

  1. Kristie says:

    I am perfect just as I am. And I could use a little improvement. AND I plan to continue loving and appreciating my body for the rest of my life. These past 4 weeks have truly transformed my cognition regarding my body. I have a lot of mini fitness goals, but, from now on, I am unapologetically proud of what my body is…right now. I’m not going to wait until my arms are perfectly chiseled to buy a sleeveless dress. Why wait when the weather is getting warmer and I can rock it now? This challenge was just what I needed! Like I said, my thinking has completely changed. I look in the mirror and focus on what I love about my body, which is a much kinder thing to do to yourself. My score went from a 51 to an 85! Numbers are great, but I much prefer the other ways I can measure the way I’ve grown. I have purchased a couple dresses I normally wouldn’t have and I feel great wearing them. I have received compliments and managed to accept them with grace, instead of my usual awkwardness. I’ve gotten attention from men without thinking to myself “wait…he’s interested in ME?” I catch myself thinking kinder thoughts about other women, instead of catty, petty, or cruel things. I am equipped with more gratitude than I ever have been before and I can feel it changing me. I realize how much energy you spent on this project. To know that you have a calling and an important message is one thing, but to go out there and actually do it…share your experiences, insight and wisdom…it has been amazing. Molly, I hope you know how much I mean it when I say THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

  2. I will email you later! Thank you so much for this amazing challenge! I’d be wanting to partner up with you for anything you do in the future <3

  3. Melissa says:

    (A thank you/Testimonial)
    Hi,
    I haven’t commented before but I have been diligently doing every post in a little diary by my nightstand! :) I can’t believe that its been 28 days already since the start of this Challenge. Even though I am someone that is considered “relatively young” (I am in my early twenties), I have still always struggled with self-esteem and the idea of never being “good-enough”.I was starting to get pretty down because of this. This challenge could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I can honestly say that this challenge has totally helped me with my self esteem, confidence, boosted my moods big time, and created a healthy positive outlook and LOVE and appreciation for my body!. I really didn’t think it was possible,but it did. I am so glad I took the time to do this challenge. Appreciating my body definitely does not end here, [maybe a weekly/biweekly mantra update on your blog to help retain the lasting effects?], but this challenge has totally put me in a better mindset and in the right direction. This challenge really has changed my life for the better, thank you so much Molly! You are my hero!
    -Melissa
    (30pt to 70pt) :o)

  4. Monica says:

    Hi Molly! I just took the test again and scored a 71….that’s up from 27 on Day 1!!! I have really enjoyed this challenge. My best friend and I have been emailing each other with our daily Mantras & Action Steps and it’s been amazing! We’ve both realized how AWESOME we are and how much we have to be thankful for because of our healthy bodies. I don’t have nearly as many negative thoughts about myself, and have gotten better at receiving compliments. I’m still a work in progress, but this challenge has definitely made me take a look at the bigger picture and not be so harsh on myself. Thank you for 28 days of encouragement that were greatly needed :)

  5. jenn says:

    In these amazing 28 days my scores went from a 48 to 71! My jaw literally dropped when I saw this! Thank you, this is something I will never forget and absolutely changed my life

  6. Heather@YSP says:

    I went from 28 to 73. I knew I’d improve, but had no idea how much. Thank you. This is a wonderful challenge. Just the notes every day that made me stop and think made such a huge difference for me. It’s remarkable. And reading the stories and comments from other people helped me feel less alone on bad days, and more part of a tribe of awesome on good days.

  7. Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for the 28 Love Your Body Challenge. My numbers did improve, but only by 10 points. I know I am still a work in progress. I have really enjoyed reading other peoples stories. It helps to know you are not alone. In my situation, I actually teach fitness classes and often praise my teams on how great they are and how fit they have become. Then I would go home and struggle with how I felt about my body. This challenge has really opened my eyes. I also shared this with my teams. We always have a 30 day challenge that consists of exercises, example squat challenge or plank challenges to complete each day, but the month of March we added I Love My Body Challenge. This has help several of them too.
    Thanks Molly for being so honest and helping so many.

  8. die Frau says:

    I went from a 64 to a 79 — but for me, that’s still significant, particularly in terms of accepting compliments and having negative thoughts about my body. This challenge has helped me become more confident overall. I’ve found myself using the mantras during times when I might start to get down on myself…I’ve looked at myself in the mirror in a pair of jeans and thought, “Damn, I *do* look good!”, I’ve accepted compliments without deflecting them (too much), and I’ve basically learned to love my body more.

    You made me see it in ways I hadn’t considered, and I plan to write down the mantras for the next 28 days so I can remind myself each day of the many reasons why I should love my body in all its curves and wrinkles and muscles and scars — and its many strengths.

    Thank you for this challenge. Ladies, you’re all absolutely fantastic.

  9. This!!!! So much love, so much nodding my head! I literally just wrote on this subject a few weeks back for a friend’s blog, and I believe it so much! It’s okay to want to change or improve or get better at something. You CAN still love yourself at the same time! The quote you shared sums it up most perfectly. Thank you, Molly :)

  10. Karen says:

    I went from a 44 to a 57. Still a work in progress but am surprised at the ones I did raise my score on (most of them). Thank you for a great challenge, for making me think about things I don’t always like to think about, but to see them in a different way. And it was special to me, turning 50 this month and actively trying to lose weight. I learned I’m not so bad after all. Actually, I freakin’ rock. :-)

  11. Instead of emailing, here is my “testimonial”:

    I am so grateful for coming across Molly’s 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge. It came to me at just the right time. Some days I just can’t even look in the mirror without picking myself apart, despite all that I’ve been through, I just couldn’t think of the good I had to offer, I could only see my flaws. Luckily, the Challenge gave me 28 reasons as to why I am beautiful, amazing, and worthy of loving myself every single day. Some of the reasons I was already telling myself, but some of the reasons were new to me like viewing myself as a composite of my parents. What a beautiful thought. The two people I love most in this world, my parents, and I am a combination of both of them. Now that is beautiful and a reason to love myself. Since doing the challenge I find myself reminding myself of the many different ways I should and do love my body. I can look in the mirror now and think “I love you” rather than thinking of all the things I need to change about myself.

    Thank you so much Molly!

  12. Joanne says:

    This challenge was such a gift . Everyone can learn to love their bodies more. This also helped with my soul and thank you for that. I went from scores of one to ten on questions four nine and ten . thank you. I am feeling more confident , more social , and sexier every day and it’s all because of this challenge. I have replaced my baggy clothes with dresses and form fitting tops. I have also replaced the shame I felt , with love understanding and confidence. I will continue using my journal and the mantras. I am strong now .My body is my home and I will treat it with the love and respect it needs for the rest of my life. Thank you so very much for this challenge .

  13. Michelle says:

    I had already started a 90 days goal challenge on Reddit when this challenge started. In the past, when I start to get serious about weight loss and working out, I start to become overly obsessive in an unhealthy way. Doing these daily challenges have definitely helped me maintain a healthy and positive attitude as I started to see progress in my weight loss. My score improved in every category. One thing I found interesting was my reaction when I came across question two again, “How often do you think about things you’d like to change on your body?” Before I immediately went through all these aspects of my body that I hated and wanted to have disappear. Today, my first thought wasn’t, “OH GOD! Where do I start?! All day! Every morning! My fat thighs when putting on jeans! My fat arms when putting on shirts!” Instead, I thought of things I wanted to change, like bigger triceps, stronger quads, etc… all things I wanted to change, but more about my strength and how it could be improved. It was motivating rather than something that made me sit and wallow.

    Thanks so much for posting this challenge!!

  14. Giselle says:

    7 – 8
    3 – 5
    3 – 7
    1 – 3
    2 – 6
    4 – 9
    2 – 9
    2 – 7
    1 – 8
    5 – 10

    As you can see here, I’m in shock because I never saw my scores until today & must say that it is amazing how much the rates went up!
    I started the challenge as something normal & didn’t expect anything from it, but it has helped me lots & lots. I feel more confident, bold, brave & amazing in my own skin.
    It’s not that I couldn’t improve some things, but I accept myself much more & I feel grateful for it. Now that I realize it just felt effortless to me. I’ve taken it one day at a time & then I realize I was like “mmm… you look nice today”, then “wow, you’re rocking this outfit!” & suddenly thoughts like “you’re doing amazing!” & “I bet I can do this” were in my mind on a daily basis, now I know that I anytime I’m feeling like I’m now good enough, it just takes me 28 days to realize I’m great as I am! unique, talented & great in my own way ;)

    As you can read, this challenge has been quite great to me! Thanks Molly! n.n

  15. Karen says:

    I am a 56 year-old woman who has spent the greater part of my life hating my body. Four years ago after completing treatment for breast cancer, I resolved to stop wasting time and energy doing that. I still struggle with it, but your challenge focused my thoughts and really helped to understand that I am beautiful and strong in so many ways. Thank you.

  16. Aimee says:

    A simple thank you doesn’t seem like enough…
    As a former “pageant” girl who was told she was fat (so not healthy to hear at age 17, because 1) it is mean 2) it wasn’t even remotely true! 115 pounds @ 5ft 7in.) I have struggled with body image for over half my life. This challenge completely reframed my outlook about myself. I AM perfect just as I am AND I could use a little improvement…what I add to this quote is that it is OK…needing improvement is never a bad thing…but I can love myself fully today just as I am. 24 to 76!!!!

  17. Rachel says:

    This challenge was fantastic. My score went from 29 to 69. There is definitely still room to grow, but I am perfect just as I am and I could use a little improvement!
    Where I notice the most change is in how I react to my initial thoughts of myself. I may still think about my body and things I’d like to see change but I am seeing them from a more removed position. I make note of it and then move on, realizing that right now, given all of the circumstances in my life, I am the best me that I can be. As schedules and priorities change, so will my body. I cannot expect it to achieve one state and maintain that forever because I am constantly changing. My mind is growing and changing daily due to all of my experiences so why would I not expect the same from my body?
    Additionally, I have for the first time become confident going out in public both 1) without make-up and 2) with my glasses on! Small details perhaps but significant changes for me. Thank you so much for the challenge and for building a community of women who aren’t afraid to love themselves as they are.

  18. MOLLY! thank you for doing this challenge. at your workshop in Ohio in the fall, the permission to simultaneously accept yourself while still wanting to work on yourself was the thing that had the biggest impact on me! This challenge reminded me that self improvement and self love can go hand in hand!

  19. Melanie says:

    I really am SO glad I participated in this challenge. It was very hard for me to say nice things TO myself ABOUT myself every single day for 28 straight days! I never realized how much negative self talk I do until I tried NOT to do it. Go figure! It definitely got easier a little more each day, and by the end, I think I finally am starting to love myself the way I deserve to be loved.

  20. Diane Grady says:

    Hi Molly,

    Thank you so much for this challenge. I went from a 24 to a 62. I never thought I would start feeling this way about myself again. I’ve gone from being someone who was the first person to put myself down to making a conscious to activly change how I speak to and about myself. I have so much more hope and faith in myself. My friends on SparkPeople even make comments about how much more forgiving and positive I am about myself. Thank you for helping to open the window to embrace and celebrate everything I am now, while being able to look to who I WILL be in the future (not just who I could be). Thank you for facilitating this challenge, it’s been an amazing journey.

  21. Stacy says:

    This challenge was very timely. I was in a really bad place and feeling very miserable. Just the thought of answering the 10 questions was overwhelming. I couldn’t come up with a number, so I chose to just answer the questions honestly. Oh the self loathing. Some days were extremely difficult. A couple even managed to make me feel worse about myself, because of my personal issues, but I persevered. Most days were enlightening, positive and helpful. When I retook my quiz, I went from not being confident in a bathing suit to deciding I may just rock a bikini this summer. Not only am I graciously accepting compliments, I am even coaching others to do the same. I complimented a woman after our workout today. I told her she was awesome and she tried to qualify it as being awesome for her age. I wouldn’t let her do it. I told her she was awesome, period! So thank you from the bottom of my heart for this, it was exactly what my soul needed.

  22. Amanda says:

    I wasn’t going to comment, because I finished this so far behind everyone (started 5 days late, then had to take a few days off while traveling), but I realized something the evening of my last day of this challenge and I just had to share.

    When I began the challenge, I was already feeling much better about my body than I had for years, because of some extensive work on self-image I’d done in the last year. I was surprised that my original score was so low (47), especially because I even answered 10 on one of the questions. I loved the challenge, and while I’ve never used mantras or anything like that before now, I found that your daily prompts got me to think differently about my body. I’m a writer and storyteller, and have even written about characters who have used their bodies as canvases to tell their life story, and yet I never thought about how my own body – with all its scars and stretchmarks and loose skin from having three children, going though multiple surgeries, and losing 105 lbs – told a story through all those “imperfect” parts. By the end of the challenge, I knew that I’d been changed – but I didn’t think I’d changed that much.

    I took the post-quiz without even looking at my pre-quiz scores and answers, and then I did some comparisons. My score had gone up 29 points, from a 47 to a 76! Not every answer changed, but 7 of the 10 questions went up by 2-5 points each. I was pretty stoked about it, but didn’t think TOO much about it until I was talking to my husband that evening about the whole challenge and my scores. When I was telling him about how some answers went up and some stayed the same, it struck me:

    NONE of my scores went DOWN. Not on a single question. Most went up, and those that didn’t STAYED EXACTLY THE SAME.

    Maybe some people wouldn’t see that as progress, but I do. I was pretty optimistic when I filled out the pre-quiz. I could easily see myself filling it out another time, and giving myself lower scores, feeling less confident and more disparaging of my body. But I didn’t. Even where I didn’t improve, I didn’t go backwards, and for me, that’s a greater improvement than the numbers going up.

    So thank you. Because of this challenge, I’ve broken free from many of the restraints I’ve kept on myself. I bought a bikini for the first time in 15 years and I plan to wear it this summer even if I’m uncomfortable in the beginning. I posed for the professional photographer at a superhero 5K, lying on a tarp on the ground, pretending to fly over the “buildings” they’d made from cardboard and shoeboxes. I’ve stopped beating myself up for the last 15 lbs I can’t seem to lose, and started celebrating the 105 lbs I’ve lost. I stand up straighter, and I’ve been telling everyone I know (especially in my community on Sparkpeople) to check this challenge out. Again, thank you.

  23. Jenna says:

    I started losing momentum towards the end, so I didn’t expect my scores to change much, but I went from a 28 to a 61. The only score that didn’t improve was the swimsuit question…I may need a 365-day challenge for that one! My biggest improvements were on the negative self-talk. I’ve really learned to have more self-confidence & to accept compliments from others. This challenge has been a blessing. Molly, thank you for all your hard work! xoxo

  24. Kristi Joy says:

    Thank you Molly. This is so needed! Haven’t done the challenge yet, but I’m going to. I go back and forth from thinking that I’m awesome, to feeling that if every part of my body is not “perfect”, then I’m nothing because I never want to be second best.

    Hoping to write about some of my struggles on my blog like you have so eloquently done here. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing of yourself and your story, your struggles. You are a role model for me and many other women.

  25. Melissa says:

    Molly, thank you for sharing this challenge. It came at just the right time for me. I actually started lifting heavy (for me!) weights at the same time that I started this challenge, and the combination led to a dramatic shift in my confidence and perception. I spent so much of my life, from early teens up, actively hating my body. At the beginning of this challenge, I thought I’d already improved a lot. I scored a 43. Today I scored 89!!!!!! I feel amazing. Three days ago, before it ended, I went to a water park with a friend (thin, gorgeous friend) and not long ago just thinking about that would have made me stress out. But on Friday we went, and I barely gave a second thought to whipping off my clothes and walking around in my bikini with her. And we had SO much fun! She even insisted on taking our picture, in our bikinis, and I let her. When she sent me the pix, I thought we both looked fantastic. Not just her, but me too. So thanks again, so much. I feel like a new person. ♡

  26. Helen Turnbull says:

    Loved this challenge.
    I’ve always had a pretty positive body image so was curious if my attitude would change. It did, and for the better. Thanks Molly. I’m more of a visual person, so instead of saying the mantra, I chose an appropriate picture of me (or family members) and put the words of the mantra on the picture. I then used this picture as my screen page for the day and posted it on my Facebook page. A bit scary revealing myself that way, but I got positive reviews and even got my sister involved. Once again thanks and a challenge well worth taking =D

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