(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

Yesterday was Day 4 of the Love Your Body Challenge and it was beautiful.  We discussed how every single one of us is a miracle.  Our existence is not an accident, and we all have a purpose.  Simply knowing that makes me feel an incredible sense of responsibility to leave this world better than I found it. And clearly you all feel the same.  Here’s what a few of you had to say about your life’s purpose:

“My life has purpose and meaning and that purpose is to teach my daughter to love herself, know her worth, know she can do anything she puts her mind to.”

“My life has purpose and meaning, I exist to love God and to love others, and to offer support to students who learn differently or at a different pace than their peers.”

“My life’s purpose and meaning is to bring joy and optimism to the world.”

“My life has purpose and meaning, and that is to give glory to God.”

“My existence is a miracle. I am not here by accident. My life has purpose and meaning, and that purpose and meaning is to hold out my light and help others to find theirs. Especially those who have given up. I have grown through a neglectful and abusive shame-based childhood, through alcoholism and drug addiction, through blocking myself from joy and vulnerability to protect against further pain, of course using food to numb out. Now, I have been sober for 21 years, I am 50 years old and am learning to play for the first time in my life. I’m helping other people, just by being myself, to see that it is possible to grow through hard experiences, not just survive but actually grow and excel, and I am so glad I have the opportunity to keep living this amazing life. Every one of my difficult experiences in life was gift that I am now grateful for. I love when I have the chance to share that sentiment with others who are going through things too. The only thing that limits me is my own fear and I am learning slowly to loosen my grip on that and really live life fully.”

I swear every day of this challenge I think that your stories can’t get any more incredible, that I can’t possibly be brought to tears again… but every day I am.  I am feeling your pain, your heartbreak, your devastation, your utter hopelessness… and as I continue reading I start to feel your strength, determination, resilience, and ultimately, your triumphs.

You are all bright lights shining in a sea of darkness.  Even if you don’t feel like you are — even if your light is but a mere glimmer at this moment — your decision to make this commitment to yourself, to participate in something scary, and to allow yourself to be vulnerable… this shows that you’re different.

As you continue to learn and grow and evolve over the next 23 days, your light will only shine brighter.  And as Marianne Williamson says,

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Choosing to participate in this challenge doesn’t just change you.  You will change the world around you because you will be different.

As I said yesterday (and will likely say every day of the challenge), PLEASE if you have someone you think that might benefit from this challenge, have them join.  It’s never too late.  

My mantra yesterday was:

“My existence is a miracle.  I am not here by accident.  My life has purpose and meaning, and that purpose and meaning is help women discover what their best body looks and feels like, and to help them have grace and compassion for themselves.”

My action step was:

Remembering how my journey began.  I simply wanted to lose some weight and get in shape.  I didn’t know what that meant, but it sounded good.  Over the last 10 years I’ve fallen in love with everything nutrition and training related, but as I got deeper and deeper into the industry, and as my own body image issues and problems surfaced, (and as I got farther into my own therapy work) I felt an incredible responsibility to start helping women with theirs.  I wanted them to know that they are not alone, and that they are beautiful and worthy.

This challenge was an idea I had almost a year ago, but with a lot on my plate, it took a while to bring it to fruition.  Here it is.  And I am so proud.

And now, Day 5.

 

Reason #5 To Love Your Body

5. Because it’s beautiful.

Yes, you.  You are beautiful.  Not 20 lbs from now.  Or 2 clothing sizes from now.  Or the perfect spouse/house/job/salary from now.  Right now.  You are beautiful.

So why is it so hard for us to believe this?

Because the societal definition of “beauty” is consistently changing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

If you’re constantly trying to keep up with society’s definition of beauty, you will always fail.

The definition of beauty has changed drastically over the years...

The definition of beauty has changed drastically over the years…

But you know what kind of beauty never goes out of style?

Health

There’s a reason that we are attracted to traits like clear skin, and a nice smile, and a symmetrical face.  Those signify health to members of the opposite sex and increase the chance of having healthy offspring.  There’s also a reason that it’s called a “healthy glow.”  People who are healthy shine from the inside out.  And that’s always beautiful.

Kindness

How many times have you met a really conventionally attractive person (male or female), and the instant they open their mouth, their attractiveness goes out the window? Whether they are making fun of someone, spewing hatred, whatever… their physical attractiveness is almost impossible to see once you realize how nasty they are on the inside.  On the flip side of the coin, how often have you met someone that might not have caught your eye at first, but once you hear how warm and kind they are, their attractiveness grows and grows?

Now I’d be lying if I said that physical appearance doesn’t matter.  I like to feel attractive, and so does every other woman I know.

And you know what’s incredibly cool?  We ALL hit the genetic lottery in something.  Maybe you have thick, shiny hair, or straight, white teeth, or calves that kill in a pair of heels.  Whatever it is, we have something about us that is genetically elite, and it can feel really good to highlight that part of your body, and feel awesome about it.

And the stuff you don’t like?  Do what you can within reason if you’d like, otherwise, don’t sweat it.   Personally, I highlight my hair and try to get a little sun on my fair skin, but I don’t worry about my freckles, or stretch marks, or extremely fine hair.  I guess I could get lightening cream, and use lasers, and get hair extensions…but it’s not worth it to me, so I don’t mess with it.

Mantra: “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I ________.”
(fill in the blank… am kind to a stranger, make love to my spouse, light up a room with my smile, 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 feel most beautiful when my boyfriend can’t stop staring at me.  Sometimes it’s when I’m dressed up.  Sometimes it’s when I’m in workout clothes. Sometimes it’s first thing in the morning.  He makes me feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt.


Action Step:
  Write down the two things that you find to be most beautiful about yourself, one external example, and one internal example, and when you’re writing them down, really take yourself to that place of feeling beautiful.  Make sure you repeat your mantra during your action step.

Me?  I get a lot of compliments on my eyes, so I would say that that’s my most beautiful external feature.  But to be truthful I am still working on seeing their beauty when they’re not all “made up.” My most beautiful internal feature is my desire to help others lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

I see their beauty with makeup on, and I'm trying to see their beauty without it.

I see their beauty with makeup on, and I’m trying to see their beauty without it.

 

Checklist:

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!

FIND DAY 4 HERE

FIND DAY 6 HERE

35 Responses to Love Your Body Challenge – Day 5

  1. martmoiselle says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I talk about something I’m passionate about. Then I feel like I’m glowing, like there’s a light coming out of my soul – through my smile – to the people around me. Then, I feel AND LOOK like a miracle, what encourage others to follow their passions too.

  2. I LOVE this one Molly!
    - I feel most beautiful when people tell me that I inspired them
    - I think my most beautiful external feature is my eyes, but, like you, I also have a hard time seeing that when I have no make up on, but I am working on it :)
    - I think my most beautiful internal feature is my passion to help others discover their best self :)

  3. Brier Frasier says:

    “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I am so busy enjoying life that I forget to think about what I look like”

  4. Joanne says:

    I feel beautiful when I get great comments on my calf’s which makes me chuckle because the reason they are so great is because I have two big toes and three long ones which causes me to walk on my toes a lot flexing my calf’s .What I enjoy more is if someone tells me they loved the blog I wrote or the quote I made on facebook made them smile , making people happy is what I do best , and that gives me the greatest joy.

  5. Gwen says:

    Mantra for today: I am beautiful, on the inside and outside and I especially feel beautiful when I smile and laugh so the whole world laughs with me.

    Action step: the two things I find to be most beautiful about myself are my eyes and my ability to be empathetic, kind and friendly to others. I feel almost a euphoria inside when I am friendly to strangers and I feel like I have brightened their day.

  6. Kat says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I can make another person smile and lift their burden a little.
    What I find most beautiful about me are actually my calves, they’re long and slender and there hasn’t ever been a boot invented that didn’t fit on my legs :)

  7. Carol Strickland says:

    I am beautiful on the inside and outside and I especially feel beautiful when I listen to someone who needs my help and offer my support and encouragement. The two things I find to be most beautiful about myself are my intelligence and my insight about people.

  8. Libby says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and the outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I bellydance!

    What I find most beautiful about myself is the flare from my waist to my hips – even when curves aren’t “in”. I feel like I have great hips and love the lines they form, and what they mean to me – the feel of my husband’s hands on them, the weight of my child when I’m carrying them, and even the strength to dance and run and LIVE.

    Internally, I have a beautiful ability to give – of my time, efforts, skills, etc. Even when I’m stretched ridiculously thin in my own life I honestly enjoy helping others and the glow I get from knowing I’ve made someone else’s day a little better.

  9. Caitlin says:

    I am beautiful on the inside and outside, I feel especially beautiful when I am at work and in “the zone”. I can save a patient, support a.co worker and do what is right for all of our staff and patients. I may be wearing scrubs and running shoes….but I feel like a super model.

  10. Heather says:

    I am beautiful on the inside and out and feel especially beautiful when my two kids want to cuddle with me. I get lots of complements on my smile, but feel like I haven’t been smiling as much as I should. I feel beautiful on the inside because of my carefree personality and my ability to not let things bother me like I used to when I was younger. I feel beautiful on the inside when former students tell me I was a wonderful teacher.

  11. Patti says:

    Thanks for this, Molly!

    I feel beautiful when I’m wearing make-up and have my hair did. But as a Stay at Home Mom, that rarely happens! One day, my daughter saw me putting on make-up and said, “Why do you put that on, you’re covering up God’s handiwork.” I just keep reminding myself that I look the way I do on purpose and for a reason, and that helps a little!

    ~Patti

  12. Hilary says:

    “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I kill it at the gym.”

    I think my most beautiful feature is my hair. I wear it very short, which makes me unique. I love the attention that it generates and how it highlights my bone structure. I think that my capacity for empathy makes me beautiful on the inside. I am happy that I can find common ground with just about anyone. I think it’s beautiful that I can always see the beauty in others.

  13. Rachel says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I finish a challenging workout. With sweat on my face and stink in my clothes I know that I have put all the anxieties I have about my body out of my mind and accomplished something real. The glow of that achievement remains with me for the rest of the day…maybe that’s why I wait for hours before I shower some days!

    As my external example, I find my long and lean legs to be the most beautiful external part of me. Having recently acknowledged (not fully accepted though) that I have a short torso and will never see my abs the way I have wanted to, I know that I can rock a pair of heals and short skirt confidently.

    As my internal example, I find my empathy and ability to listen and understand what people truly want to be beautiful.

  14. I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I go dance at a concert.
    My most beautiful external feature are my eyes. They are dark and bright and convey a lot of emotions.
    My most beautiful internal feature is my desire to help youth grow and find acceptance.

  15. Alli says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I can genuinely help and reassure someone. Students at my work know they can come to me even when it doesn’t have anything to do with my department. Its a great feeling to know people come to you because they can count on you. Oh and I also love my red hair. It makes me stand out in the crowd!

  16. Krissy says:

    This one is going to be extremely difficult. With all I’m going through in my life right now. I can’t come up with anything off the top of my head. ..I will have to get back to you later. :(

    • DL says:

      Your not alone on this Krissy, I am struggling too and will have to think a while, and that is okay too.

  17. Jasmine says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside. I feel especially beautiful when I smile. When I’m laughing with friends or see something heart warming. You can’t think about bulimia and losing weight when those things take over.

    I also feel beautiful when I am covered in sweat with disheveled hair. Crazy right?

  18. Giselle says:

    “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I ________.”

    Externally: perceive someone is looking at me & smiles.
    Internally: can help someone with some issue that is bothering them.

    Not need to say much about these ones. It makes me feel beautiful & great on the inside.

  19. Jen says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I wear a skirt or dress and flat, AND after a killer run/workout. Both make me feel beautiful, strong and confident.
    For my action steps: My short hair makes me feel beautiful. I grew up with unruly curls (which I love), but I found my perfect haircut – a super short pixie cut – and I love it. And probably my arms. How great that I can think of multiple examples!
    My internal example: I feel beautiful when I can talk about my passion to end human trafficking and empower young women.

  20. Lily Bumstead says:

    I am beautiful on the inside and out, and I feel especially beautiful when I’m offering positive motivation to others, even though I don’t always give myself the same.

  21. Diane says:

    “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I sweat.” Completing a challenging cardio workout, a race, or a free weights session always makes me feel accomplished and confident. I can feel my skin glowing, my tight muscles and my body just radiating strength and capability.

    I feel beautiful inside when I am supporting and bringing joy to others, especially my husband. I never feel quite as sexy as I do when we are goofing off, laughing and enjoying being in each other’s company.

    My eyes make me feel beautiful. I’ve always enjoyed their particular shade of bright brown, with the darkest of blue rings around the iris. Although, my calves are starting to look mighty nice these days, too!

  22. Aicia McKinley says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I am with my fiance. He loves me and sees my beauty in ways and at times that I would never normally feel beautiful on my own. My external aspect that I find the most beautiful are my muscles. I feel absolutley sexy when I am in a top that shows off my traps or shoulders. Internally I think that my most beautiful feature is my passion and my new found positive attitude I have for life. :)

  23. Liz says:

    Molly, I just have to say you are beautiful! Your hair is just gorgeous and you have a great bone structure.
    For mine I will say I am beautiful inside and out, and I feel especially beautiful when I let my hair go naturally curly. I also love my arms and collarbones.

  24. Liz says:

    “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I ________.” Here my son say “Mommy I love you.”

    Write down the two things that you find to be most beautiful about yourself, one external example, and one internal example.

    Right now the beautiful thing about my external self to me are my callouses that I have developed from lifting weights more seriously in the past 9 months. I look down at them, try not pick them and realize they are there because of consistent hard work. And I have kid-size hands to boot.

    My beautiful internal example is helping others feel comfortable with their spiritual journey–no condemning, just acceptance to where they are.

  25. Danae says:

    “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I wake up in the morning after I sleep in and see my wonderful boyfriend!”

    My most beautiful feature would be my hair – it is long, thick, straight, and dark brown.
    My most beautiful internal feature might be my empathy or kindness.

  26. Bree Taylor says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I make my kids smile.
    My most beautiful external feature is my hair — long, dark brown, and naturally very very curly.
    My most beautiful internal feature is that I never give up on my friends.

    blogging about my journey with the challenge…

    http://breezeymommy.blogspot.com/2014/03/because-its-beautiful.html

  27. DL says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I ?????? You know, I am seriously stuck on this one. To be honest, my daughter told me that I am very hard on my self and always have been. I was surprised at that comment, but now I can see it because I can’t answer this question right now. This obviously needs my special attention and work right now.

  28. Chelsea says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and the outside. I feel most beautiful when talking about my passions: the arts, fitness and nutrition. My most beautiful external features are my huge, crooked smile and green eyes that nobody expects. Internally, my most beautiful feature is my desire to help other people shine and to make people LAUGH!! :)

  29. I feel especially beautiful when I look into the eyes of my Beloved, Jesus. He melts my heart to know His gaze, and I feel stunningly beautiful when He speaks to my heart of the beauty He sees in me. Externally, my eyes and my smile are my most beautiful features. Internally, it’s my heart that truly cares for people and desires the best for them.

  30. Grace says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and the outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I sing. I think my most beautiful external feature is my eyes — they’re big and expressive, and people constantly compliment me on their colour (although they don’t always agree what it is … I think they’re blue, but I’ve been told that they’re green and grey as well!) My most beautiful internal feature is my open-heartedness and genuine wish to always believe the best about people.

  31. Sweet Bee says:

    I am beautiful on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I tell a stranger they look nice, or I like their eyes, hair, jewelry, etc.

    1-My smile is beautiful especially along with my eyes
    2-I am very kindhearted and sweet to my core

    I’m very much enjoying this challenge. This truly is a tough journey for me, and I’m sure for anybody. I just want to feel comfortable and happy in my body. I want to be excited when I get dressed, like I’m playing dress-up. I find myself all too often dreading getting dressed because it’s very hard to fit into things that I actually would like to wear. I never had that problem until recent years. It’s hard to get used to..

  32. Shannon says:

    I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I catch my partner admiring me when I am not looking at him.
    My best external feature is my smile. I am always told my smile is beautiful and I love smiling and people who make me smile
    My best internal feature is that I care a lot about people. People I have just met, old friends and family, the people I work with and the teams I support.

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