(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!)


Yesterday was (Day 2) of the Love Your Body Challenge and it was fantastic.  We talked about cherishing what our bodies are capable of, and some of the responses were incredible.  Here’s an excerpt from one amazing and courageous woman:

“I debated stopping breastfeeding this beautiful new baby JUST so I could diet hard-core, take supplements that would rev my metabolism, and pump myself full of pre-workouts. But not any more.

You asked what my body is capable of? Well my body is capable of giving life. And my body is capable of nourishing that life. And I am no longer going to walk into my gym to try and make myself into something it’s not. I’m actually crying right thinking about it. About all those times I stared at myself in the mirror hating what my body looked like, instead of praising what it is doing. My body is amazingly flawed, amazingly imperfect, amazingly STRONG.

And now I’m going to go nurse my baby, then get back into my gym so I can finish up leg day and I am not going to care one bit if my shorts ride up and my cellulite shows, because that does not define ME anymore.” – L.G.


I have to say, I thought this challenge would be powerful, but I never could have predicted this kind of change and feedback from women so soon!

PLEASE if you have someone you think that might benefit from this challenge, have them join.  It’s never too late.  I envision people guiding themselves through this challenge years from now, once all of these posts have cobwebs on them.   And honestly, I think the women with the worst self-esteem are the ones refraining from trying it.  They feel “stupid” talking to themselves in their heads and repeating mantras, and feel embarrassed that they might need to follow an “online challenge.”

It’s my hope that they recognize that 28 days could change their whole world.

Oh, and my mantra yesterday was, “I am capable of making people laugh, and that’s awesome.  In fact, I am capable of anything I set my mind to, that I am willing to work for. “

And I got to see a couple of friends of mine yesterday and we laughed up a storm.  It was lovely.

If you’d like to post what you did (and please do!) just go to the comments section of Day 2 and share.  It will be helpful and encouraging to everyone to read what others are doing.


Reason #3 To Love Your Body

3. Because it’s strong.

You knew this one was coming, right? Feeling strong is an incredibly powerful and uplifting emotion.

But this isn’t just about physical strength.  This is about mental and emotional strength too.  Yes, being able to bust out squats and chin-ups, being able to run fast and jump high — that’s all amazing, and today’s challenge celebrates those things.  But I want you to also think about the mental and emotional piece.

What tragedy have you endured that you bounced back from stronger than ever?
When have you successfully bitten your tongue to refrain from saying something you’ll regret?
When have you opened up and been totally vulnerable with someone you care about?
What stressful load have you carried for a long period of time to see something incredible through to fruition?

We do things on a daily basis that require enormous amounts of physical, mental, and emotional strength, and yet we never slow down to recognize them, and give ourselves the credit we deserve.

Mantra: “I am strong enough to______, and I am proud of that.”  (i.e. give birth, do a weighted chin-up, apologize first, admit when I’m wrong, change the water jug at work, be genuinely happy for the success of others, etc).

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

Me?  I’m strong enough to admit when I am wrong and apologize first. Most of the time. =)

Action Step:
 Write down one way that you demonstrate incredible physical strength, mental strength, and emotional strength.  Let yourself relish in the memory of the last time you did each of these things, and feel incredibly proud.

My Action Step 

“I am strong enough to endure my Father’s death, and still find joy, happiness, and gratitude on the other side, and I am proud of that.”

“I am strong enough to recognize that a comfortable and good 6-year relationship wasn’t amazing, and walk away, because I deserve amazing. I am proud of that.”

“I am strong enough to do a Turkish Getup with an 80 lb. KB and I am proud of that.”

That’s it for today!


1. Make sure you’ve signed up for my newsletter so you can get links to the new challenge every morning!
2. Make sure you’ve filled out the 10 questions at the bottom of this page (DO THIS BEFORE DAY 1) so you have your “starting point.”
3. Say your mantra 10 times immediately, during your action step, and before bed.
4. Complete your action step.
5. Check in with your accountability partner if you have one.
6. Check back tomorrow for more.

OH!  3 more things —

1. PLEASE post about what you’re doing on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #LoveYourBodyChallenge or #LYBC.  This will allow you to connect with others doing the challenge, offer support and encouragement, and get ideas for your mantras and action steps.

2. PLEASE comment below and let us know what your mantra and your action steps are each day.  Again, this helps build support and community as well as offers ideas to those who might need them.

3. If you’re so inclined, feel free to send me pictures of your amazingly beautiful selves and I’ll post them in my Facebook album.  It’s essentially an album of pictures similar to what my fitness professional friends and I did on Day 1.  It’s a picture that you might normally not want to post, but you post it anyway along with a short blurb about your journey.  You can see the album here, and you can send pictures and your blurb to: 28DayLoveYourBodyChallenge@gmail.com It’s such a supportive community of women (and men) over there.  It’s awesome!

That’s all for now.  See you tomorrow!



86 Responses to Love Your Body Challenge – Day 3

  1. Hey girl, so happy about day 3! I love this one a lot!

    Mentally, I am strong enough to over come an eating disorder and now be helping people with their health as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist

    Emotionally, I am strong enough to live 30 hours away from my fiancé and not be depressed about it

    Physically, I am strong enough to squat and deadlift more than my bodyweight

    Thank you so much Molly <3 My post today about the challenge is up on my blog now 😀

  2. Melissa says:

    My mantra for the day: “I’m strong enough to change the water jug at work on the same day that I’ve worked out my upper body”

    My action step: Physical strength – successfully doing my first unassisted negative pull-up; Mental strength – having the patience to work through my thesis even though I am so tired of reading it and just want to be done with it; Emotional strength – having the courage to follow my heart

  3. Whitney says:

    I am strong enough to carry a 30 lb case of milk in one hand and the rest of my groceries in the other, and I am proud of that. — Yes. I seriously just weighed my case of milk. I had NO clue it weighed that much. No wonder the baggers at my store look at me like a crazy when I say I’ll just carry it.

  4. Wendy says:

    ”I am strong enough to be a mother and advocate for my daughter with Down syndrome, and I am proud of that.”

    Before having children, my husband and I had “the talk” where we discussed if we could be good parents to a child with special needs. We didn’t think we were the right kind of people for that. Thankfully, God knew better and our second daughter was born with Down syndrome. It rocked my world, but today I can proudly say I am perfect for the job.

    Yesterday was Spread the Word to End the Word day where people are supposed to pledge to stop using the words “retard”, “retarded” “-tard”. I am so proud that I am strong enough to approach total strangers and loved ones when I hear them use this word and educate them on the hurtful nature of it. I am proud of the strength that being a mom to a child with special needs has brought out in me.

    • Kimberly says:

      Wendy – I love this one! I have been struggling to come up with my strengths. The only thing I could really think of was that I am the mother of 2 children with Asperger’s. I was strong enough to hear the diagnosis, let myself grieve for a day, and then I went into action finding the therapies and resources my kids needed. Today, at ages 11 and 9, they are both in typical classrooms without assistance. It took some hard thinking, but I realized that had it not been for my strength, they would not have received the help they needed.
      Keep it up, girl!!!

  5. My mantra is “I am strong enough to beat MS and I am proud of that.”

    A few years ago, I was taking one shot per day to manage my multiple sclerosis. I mostly rotated between my thighs and the back of my arms. It caused damage to the skin and minor necrosis. The damage looks like dimples and on my thighs, it looks like gross cellulite. No matter how lean I get, I will likely always have them.

    And because of them, I HATE the way my legs look. I am self conscious in shorts and spend the majority of the summer figuring how I should stand, walk, or sit so they are less obvious. And while I don’t think that I’ll ever fully learn to love these dimples, today’s topic is helping me understand that they are a battle scar. A battle, that after years of self experimentation, I’m winning. Cool.

    Thanks Molly

  6. Audrey says:

    Anyone else having trouble coming up with great things about themselves?? As a trainer, I am great at pointing out what is good in others to encourage them, but pick myself apart with a fine tooth comb…This is turning out to be quite the challenge for me…

    • Dina says:

      Audrey, I relate to you and your challenge! I found myself really nervous about trying to find responses for the 3 questions. Still don’t have them but reading others has helped me see more of myself. I hope you find what you need to 🙂

  7. That was such a great “testimony” that you posted in this day 3 blog. Thank you. It’s not MY
    testimony, but I am still floored and encouraged at the same time. PS– and misting up as I read it, too!

  8. Brier Frasier says:

    #LoveYourBodyChallenge I’m strong enough to __________________, and I am proud of that. (some of mine are “pick up heavy stuff, approach others with compassion, find the positive in a situation, fix my part of a problem, learn new movements, do things I’m afraid of, stick with challenges until I’m finished, be vulnerable, open my heart and ask for help”. Day 3

    I have noticed that when I say my mantra 10 times I want to fill in the blank with something different each time, not just limit myself to one thing. I’m rich!

    • Emili Sperling says:

      YES!It’s hard to pick just one!

      I’m strong enough to realize that only my definition of “healthy” is right for me, and I am proud of that. ‪#‎LoveYourBodyChallenge‬ Oh yeah, and I’m strong enough to steal the boys’ weights at Force Fitness and Performance 🙂

    • Anya says:

      Love this….”I’m rich!!” That is such a refreshing perspective.

  9. Nicola M. says:

    Mine would be forgiveness.

    I am easy to hurt, but I forgive easily too. Right now I’m tackling a situation where I have to forgive MYSELF for something, and realize that I need external help. I am my own enemy and my personal belief system is OH so critical. On Tuesday, I finally reached out and accepted that I can’t go this journey alone. I was so surprised (and blessed) by the amount of people who contacted me with support. It is making the journey to self-forgiveness a lot easier.

    ”I am strong enough to FORGIVE, and I am proud of that.”

    • ButterfliiHawk says:

      I love this, because I too am in the same position. I am in great need of forgiving myself and a couple other people for some damaging situations and I struggle with self worth every second of every day of my life. I take all blame on myself and am slowly being taught to realise that is wrong. Hard to break a habit but I’m going for some outside help.
      Challenge number 3 is hard for me – I don’t feel strong in any way. I look back and see a failure in everything because I have not yet succeeded and have not yet overcome the hurts and pains of my past and let it affect me now. I have such a low tolerance for weakness, especially in myself.
      But I will successfully finish this challenge if it takes me all day!
      Thank you for your post!

  10. Gwen says:

    Mantra: I am strong enough to admit when I’m wrong, and I am proud of that.

    I have been called the strongest person everyone knows. I have beaten breast cancer, a separation/divorce from a 16 year marriage and even scarier, online dating! 😉 I have channeled all of these experiences into making a better life for myself. I am there for my friends and family when they need a shoulder or strong arm and now I am going to be there for me as well. I do this by feeling the fear and pushing through it; not allowing it to stop me from doing or being who I want to be or become.

  11. Alli says:

    I recently walked away from a toxic relationship. I now know I can survive and I know I’m strong enough to wait for what I deserve and I am proud of that!

  12. Cindy Knight says:

    I need help!!! Keep trying but alway fall back to old habits
    I have lost 98 lbs but have gaind back 70 lbs. Then I lots 40 lbs
    And now I have gaind back 50

  13. Mindy K. says:

    I’m strong enough to thrive in spite of 14 years of constant pain, and I’m proud of that! I’ve also decided that it’s time to share my story and what I’ve learned. The work I’ve been doing on my own combined with this challenge has helped me to take the step to start my own blog. 🙂 I’m strong enough to put myself out there in the hopes of helping others even though I feel drained, and I’m proud of that.

  14. Renee says:

    #Loveyourbodychallenge I am strong enough to get through the grief of my sister passing away. And I am PROUD of that!! Lifting weights has been a God-send in getting through grief!

  15. Monica says:

    Sooo, I didn’t cry yesterday but today’s mantra had me going. I’m strong enough to have been through a heartbreak and survived it, and I’m so so VERY proud of that!
    Thank you for this challenge!
    Keep up the good work 🙂

  16. Anya says:

    This is difficult for me. I find myself being very critical about my strengths – continually asking “how strong is strong? I certainly can’t be as strong as others…” I realize this is falling into the same old traps…so I am reaching out to solicit support, to push through this and truly, once and for all, believe in myself in my HEART and SOUL. Thank you for this opportunity and thank you to this community.

    • Ashlee says:

      The lengthy process is what solidifies permanent change.. Two steps forward and one step back is still progress!!! The best things in life are things we have to fight to have… You rock.. Don’t give up.. You can do it.

  17. Shannon says:

    It’s been an incredibly rough few years. Every time we think we’re in the clear and have survived another huge life shake up (major injury, major illness, car accidents, both losing our jobs at the same time, funerals, finances, etc), something else pops up.

    It’s so easy to get stuck on these “negative life events” and use them as reasons for being sidelined or reasons for failing goals and even reasons for simply not putting in the effort that we should.

    “I am strong enough to let the past go and I am proud of that!”

  18. Jennifer Brownfield says:

    I am strong enough to carry all the groceries in the house in one trip! And to wrestle with my boyfriend. to climb mountains. to empathize with others. to get knocked down and bounce back.

  19. Desiree Garcia says:

    I am strong enough to be exactly who I want to be, and I am proud of that. I don’t need to conform to what society deems acceptable. I can just be me.

  20. Diane says:

    I am strong enough to keep going, and I’m proud of that. During my last 10k training walk, I wanted to sit down in the middle of the sidewalk and call someone to come get in in the middle of my four miles that day. We had just gone up a huge, long hill, and I’m in the middle of the pack, pace wise, so I had no one around for support. But I KEPT GOING. I finished my first 10k last year, and I’m going to finish it this year. So many times in the past year during work outs, I’ve wanted to pack it in early, but I’ve KEPT GOING. I’m still working on parts of this journey, so I haven’t seen many physical changes, but I’ve certainly become one tough cookie and done many things that I never thought possible.

  21. Kelly says:

    Over a year ago I admitted to myself that my relationship with alcohol was slowly destroying me. I was strong enough to admit that, face it and conquer it. I have been sober for over a year and if I can do that I can do anything. I am proud to say I no longer drink and that I love myself enough not to. Thanks to Molly and to all who are sharing and participating. This is a beautiful movement!

  22. Dawn says:

    I am strong enough to survive grief, and I am proud of that! I lost my husband 3 years ago at the young age of 46. We have four wonderful kids and I have survived! I am so proud to say that I did not let his death or my grief define me!

  23. Danielle says:

    I am strong enough to keep going and not give up on myself, and I am proud of that!
    The last time I did this was at 5:30am today. I am incredibly proud of the fact that for 7 weeks now, I have been committed to going to Peak Fitness and Training (PeakFAST) and improving myself. I am getting stronger and I am learning to love myself every step of the way:) Ryan and Zach have been amazing trainers and supporters, and I am grateful to have found them. Ryan has a way with words and making me think about things in a different light… he really can put things into perspective for me. They have had a huge impact on the way I think and feel… I’m enjoying the journey, and embracing my wins:)
    #LoveYourBodyChallenge #LYBC

  24. Lys R-T says:

    I am strong enough to push through, even when my body is full-on fibromyalgia mode and I can barely move, and I am proud of that. I am strong enough to train for a half-marathon, even if it takes me a year and all the training guides are for 12-16 week periods, and I am proud of that.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I am strong enough to battle a chronic illness for my entire life that causes fatigue and pain sometimes — and still physically lift weights, run races, swim, and be a trainer and a hopeful inspiration to other people. I am thankful that when it’s really hard, and it is, I have an amazing husband to lean on and I’m learning how and when to ask for his help.

  26. Liz says:

    I am strong enough to: persevere and never give up and I am proud of that! Back in school for a career change, taking college mathematics after a 23year absence, working slowly but surely. Dead lifted 220lbs for the first time last week after much workouts and personal wondering if I could it. I am strong enough to stay married and raise my two kids.

  27. JS says:

    I am strong enough to leave an abusive marriage to be a single parent to a then 1 and 5 year old. I am strong enough to juggle managing a blended family, shuffling kids to practices and tournaments and returning to grad school 25 years after my last college course. I am strong enough to be embarking on a new, very different career path at the age of 50. I am proud of the fact that I am flexible, resilient and positive about the experiences in my life as they comprise the essence of who *I* am!

  28. Kristie L says:

    I am strong enough to forgive myself. I couldn’t have stumbled upon this challenge at a more crucial time in my life. I left my husband a few months ago for reasons so complex that it has taken all of my physical, mental and emotional strength. It was the most painful decision I have ever made. I can barely stomach the thought of causing so much sadness in someone I once thought I loved so completely. Slowly, I am starting to move on and thrive again. I am loving this challenge so far, as it is helping me to remember that I am worthy. Today’s mantra is beyond enlightening for me…I am not perfect, but I do accept myself and love myself! I am strong enough to forgive myself, making room for acceptance, learning and self-love. Thank you so much for helping that little light bulb go off for me.

  29. D says:

    I was reading and wondering what i’m strong to do, outside the gym. And then I knew it: I am strong enough to have escape from an abusive relationship and I’m proud of that!
    I always thought of myself as a weak person for getting involve with a person like that. And now I see it’s the other way around!

  30. die Frau says:

    I am strong enough to take risks (with my career), and I am proud of that.

    As I said my mantra just now, I unconsciously focused on various words throughout my ten times of saying it, and I ended up in tears. Each time saying it, I made a new little realization:

    *I* am strong enough.
    I am STRONG.
    I am strong enough to TAKE RISKS.
    I AM strong enough.
    I am PROUD of that.

    Thank you. Thank you for helping me remind myself what strength I have. I don’t do it often enough.

    • sophie says:

      I love this one mine was I am strong enough to go out on my own (start my own business) and for that I am proud. But Not only could I relate to your strength, but I absolutely loved how you said it. I think for me it can be easy to say it to quickly, but reading your post again in the way you said it, got to me.

      Thank you Die Frau for sharing!

  31. Jess says:

    This series is wonderful, Molly!

    Last night at work, my boss was saying how “girls have to wear make-up” and “look dressed up all the time” or they are deemed UGLY. He’s Korean, and apparently this is the “Korean culture”. He proceeded to show me pictures of Korean celebrities before and after with make-up, and kept saying, “look at how ugly she is on the left! No make-up she looks like a MAN!” To be clear though, these women were NOT ugly, THEY JUST LOOKED LIKE NORMAL GIRLS. With make-up, they looked glamorous but completely unrealistic.

    I got VERY upset and went off on a loud tangent about how THIS is why girls have such body dysmorphia. They are literally told “you are not good enough just the way you are.” I totally went off on him how little girls are going to look at these celebrities all done up and think this is the standard that they need to achieve. That men will not love them unless they are society’s “beautiful image.” I understand this is a “cultural difference”, but it’s STILL not right, and the worst part was that I don’t think he even got where I was coming from. I was literally so outraged I almost went home in tears. BUT, this is what inspires me to keep moving forward as a fitness professional, to continue helping females feel powerful, strong, and sexy no matter what society tells them.

    Take care! xo

  32. Anita says:

    I’m strong enough to walk away from a career as a teacher to set up my own business as a personal trainer. I don’t have enough clients to be full time yet, but I’m holding on. I am strong enough to run a marathon. I am strong enough to still be holding on until I meet the right man and we are married.

  33. Danae says:

    I am mentally strong enough to enter a men-predominated career field (web development), and I am proud of that.
    I am emotionally strong enough to speak my mind and accept criticism, and I am proud of that.
    I am physically strong enough to climb to the top of a rock climbing wall, and I am proud of that.


  34. Angela Schauf says:

    With yesterday being a tough one for me (basically pick a goal you’ve had for a long time and finally commit-ack, it’s 11:59 on New Year’s Eve all over again!) I was grateful to have more to choose from today so I selected one and stuck with that theme for my action step.

    “I am strong enough to give up “keeping up with the Jones'” and I am proud of that.”

    Physical Strength-carrying load after load of boxes, household items and furniture down 2-3 flights of stairs by myself to clear out our big old house in order to sell it and move.

    Mental Strength-getting real with myself and my husband about what we really wanted to experience in life. Did we want a big house with lots of stuff where we were tied down to jobs we hated in order to afford it or did we want more time together experiencing the smaller pleasures in life such as fresh produce from the local farmer’s market and traveling to learn more about the world.

    Emotional Strength-quitting my 15 year career that helped afford that big house, convincing family and friends that a leaner, simpler life wasn’t because we were in dire straights and giving up all those spare closets and the clothes/shoes that filled them!

  35. Susan says:

    I am strong enough to see the light at the end of the bipolar disorder tunnel and I am proud of that. Typing this made me cry. I am at one of my lowest points and these positive affirmations are helping me to get through the days and know that it WILL get better.

  36. Cortney T says:

    “I am strong enough to not let me mistakes in my past define me, AND I AM PROUD OF THAT!”
    I am so hard on myself I forget how strong and smart I am. I always want to better myself and be the best I can be; I need to embrace it more. I WILL embrace it more!!
    #LoveYourBodyChallenge #ThankYouMolly

  37. EeeGee says:

    I am strong enough to say NO to beliefs and situations which no longer serve me, and I’m proud of that!
    I am physically strong enough to do barbell squats in my basement even though they scare me.
    I am mentally strong enough to have taught myself how to meditate.
    I am emotionally strong enough to be a caring and compassionate nurse to my patients.

    Thanks for this wonderful opportunity, Molly!

  38. Karen says:

    I am strong enough to do the Out On A Limb challenge, and I am proud of that – Two Octobers ago, I attempted a challenge course at a favorite spa resort. It involved climbing 25 feet up a telephone pole with really small staples for your hands and feet, then walk across a log to the other side. I was unable to get myself up the ladder, blamed it on my height, but knew the weight was the bigger factor. I spent 2013 getting my weight loss plans in gear, working on strength and lost 40 lbs by the time I went back this past October. This time I got all the way to the top, walked across the log, stood on one foot and walked backwards a bit. It was empowering to accomplish my goal for the year. I bought a red braided bracelet in the boutique there, it reminds me that I am strong. I wear it every day.

  39. Rachel says:

    I am physically strong enough to do 30 consecutive push-ups, and counting, and I am proud of that!

    I am mentally strong enough to work in customer support and always keep a smile on my face and a cheer in my voice.

    I am emotionally strong enough to deal with a mother who blames here children for the failures in her life and asks her children to choose between her and their father. And I was finally strong enough to be honest about my feelings and realize that I need space for my own health and well-being.

  40. Allison says:

    I am strong enough to
    Run ultramarathons
    Admit when I’m wrong
    Climb a mountain to 14,000 ft
    Admit when I don’t know something
    Ask for help
    Do real push-ups
    Stick with grad school when it gets really stressful
    Make it through an hour long bootcamp class
    Pick up my 50 pound dog
    And I am proud of that!

  41. Michelle says:

    I am strong enough to lose 60lbs while completing a bachelor’s degree and working a full-time job. I am strong enough to leave my heart open while going through a divorce and still be loving and supportive to my ex, my family, and my friends, and I’m proud of that!!

    I wouldn’t have thought to recognize strength in other areas of my life. If anything, I normally think to myself “All this stress I’m under is HOLDING ME BACK from achieving my physical goals.” Now I’m looking at it like, “Because my body is so strong and healthy, I can endure this extra stress with minimal impact on my life or overall health.”

    It’s such a simple flip – from victim to warrior – and it makes such a HUGE difference in how I am feeling!!!

  42. Az says:

    I am physically strong enough to help the older people on a plane put their “heavy to them” bags in the overhead bin and I’m proud of that. 🙂
    I am emotionally strong to figure out why something is bothering me and talk it out without being proud or victimizing myself depending on the situation) I am proud of that.
    I am mentally strong to have known that’s previous serious relationship was not what I wanted because i have priorities that were different from his. I found my “amazing” shortly after that. I am proud that I put myself first and didn’t stay in a relationship I knew I would regret.

  43. Loretta says:

    I have always found it difficult to recognize and talk about my own strengths even though I can easily find the strengths of others. Thank you Molly for this challenge. I am strong enough to admit I don’t always have the answers but I will keep searching. I am strong enough to carry that big bag of dog food, to deadlift 240 lb, and to keep working toward an unassisted pull up even though I am not there yet.

  44. Jen says:

    Molly, you asked on Twitter, what makes me strong?
    I am strong enough to…run a sub 8 minute mile. To do a workout with 200+ burpees. To hold a plank for 5 minutes. And I am proud of that. But, if I digging deeper, which I trying to do for this challenge, I would say:
    I am strong enough to admit that I have not treated my body with the respect it deserves and I am ready to start loving it, and I am proud of that.

    The past 2 1/2 years or so had been a roller coaster ride of dealing with gut issues. i’ve gone from taking medication every 4 hours, to a liver detox that left me weighing around 117lbs (at 5′ 7″), to cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, and processed foods, to feeling great and completing a half marathon, to trying a vegan diet, to a candida detox. It’s been a challenging ride. And somewhere along the road, I began to form an unhealthy relationship with my body. I’ve been angry with it, even hated it, for not tolerating foods, for causing me stress, for costing me so much money some times.

    However, in the past month or so, I’ve come to realize that I’ve been fighting my body for too long. That I haven’t been loving it or treating it with respect (mantra for day one left me teary eyed). I made the choice and commitment a couple weeks ago to start on the path of learning to love my body, gut issues and all. I’ve clung to blog posts or articles or quotes that promote positive body image awareness. I have to remind myself multiple times a day that I am thankful for this body. I am so so glad that this challenge is going on right now. Not only are the daily posts and mantra’s so inspiring for me personally, but it’s so encouraging to read comments from other women.

    It would be really easy to continue being angry at my body, not loving my body. But, I am strong enough to stop hating and start loving, and I am proud of that!

  45. Cathy says:

    Love the Day 3 post!! ( and all of them really)
    Mantra for the day ” I am strong enough to stay positive in nearly all situations and I AM SO PROUD OF THAT!!!!”
    Action step: I am strong enough to make it through my Dads suicide and be able to see good that came out of the horrible and truly be a joyful spirit in spite of circumstance!!!
    I am strong enough to sit down, face to face and tell someone my true feelings for him, and that he hurt me, and be vulnerable enough to have such a deep conversation with someone I cared so much for knowing they maybe didn’t care as much for me..
    I am strong enough to run the bourbon chase AND complete a triathlon!!!!!

  46. Giselle says:

    Great challenge & definitely it is such a challenge! but it feels nicer when you know out there are other people willing to make this for their best.

    For today challenge & mantra:
    I’m strong enought to…:
    -Be myself no matter what people think about me
    -Get up earlier than everyone, just to enjoy some “ME” time (working out, meditation, listen to music)
    -Stand up & defend my ideas
    -Do more push-ups than any guy I know
    -Work harder & keep up with my goals even when I don’t feel my best
    -Take risks & try new things, even when I’m so afraid of doing anything
    -Hold plank for long periods of time
    -Change my mind
    -Admit that I don’t have a six pack, but I’ve got a lot of core strength

    and I’m SO PROUD OF THAT! n.n

  47. Heather says:

    ”I am strong enough to__THRIVE____, and I am proud of that.”
    Physical: Strength training, yoga
    Mental: Reading, writing, fantastic work ethic
    Emotional: Raising a daughter, surviving husband’s travel

  48. Meleta Truax says:

    BTW I am loving this challenge!! I have been way too hard on my self for too long. I am still stuck on Day 1. I just keep saying the mantra over and over. THANK YOU!!!!
    When I originally read the post I thought I am strong enough to be a mother, and I wife! I take care of my household. Make sure that the laundry is done for my husband and two kids (14yrs and 17yrs). Make sure that we have supper every night and that the kids have breakfast and lunch every morning. I know that they are old enough to do it themselves but I don’t like their food choices so I take the extra 1/2 hr a day. I also make sure that I have time to work out and take some time for myself. Sometimes it is a juggling act, but when you get it down to a schedule. It is not so bad! 🙂 I am proud of that.

  49. Jenn says:

    I am strong enough to deadlift 225 lbs, and I am proud of that.

    Physical strength: last week I benched 110 lbs x 3, breaking through a two month long plateau
    Mental strength: last year I took a huge risk and left my well-paying, stable job to go work for my fiancee’s business. It was extremely stressful but I haven’t regretted my decision yet!
    Emotional strength: to be the “rock” in my relationship with my fiancee


  50. Janel says:

    I’m strong enough to eliminate dairy from my diet (even though I grew up on a dairy farm!) because it effects my mood. Now I’m much happier and cheerful, being kinder to my husband, more patient with our daughter and making our home atmosphere much more pleasant. I’m more confident too, knowing my emotions are not taking over my life.

  51. Bree Taylor says:

    I am strong enough to be myself. And I’m proud of that. I am strong enough to say goodbye to negative influences. I am strong enough to deadlift 200 pounds. I am strong enough to stand up for myself. I am strong enough NOT to allow others’ opinions to matter.

    I am strong enough to say thank you and I love you to Molly, who is helping make such an enormous difference in everyone’s lives. 🙂

  52. Laura says:

    I am strong enough to hike 13 miles down and out of the Grand Canyon for Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I am proud of that
    I am strong enough to admit that I have a disease and need to attend Overeaters Anonymous to help overcome this illness. I am a compulsive eater, exerciser, and use self hatred as a motivator. I am not afraid to admit I have this problem, nor am I afraid to seek help. And I am proud of that.
    I am strong enough to stand up to life storms, like my grandmother’s sudden Alzheimer’s and broken family relationships. I am strong enough to allow myself to show weakness rather than hide it, and strong enough to keep moving forward through these storms, knowing that I will come out of them stronger, wiser, and healthier. And I am proud of that

  53. Joanne says:

    I am strong enough to be the mom of a daughter with a pacemaker and a son with crohns disease. I have survived my father walking away from us at 13 and then learning he died a month after it happened. I am strong enough to survive a house fire were I lost everything , and dating violence, and a foreclosure and I am very happy with life. I am strong enough to do p90x when I am over the age of 50 and have a pacemaker and serious eye disease that may lead to blindness. Thanks Molly for a great challenge

  54. I am physically strong enough to hold a plank for 5 consecutive minutes. I am mentally strong enough to learn things that help me to be more self sufficient…changing my own oil, doing my own taxes, etc. I am emotionally strong enough to endure a horrible divorce (and the mental and emotional abuse that preceded it) and become a stronger and more independent woman in the years that have followed.

  55. I’m strong enough to survive the death of my 23-year-old son and turn my loss into help for others suffering the loss of loved ones and dealing with addiction by writing an honest blog and being open about my grief process. I’m strong enough to take care of my daughter’s three children ages 1,3, and 4 five days a week, to take them to gymnastics and church. I’m strong enough to do back to back PiYo and Zumba classes when I can manage an evening free from my beautiful granddaughters. I’m strong enough to take care of a boarding kennel full of dogs, to walk them, mediate their disputes, help the rescue dogs recover, and groom dogs who aren’t happy about the plan. I’m strong enough to do the physical work of caring for my lawn, remodeling my kitchen, tending my garden. I’m strong enough to hike through the woods for the miles and scale rock embankments and consider that a good time. I’m strong and I love my body because of that. #LYBC

  56. Heather says:

    I am strong because my body is strong. Strong enough to play soccer, run, give birth twice and lift heavy things. I am physically strong to qualify and run the New York and Boston marathons, training for the first while just having a baby and pushing him in the stroller for almost all my runs. I am strong enough mentally because I have let myself talk myself out of working out regularly for the last three years (new position, older kids) realizing that I have to let me husband help me. He now gets the kids ready for school two or three times a week so that I can lift before going to work. I am also trying to be strong mentally and physically when I run knowing that it’s ok to not be as fast as I was and to be satisfied with my progress now. I am strong emotionally because I am learning to trust and believe in God and know that whatever troubles I am facing he will always help me guiding me and showing me the way.

  57. Lynn says:

    I had this all typed and it has disappeared. If it appears somewhere else, I am sorry for the repeat.

    So, I have followed your 28 day challenge from the first day but have not posted anything because this is a real hard thing for me. I have made a great number of changes in my life over the past years but still I am not comfortable in my own skin. One thing that does help is stepping outside of that comfort zone…which is what I did today.

    You see, I did my first ever Polar Plunge today. It was an event to raise money for Special Olympics. Everyone there was part of a team….except me. I was solo (husband was with for moral support but not plunging). It was hard to watch team after team going out there together…supporting each other as they jumped in the frigid water together. When I got to the line, I told them it was just me…a team of one. The announcer embraced it and got the crowd cheering for me…and in I went.

    I realized that I am strong because I am choosing to step out of my comfort zone. I am allowing people to cheer me on. I am accepting encouragement from others. It may not seem like a lot but compared to where I was just a few years ago, it still amazes me. It even brought me to tears as I drove home.

  58. Pami says:

    I am strong enough to love unconditionally. When I lost my baby who had only been a part of me for 10 weeks, I was so devastated. But my Husband helped me realize that my capacity to grieve mirrored my capacity to love – and that is a beautiful thing and something to be proud of. I loved wholly, completely and instantly when I found out I was pregnant. I am strong enough to get through this time while my body re-sets itself and am strong enough to have the patience to let my weakness grow back to strength. I miss being able to do a body-weight dead lift, but am strong enough to know that I will be able to do it again someday soon. Two steps forward, one step back. And for now, I am happy to know that I am strong enough to do full, chest to floor, unassisted push ups (something I couldn’t do a year ago!)

    I am strong enough to learn to play the piano at this age, starting from scratch, brushing the cobwebs out of my brain, taking my adult learning-curve seriously, and writing all the exams along with children 30 years younger than me and not be too embarrassed by it 😉

  59. Julia G says:

    I was strong enough to endure my break up with my first love, and still look forward to falling in love again. I am proud of that.

    I am strong enough to run a mile and do ten push ups. I am proud of that.

    I am strong enough to wake up every day and give my body the calories it needs to recover from my anorexia. I am proud of that.

  60. DL says:

    I have been thinking about Day 3 for a while now. It may sound very strange to someone else, but I am strong enough to endure a life of different hardships on an ongoing basis,am thankful for lots of it as it made who I am today. Now as I approach 60 I am also physically stronger than I realized from lifting weights for years just because I enjoy it. I admired others who could handle difficulties so well, but now that I look back over my own years, I should give myself some credit as well.

  61. Maureen says:

    My mantra for today:
    I’m strong enough to bench press 55 lbs and run/walk 5.5 miles which is the most I’ve ever been able to do and I’m proud of it!
    I’m strong enough to know when to hold my tongue when angry and all I want to do is hurt the other person like they’ve hurt me and I’m proud of it!
    I’m strong enough to accept that no matter how much we would like to have more children that we may only be blessed with just the one beautiful daughter that we have, and I’m proud of it!

    Thank you for this challenge! I started working out again in January and my whole goal was to lose weight and maybe feel better about myself. I hoped that by losing the weight that I had gained when I was pregnant with my daughter (who is almost 6), the birth control shots, and the emotional eating after my husband lost his job, our failed attempts at having a second child, and having to live with my parents because of financial reasons; that we would finally be successful at having a second child and that I would be happy with who I am. I’ve held onto for almost 5 years now the notion that I was flawed and unworthy because of my weight and failure to get pregnant again that I now realize that those were 5 years wasted hating myself and not LIVING MY LIFE TO THE FULLEST!!! Starting today I workout not with losing weight as my sole mission but so that I can become stronger! I want to be a good role model for my daughter so that she doesn’t grow up feeling that if she was only taller, thinner, prettier than she would be perfect. I now understand what my husband said to me when we found out that I was pregnant with our daughter. He told me that no matter how much weight I gained and whether or not I was able to get back down to my original weight that I was still the most beautiful woman to him. I’m strong enough now to see what he means and appreciate it! Now my mission in life is to pass that on to my daughter. I don’t want her to go through the feelings of unworthiness that I have gone through for most of my life. I’m sorry this might sound like I’m rambling but I’m sitting at my desk trying not to cry over the time I’ve lost and looking forward to the new life that is ahead of me. Keep up your good work!

  62. Amy says:

    I am strong enough to take risks, like moving to a new city for a new job! First day was today. I am proud of that!

    I am strong enough to say “yes” to being single, because I haven’t found the right person. I am proud of that!

    I am strong enough to carry my mountain bike up two flights of stairs and make it look easy. I am proud of that!

    Thank you for this challenge!!

  63. Kate says:

    I am strong enough to overcome an debilitating illness and be able to do a headstand – I am proud of that
    I am strong enough to be on my own – alot – I am proud of that
    I am strong enough to let my children go and be people in their own right – I am proud of that

  64. Michelle says:

    Just started this challenge yesterday and I love it 🙂 One thing I learned today… it’s probably best to do it at home and not on your break at work since some of them get the tears flowing! (the good kind, of course)

    I am strong enough to stand up for myself and I am proud of it.

    I am strong enough to successfully perform (a few) yoga positions as a beginner. This also relates to my action step from yesterday as I want to practice yoga more and get a fluid routine down.

    I am strong enough to get through my grandmother’s sudden death, remind myself of the great memories we made, and remember her everyday. This was really the first death of someone close that I have experienced and even though it was two years ago I still find it pretty difficult.

    I am strong enough to relax my mind and body and take a deep breathe when I am stressed out or overwhelmed. I am a huge worrywart and stress myself out over the smallest things that don’t even matter. I’ve been really working on this and I know I can do it.

    Thank you for this 🙂

  65. Sarah says:

    I am strong enough to do a real & unassisted pull-up. I am strong enough to move on from hard times in my past, and make my present better and brighter. I am strong enough to bite my tongue and realize we’re all in this together (well, I’ve been working on it anyway).

  66. Linsey says:

    1. physical: I’m strong enough to do a 250# DL, and 7 unassisted pull-ups
    2. mental: I’m strong enough to earn my phd (er, this also involves tons of emotional strength.) I’m strong enough to hold my tongue with my stepmom, even when she pisses me off, even when she’s wrong, because I recognize that the strife isn’t often worth it.
    3. emotional: I’m strong enough to recognize that a 3.5 year relationship–in which he completely spoiled me– wasn’t making me happy enough to last the rest of my life.
    4. physical/mental/emotional: I’m strong enough to beat cancer =)

  67. Crystal says:

    I am strong enough to hold a handstand for one minute, and a plank for four!
    I am strong enough to know my limitations, seek help when needed and stay away from temptations as needed too.
    I am strong enough to forgive easily.

  68. Grace says:

    Am loving the strength-love of today’s challenge!

    Physically, I am strong enough to smash through Grit classes, and I am proud of that.
    Mentally, I am strong enough to recognise when I slip into old disordered thinking patterns about food and exercise and consequently do not allow them to control my actions, and I am proud of that.
    Emotionally, I am strong enough to find my own source of happiness within myself and thrive, regardless of whether I am in a relationship or single, and I am proud of that.

  69. Catherine says:

    I am strong enough to deadlift 175 pounds and leg-press 475 pounds and I am proud of that!
    I am strong enough to admit when I am wrong and apologize, and I am proud of that.
    I am proud of being able to find my own center of peace and happiness, regardless of what bad things may have happened in the past.

  70. I’m strong enough to realize everything I know was built on the shoulders of giants. Ego has no place in the service of others. Great challenge Molly. I will be sending women to your site for sure.

  71. Tina says:

    I’m a bit late to the party. A friend suggested I start reading these last night…so I did. I have to confess, up until this post, this challenge has been hard for me. But…this one was super encouraging to me personally and has given me fresh hope…and excitement about continuing. I even blogged about it. 🙂 http://perchancetohope.blogspot.com/2014/04/strong-enough.html

  72. Sweet Bee says:

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that your 28 day challenge has inspired a tiny movement among my facebook friends and myself. I decided to write a blog post of my own (http://www.sweetbeehive.com/blog/keepin-it-real)talking about how we all struggle with being self conscious and I mentioned your challenge with a link in there a few times. In order to write the post, I asked all my facebook friends to give me one negative word they’d use to describe themselves and then they had to give me one positive word. Many people answered and it was beautiful to see my friends all opening up with each other like that. There was encouragement and uplifting words spoken among everyone; it was just a really beautiful experience. Thank you for your inspiration. I’m currently on day 3 and I’m loving it so far!

  73. Claude Nathalie says:

    Im strong enough to endure a divorce, cross the oceans to go back home in Europe eventhough I still love my husband very much. I have 3 kids from a first marriage and they NEED their real dad next to them, so i made the sacrifice to let my ego on the side for the sake of my children. It is hard. I am not proud of it at all, im working on it. It will take years to heal and recover but at least i was trying to be a good person for my kids and their beloved dad.

  74. Emily says:

    I work at a gym so when I thought about your example of changing the water jug, my first thought immediately after the “yes, I am strong enough to do that”, was a resounding “but lots of people are” and then it hit me: I’m constantly diminishing my happiness and my accomplishments by comparing them to others. I work at a freaking gym so there are always going to be people who are stronger than me (or leaner or faster). I haven’t given birth yet but my boyfriend and I are starting to talk about it and I don’t want to push that experience under the rug with a well yeah but MILLIONS of women have done that too. I don’t want to feed that energy to my beautiful, one-of-a-kind children either. 

    So my strength today comes from being genuinely happy for my own successes. Being proud of myself for all that I have accomplished and having the strength to keep going because there are so many more things I would like to do in this life. 

  75. Becky says:

    I’m strong enough to play vigorously with my little ones without getting exhausted. I’m strong enough to have the focus and patience to dig myself out of my lifelong pit of obesity to become a fit and active person with a mindset of food as fuel instead of an emotional bandaid for all of my struggles – 17 pounds down so far and adding muscle! I’m strong enough to use a calorie counting app for weight management to be an encourager of healthy habits (nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental) and a leader by example through community posts of my personal experiences and messages to users in need of support to help others overcome their health and fitness hurdles one day at a time.

    I’m currently dealing with my first training injury, so this couldn’t have come at a better time, because I have felt very weak for what I can’t do. I’d say another way I’ve become strong is learning to rest when I need it. 🙂 Thank you for this wonderful challenge and the beautiful transparency in the comments!

  76. Lisa says:

    I am strong enough to complete my BS while working full time, and I am proud of that.
    I am strong enough to change the water jug at work, and I am proud of that.
    I am strong enough to stop being an enabler and still give appropriate support to my family in a loving way, and I am proud of that.

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