photo (54)

 

(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 5 of the Love Your Body Challenge and it seemed to be a tough one for most people.  Yesterday was the first day that we really focused on anything about our physical appearance and I could tell that it wasn’t easy for many of you.  This makes sense considering that a lot of you are doing this challenge because of how you feel about your physical appearance, but it was still tough to read comments like,

“I’m really struggling to find something that I like about my outside appearance.”

“I know I have a kind heart, but I’m not sure what my most beautiful outer feature is.  I’m not sure I have one.”

Heartbreaking.

BUT, that is what this challenge is about, and hopefully this will improve over the next 22 days.  Annnnd hopefully you’re already noticing things like: how much more positive your thoughts are, how you have an increased desire to be kinder to others, and how you find yourself in an overall better mood.

If I were you, I would record these positive thoughts and feelings in something like a Positivity Journal.  Positivity Journals are simply ways to collect positive information that makes you happy.  You can write down positive compliments from others, good thoughts you had about yourself that day, a kind act that you performed for someone else that made you feel good, or something nice that someone did for you… whatever makes you smile! There are no rules or right ways to keep one other than this: it should make you happy when you read it.  Easy enough, right?

So back to yesterday — one thing that I thought was so cool was  how many of you who really have a deep desire to positively affect the lives of those around you.  This desire seems to be sorely lacking in so many, and the fact that so many of you want to do this made me smile!

Yesterday I discussed how I feel most beautiful when my boyfriend can’t take his eyes off of me.  I felt beautiful on my own accord at other times in my life, but this man takes it to a whole new level. And the nice part is that it’s not just when I’m dressed up.  It’s after a workout, first thing in the morning when my eyes are barely open, or after a 13 hour car ride to Nebraska.  (OK, so he also told me that I stunk and needed a shower after that car ride — but he still told me I was beautiful!)

Yesterday I also discussed how my eyes are my most beautiful outward feature, but I still struggle to love them as much when they’re natural as when they’re “made up.”  We are ALL a work in progress, remember?

As for my most beautiful inward feature, I have to say it’s my desire to help others.  I can’t even explain how moved I am by each and every one of your all’s stories.  I wish I could respond to them all, but considering I’m running on almost no sleep right now, I have to be kind to myself and prioritize that.  Please know, however, that I am reading each and every comment and message you send. So please… keep commenting!

As for today’s reason to love your body… let’s go!

Reason #6 To Love Your Body

6. Because it’s served you well.

This reason isn’t a deeply emotional one for me, but more of a pretty simple fact.  One that I recognized and just thought,

“Huh. Well I guess you’re right.  It has served me pretty darn well over the years.”

We take our bodies for granted all the time.  We don’t give our body credit for all of the amazing things that it can do, from lift heavy things, to create human life, to carry our ungrateful a$$es around all day.

Seriously.  For most of us, if we think back to how our bodies have served us throughout our lifetime, I think the general consensus would be that it’s been pretty good.  For the most part, our bodies allow us to walk, skip, run, jump, play sports, learn math, play the flute, fall in love, do a plank, catch a ball, go for a swim, hike a mountain, nurse our babies, watch a sunset, surf in the ocean, and much, much more.

Of course there’s no doubt that some of you have struggled with some of those things, and that’s hard.  But spending time focusing on what your body can’t do will just make you miserable and engage in self-loathing.  So focus on what it can do.  Focus on all of the ways that your body has served you, and all of the things it allows you to do at the drop of a hat, simply because you want to.

Despite battling back issues for the last 2 years, my body does pretty much whatever I ask of it.

Despite battling back issues for the last 2 years, my body does pretty much whatever I ask of it.


Mantra:
 ”I love my body.  It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s served me well and it deserves love and compassion.”

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


Action Step:
  Take 5 minutes and write down a list of all of the things that you love that your body allows you to do .  They can be as small as baking a cake, as large as climbing a mountain, and everywhere in between.  Write them down, and for each one, consider how you would feel if you couldn’t do that thing.  Sit with that feeling for about 5 seconds, and then focus on the fact that you can.  Allow yourself to be consumed with gratitude.

Here’s my list:

Do a Turkish Getup
Play with my nephew
Demo exercises and coach my clients
Hike a small mountain
Put this challenge together
Speak and coach at Train Like A Girl 2
Help care for my Gama who had a stroke
Do 9 neutral grip pull-ups
Have deep empathy for each of your stories
Have gratitude for each of your stories
Do a pretty rockin’ split leap
Dance
Play on the rings at Venice Beach
Go for a walk in the sunshine
Meditate

Well everyone, that’s it for today.  I hope you have a fantastic rest of the weekend, and I hope you check back Monday for more.

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 5 HERE

FIND DAY 7 HERE

22 Responses to Love Your Body Challenge – Day 6

  1. Jess says:

    So far, today’s challenge is my favorite. The longer my list got, the more I found myself smiling. It’s amazing how we take the little things for granted, like being able to take care of oneself. At the same time, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the big things like being able to deadlift 300 pounds, that doesn’t just happen without hard work!

  2. Joanne says:

    When I was a young girl I was told I couldn’t run and quite frankly I didn’t much feel like it because I had a problem with my heart. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was told I could lose her, I could die, or she could after she was born. At 4 she got a pacemaker and a new lease on life. I received mine as a Christmas present when I turned 45. Shortly after I found out I have eye disease and can lose my eyesight. So I am so very grateful and awed at all the amazing things my body and my daughter’s can do. She played soccer and swam and no one knew. Now she runs and is a gym rat and is in college. I did two rounds of p90x, and am a avid walker. What ever is wrong with your body you so have to be in awe of all the good stuff it can do. You have to cherish every moment

  3. Cheryl Moore says:

    Man this is a hard one for me, I love my body for what it can do as I am always amazed by that. What I struggle with is accepting it not to be 100% perfect for what I think it should be. During this challenge I commit to myself that I will redefine what is perfect 100% to ME!

    Cheryl Moore

  4. Heather says:

    Wow!! When you turn the focus to what your body can do there’s definitely an uplifting inspiring happy feeling dancing around in my head. I have a smile on my face because my body has been great to me. It has allowed me to do everything I have ever set my mind too! (Although I’m needing a second opportunity to make it across the funky monkey challenge of the tough mudder this fall) I am so proud of my body, especially where it has been and what it continues to do! It is a great machine! Thank you for this day! I am truly inspired by this!

  5. Liz says:

    ”I love my body. It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s SERVES me well and it deserves love and compassion.” I changed it to serves from served, because Im not dead yet!!! (smiley face goes here)

    Im ALIVE!! (for real, I think we forget that just typing here–that is the first)

    “Take 5 minutes and write down a list of all of the things that you love that your body allows you to do”
    swim
    teach others swimming
    Olympic Lifts with good form
    Lifting more weight progressively more that I thought I could–including pull ups
    playing on play ground equipment like Im 10yrs old
    yoga
    dance however I want
    jump on a trampoline
    slackling
    perpetually curious with moving in general
    but also the ability to sit for long stretches to study
    my orgasms are pleasurable
    I have a rockin digestive system

  6. Heather@YSP says:

    On day 5 I decided the challenge just wasn’t worth my time. It wouldn’t work. It was too hard. It was too easy. It was self-indulgent. I deleted the journal I’d started, got rid of the document where I’d dutifully tracked each day’s mantra and action steps. I was having a hard time filling in the blanks and I had yet to say my mantras at bedtime even once. I’d probably only said them during the action steps on one day. So I wasn’t doing them “right” anyway. And then day 6 arrived in my inbox. I opened the email anyway. I clicked the link. I skimmed the post. I read the prompt. The prompt.

    “Reason #6 To Love Your Body: Because it’s served you well.”

    Betrayal. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my body. It’s small, unfair things: it’s not supposed to look this way, it shouldn’t gain weight so easily, it makes me uncomfortable, my colon sucks and my compartment syndrome keeps me from running. I know all of those things aren’t something I can blame my body for. In fact many would be eased if I loved my body more. But it’s big things too. It’s a baby lost at twenty weeks because my cervix didn’t feel like cooperating, and it couldn’t even malfunction in a normal way but insisted on doing so in such an uncommon manner that the doctors couldn’t see it coming. I’m not gonna lie, I blame it for that and then because on some level I’ve internalized the connection steen my body and myself, I blame myself for that loss. Just sometimes, when it gets dark inside.

    So maybe I need this challenge more than ever. Here’s my list. My body:

    1. Walked me down the aisle at my wedding.
    2. Crossed the finish line at a Warrior Dash.
    3. Held a baby we’d already said goodbye to.
    4. Carried a second pregnancy through five months of bedrest.
    5. Gave birth to a happy, healthy, perfect little girl.
    6. Fed that little girl for six months all on its own.
    7. Held that little girl through sickness, naps, zoo trips, nights of coughing, and mornings of cuddling.
    8. Embraced so many beloved friends and family.
    9. Learned to do yoga: planks, forearm and handstands, push-ups, and upward bow.
    10. Survived two surgeries.
    11. Supported and nourished a mid capable of a bachelors degree with honors.
    12. Carries me to and from work every day.
    13. Allows me to hike, walk the museums, and wander new cities.
    14. Allows me to see, hear, smell, and touch the world around me, to discover all sorts of delights.
    15. Walks up and down 15+ flights of stairs on every work day, and at least six of them every morning to walk the dog.
    16. Keeps my daughter feeling loved with warm embraces and sniffly cuddles.
    17. Lets me kiss my incredible husband.
    18. Highlights the incredible DNA I carry from my mother and my father, showing off features that carry on my bloodline.
    19. Plays host to a head full of wild, uncontrollable hair.
    20. Is home to a beautiful pair of eyes in a delightfully variable color.

    So yes, it’s pretty amazing. And it deserves so much love and support. A body this strong, this capable, this full of potential for joy and laughter and knowledge and love… It’s time I give it the respect it needs to really come alive, to carry me through he best years of my life with all of its beautiful potential fully realized.

    Now pardon me while I cry softly on an airplane for a while. This one brought out ALL THE FEELS.

    • RV says:

      Woohoo!! You have my love and respect for being so honest. You go, girl. Lots of love from Scotland xx

    • Val says:

      This made me cry. I too feel betrayed by my body for letting me have autoimmune disease rosacea and acne. Yet it is marvelous too, carrying two healthy babies, letting me lift, play, walk and dance. I just realised how much I need this challenge too!

  7. Kat says:

    To understand, why my body is such a miracle and everything it does is, one has to understand, how it always wasn´t that way. I was born with a mild case of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I had huge trouble with anything physical as a kid, not only was I very clumsy, I was very prone to injuries and when I got injured it was pretty bad. I tried several sports and none worked, most harmed me. And at some point I just gave up. I always a very physical person and needed to move, but at some point, I just gave up sports. Fast forward a few years at the ripe old age of 23 I developed an extremely bad case of rheumathoid arthritis. It went so far that I couldn´t use my hands anymore, my feet were inflamed, my knees, my shoulders.. the only extremity joints not inflamed, were my hips and elbows. I was unable to brush my hair oder butter my bread. Unable to type. And worse, unable to dance. That may seem like a minor complaint in that situation, but no being able to properly walk, let alone dance and be it only in the privacy of my appartment was horror.
    Fast forward ten years to now. I am just coming out of another bad flare, cortisone did it´s thing. I am ok. But I am not content anymore, I am not content anymore to just be sick and leave it at that.
    I started a very strict diet to get the inflammation under control and lower the cortisone. I started to walk, I started to swim. Two weeks ago, I joined a gym.
    I want to get strong.
    It hurts like a bitch. There are parts of my body I barely have any muscles at all. I managed to sprrain the middle portion of my right foot. I have no idea how. Today I did a 45 minute water aerobics class. And man did she drive us. And then I walked home. A mile.
    I did this. My body did this. MY BODY DID THIS!
    I hurt like hell right now and my muscles are totally pouting on me. But my body did it.
    And it´s amazing!
    I love my body. It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s served me well, most of the time, and it deserves love and compassion.
    My body deserves that I eat the best diet possible to take good care of it. My body deserves that I train it and make it strong, to help it be the best possible body it can be.
    My body is a bitch, it´s a diva and sometimes it´s plain annoying, but it´s mine and it has served me well. It did it´s best, even when I forced it to go through things that were way beyond what it can take.
    This is my body. It´s beautiful and it serves me well (most of the time ;)) and it deserves the best I can give it.

  8. Nicole says:

    My body has served me well by allowing me to donate a kidney to my friend. I am strong and healthy and so, now, is my friend. I am blessed. My body rocks.

  9. Nancy Pinto says:

    My body allows me to Kickbox and CrossFit well, despite not starting either until after age 37.
    At 39, it recovered smoothly from a bilateral mastectomy, and did not get sick through 6 rounds of chemo. Six weeks after finishing chemo, I was back at the box.
    It allows me to carry heavy groceries and open jars.
    It allows me to dance with the energy of a 10-year-old.
    It allows me to travel by plane, boat and automobile without a problem.
    It allows me to go for long walks and short hikes.
    It allows me to jump and cheer for my favorite baseball teams.
    It has allowed me to do Improv without fainting from stage fright!
    It allows me to hug my husband, family and friends as much as possible.
    It allows me to get out of bed each morning, enjoy the view from my 11th floor living room window, drink coffee, pray, and keep planning.

  10. Jenn says:

    Today just might be my favorite day of the challenge so far! I have read your article from start to finish everyday but what I’ve loved the most is reading other women’s comments. You truly have created something amazing here and I’m feeling better than ever today. I don’t usually share my own stories on here but I think you all will appreciate this one. I thought it was awesome that turkish get ups were at the very top of your list for what your body allows you to do. I love them as well! I do TGU’s probably 3-4 times a month but I read this post right before heading to the gym so decided to crank some out today. I had my headphones in and after my first set of 3 I looked up and literally had 3 guys(two shot\disk throwers and one “meathead” type guy) standing around me saying “that looks like hell!” “What muscle does that even work?” and on and on. I told them they work just about every muscle and they’re a kickbutt exercise! We talked a little more about them and they then proceeded to compliment my pullups later. My favorite part about this was that I never heard the words “strong for a girl” They simply complimented my strength as a person, which makes it 100times better!I left the gym feeling like a total bada** and I have my body to thank for that. And you Molly for making me realize all this:) Thank you!

  11. DL says:

    ”I love my body. It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s served me well and it deserves love and compassion.” Obviously the list will be very long, so to save space I will just say. Thanks to my physical body and all you are, all you have been and will be in this life. Sometimes I have not been very good to you, or thankful for you. Today, I am changing that point of view. You are a strong, fit body that has endured cancer treatment, 13 surgeries and child bearing, etc. My body, you are amazing, thank you so much.

  12. Giselle says:

    Mantra: ”I love my body. It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s served me well and it deserves love and compassion.”
    My body allows me to do:
    -create movement
    -learn
    -express

  13. Emili says:

    Day 5 was a tough day. It derailed me a bit and here I am trying to catch up. I want to give my full attention to this because I deserve to get full attention on loving myself. If anyone should give me full attention, first and foremost it should be me. Back on track!

  14. Grace says:

    Man, once I got going on this … I couldn’t stop! It was pretty awesome. My body is pretty cool. Some of my favourites were…
    1. My body spent a childhood dancing and doing gymnastics, and still remembers a lot of its old tricks! My body can cartwheel and push up into a full bendback like nobody’s business.
    2. My body has allowed me to travel throughout Europe and explore the cities I spent my school years reading about and dreaming I would one day see in person.
    3. My body has allowed me to learn and perform the lead role of Jo March in the operatic adaptation of Little Women, which was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.
    And many more ;)

  15. I did today’s challenge on a beautiful Spring morning as I looked out the window to my backyard. I was suddenly aware that, besides actively DOING certain things well, my body can also SENSE. I can SEE the oranges and blossoms on my orange tree. I can SMELL them, too. I can HEAR the birds singing out their morning greeting from the trees. I can FEEL the embrace of my husband and children. I can TASTE yummy food! I typically focus on what I can accomplish. Now I’m going through my morning appreciating how my body can simply SENSE. Wow!

  16. Amy says:

    ”I love my body. It may not be 100% perfect, but it’s serves me well and it deserves love and compassion.”

    My body is amazing. It endured over 10 years of self abuse due to alcoholism, drug abuse, and two sucide attempts. It never quit on me. It survived and literally gave me the strength to continue life, recover, and get healthy. Thank you, body for percevering when mentally, I didn’t want to.

    Today I am sober, I eat healthy :-) and I exercise daily. I ran 5 miles on Friday, strength trained for 50 and rode my bike 14 miles on Saturday, and have a 7 mile run planned today. These are just some of the things I am thankful for.

    • Crystal says:

      That’s awesome! Way to go! I love your comments today and you actually thanking your body :)

  17. Crystal says:

    I love my body. It may not be 100% perfect, but it deserves love and compassion. My body can:
    -hold a handstand for a minute
    -do 2 unassisted REAL pullups
    -do double-butt kickers pretty easily
    -walk and move wherever I want it to – I’m not disabled unlike some less fortunate
    -make a beautiful baby
    -nurse that baby for 14 months even though I only produced 4 oz. of milk at a time
    -keep up while playing with little kids (who seem to have untapped energy resources!)
    -give awesome hugs
    -grown a beautiful head of curls
    -beat my husband’s HIIT endurance, but lovingly lose to his sprints
    -make love to that wonderful husband
    -be healthy most of the time – and heal itself!
    -serve others around me
    -cook deliciously healthy meals
    -wakeboard
    -swim
    -enjoy a good float down the river with a good beer

    Today has by far been my favorite. Maybe it’s a week now of thinking positively about my body, or maybe it’s spring in the air, but today I could seriously list a ton of cool things my body can do and be proud of all them. Thank you for challenging me to feel and see the good things my body can do.

  18. Kerry says:

    Just out of curiousity – I am trying this out, but with my schedule I seem to start the challenges and then come back to them (thinking about them on and off) days later. I know any possitive thought and reflection is possitive – but do you think it’s still as effective? I am on Day 6 (6/17/2014) and I started 14 days ago. I’m going to continue, regardless, at my own pace. Just curious if anyone else found themselves moving slower and if they still reeped the same “self-love” benefits at completion :)

  19. B says:

    Molly,

    I know this is WAY after you facilitated this challenge; however, I recently was introduced to your website and am absolutely loving exploring your amazing contributions to the space. You authenticity, candor, vulnerability and brutal honesty is refreshing. You are single-handedly lifting the curtain on a multi-billion dollar “fitness” industry that does nothing more that continue to detach people from their bodies and shames them into believing they are fundamentally flawed. Good on you! You’re bravery is inspiring… This day, over the others so far, has really connected me to my body in a new way. THANK YOU!

    ———–

    My Body.

    My body has raced me down the soccer field and around a track. My body has dove for volleyballs and flipped in the air. My body has held a friend who is weeping and hugged my grandma in the moment before she passed on. My body has loved ferociously and with abandon. My body has survived broken hearts and learned to love again. My body has endured years of physical and emotional abuse because it didn’t look like the woman in the magazine. But it always knew (or at least hoped) I’d figure out, that it is perfect. As is. No matter what. My body is what I chose for this life, and it’s pretty damned incredible. My body is naturally athletic and has excelled at almost anything I’ve asked it to do and set my mind to. My body can be hard and ripped and it can be soft and feminine. My body has climbed Mt. St. Helens and learned to practice yoga. My body can quiet itself and get so wild that it accidentally head butts a man on the dance floor. My body is my beautifully strong vessel. My body earned me cum laude in college, and helped me to excel in my career as a savvy and compassionate young business woman. My body has been morphed and changed SO much and still remains honest and true to itself. It knows no other way. My body kisses and swings and does cartwheels (even at 28 years old). My body knows that life is good.

    -B

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