As a young girl, I would have hated this picture.  Now I love it.

 

(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Welcome to Day 18 of the Love Your Body Challenge!  Hard to believe we are almost 2/3 of the way through the challenge.  I’ve gotten so much positive feedback from you all about how your lives have changed since Day 1, it’s so rewarding and exciting for me.  So thank you for participating!

Yesterday’s reason to love your body was:

“Because it’s connects me to an amazing groups of individuals – women.”

I discussed how we all search for community and belonging, and how the bond we share as women is absolutely incredible and unmatched.  Most of you agreed. Here was one beautiful contribution:

“I have the most amazing women in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. Each one teaches me unique things about myself and who I want to be as a person.

My mom teaches me how to be calm, patient, completely selfless and forgiving.
My sister teaches me how to relax and take life a little slower.
My best friends teach me how to laugh and focus on what is truly important in life.

I’m thankful for amazing family I married into also.

My mother-in-law is generous beyond words and my sister-in-law has helped me find the fit girl inside.

Both have helped me find the girly girl inside too. Yeah, this body of mine has certainly connected me with some incredible women, and I am thankful that this challenge has helped me focus on that and not take it for granted.” – Wendy

I love it when I can tell that a reason really resonates with someone.  Thank you for sending these in, and keep them coming!  You never know… I might just feature your comment!

And now, Day 18.

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(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Welcome to Day 17 of the Love Your Body Challenge!  I am so glad you’re here.  Yesterday was Day 16 and the reason to love your body was:

“Because it looks amazing in a dress and heels.”

Hopefully you recognized that the “dress and heels” is simply filler for “whatever makes you feel sexy and confident.”  We talked about how feeling confident about your outer appearance contributes to feeling amazing on the inside as well. Here’s what a couple of you had to say:

“For so long I wore baggy clothes because I was comfortable and they hid my curves, and I thought I looked thin. Which really wasn’t the case.  Then about 2 years ago I decided that I would wear clothes that fit my body, show off the effort and time I put into creating a more muscular, yet feminine build. 

I was so uncomfortable at first, I didn’t like what I saw. It’s been an uphill battle for me. It eventually became easier to wear the tighter clothes. Because now when I wear baggy clothes I am uncomfortable.  My new favorite pieces are more form fitting or pieces that show off my legs. And I always wear some cool boots or shoes. 

THANKS for bringing this issue to light, I don’t want my awesome nieces to struggle with this, because it can be very painful and unproductive.” – Maria

“I love wearing my tank workout top that shows off my strong shoulders & arms. As I continue to make changes in becoming healthier & fitter my arms & shoulders always seem to develop & change first. I find myself standing up straighter & checking out the different lines & cuts developing in my reflection. I feel strong. I feel unstoppable.” – Sandy

These stories are so awesome to read.  Thank you for sending them in!  And now, Day 17.

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Molly and Alli

(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

Hiii!  Welcome to Day 16 of the Love Your Body Challenge!  Yesterday was, obviously, Day 15 and the the reason to love your body was,

“Because it has put up with all of my antics and it still thrives.”

I was super open about how I’ve abused my body in the past, and many of you reached out with your own stores.  Here is one of my favorites:

“My body has put up with all of my antics and it still thrives. And for that, it deserves love.”

My body has been through a lot and keeps on ticking. I remember going on “low carb” diets when I was 9 or 10 and being too weak to do anything, holding in a ton of stress as a kid, being a perfectionist, keeping myself so task oriented when it came to exercise that I never really learned how to just play.

I have put my body through decades of constant, negative self-talk, poisoned myself with excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs, binged on junk food, or when I was trying to “do better” I stayed on cardio machines and ate “low fat” diets. Then I did excessive amounts of HIIT to try to work out in what I thought was a healthy way, only to find out that even though I lost 50 pounds I burned out my adrenal system and damaged my metabolism.

Through all of that, my body has stayed healthy, with no surgeries, major diseases or long lasting problems. It has healed itself from alcoholism and addiction to drugs, food, excess of every kind and in particular is now healing itself from all of that negative self-talk. It carries me faithfully through life and allows me to share myself with others, to help others and to have fun and love.

I actually wish I could be half as loyal as my body has been to me. I’m pretty lucky.”

So much to be grateful for!  And now, Day 16.

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(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Hi everyone!  Welcome to Day 15 of the Love Your Body Challenge.  I really hope you enjoyed  Day 14 of the Love Your Body Challenge yesterday.  The reason to love your body was,

“Because I’m not just, “strong for a girl.”  I am just plain STRONG.”

We discussed how “qualifying” our strengths tries to set the bar lower for us due to age, gender, size, or marital/family status.  And that’s garbage.  Here’s what you had to say:

“’You’re pretty fit for a bigger girl.’  That’s something I’ve heard from others, as well as tell myself. You know what though? I’ve worked out with friends who most would naturally consider “fit” and pretty much ran circles around them when it came to strength and endurance. I am passionate about exercise and I walk, run, hike, kayak, bike, swim, do yoga, do Zumba, erg, elliptical, plank, you name it. I am fit. Period.”

“I find that I almost put words in peoples mouth when they compliment me, or act shocked at my completing a race or triathlon. I assume they are questioning those things because I am not exactly small and lean. I have said, “I know… even a big girl can do it,” or, “According to my Dr. I am as healthy as humanly possible, even big girls can be healthy.”

I will be changing my mind set and assume they are shocked at those things because they think its crazy and awesome, not because they have doubt in their mind. Even if they do have the shock for negative reasons, it doesn’t matter what they think, I will be proud, and know I am a freakin rockstar.”

I love reading about these revelations and positive mindset changes in you all!  Yes, you are ALL freakin’ rockstars!

And now, Day 15.
 

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(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Oh hiiiiiii!  Welcome to Day 14.  We are halfway through out 28 day challenge and I am so excited that you’ve stuck with it so far.  Hopefully it has become a part of your daily routine, and you’re noticing major changes in your thought process and outlook.

(Psssst…if you are.  I’d love to hear them below in the comments section! Thanks!)

Yesterday was Day 13 of the Love Your Body Challenge, and the reason to love your body was,

“Because it’s honesty and intuition is incredibly powerful.”

This day seemed to be more polarizing than many of the other days in terms of your all’s thoughts on your intuition.  Several women who are in recovery for eating disorders talked about how much mistrust they have with their body’s ability to give them hunger and fullness cues, and their mistrust surrounding their body’s ability to respond to an increase in calories.

“When I had my eating disorder, I was in a place where my body was the enemy. I was certain, when I started recovery, that my body was out of control and couldn’t be trusted. One of the hardest parts of recovery was starting to eat enough again and trusting that my body would get used to the food without ballooning…

…I’m learning now that the more I can trust it, the more it will just do what it needs to do. It’s balancing out, I’m starting to feel hunger and fullness cues more than ever before, and I’m even starting to trust my intuition when it comes to things like working out and which workout is “best” for me.”

Other women reached out and talked about being extremely ‘tuned in’ to their intuition and how beneficial this intuition is, and the more they take care of themselves, the better their intuition becomes.

“My body is like one big antenna. I can feel people’s intentions, I can connect with the divinity within them, I can tell if I should not trust them, I can tell if they are dangerous or afraid and respond in a way that is calming. Often, I can feel a “ringing true” when I am thinking or acting in alignment with what I feel is my highest self. Just as with any other antenna, I get a stronger and clearer signal the more I take care of myself, clear away static nutritionally and in my thinking, and tune in my energy with healthy activity and rest.”

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(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Yesterday was Day 12 of the Love Your Body Challenge, and the reason to love your body was,

“Because your relationship is reciprocal.”

I talked about how whatever we give to our bodies, we will get back in return, which is very cool because we have quite a bit of control (not complete control, but quite a bit) over our own health and well-being.  Remember, when you take responsibility for how your actions affects your outcomes, you are in control of your future.  And that’s awesome.

This is true not only of nutrition and training, but also of our mindset, attitude, and our outlook on life.

You are in control.  Make sure you have positive inputs in order to have positive outputs.

With that being said, Day 13 piggybacks on Day 12 a bit.  Enjoy!

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Molly-119 - Copy

(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 11 of the Love Your Body Challenge, and the reason to love your body was,

“Because it deserves love.”

I talked about my friend’s 14 month old baby girl and my little niece, both of whom are sweet, precious little girls, and both of whom deserve all of the love and compassion in the world.

I posed the question:

“Can you imagine looking into the eyes of a precious little girl and telling her that she’s not good enough? Or that she’s not pretty enough?  Or that she’s fat?

I would hope not.

So at what point does it become OK to say these things to ourselves? At what age do we stop telling girls that they are wonderful and pretty and perfect and smart and that they can do anything they set their minds to?”

Your reaction’s were very genuine.  One reaction that really stood out to me was this:

“Sadly, I’ve degraded myself so much in front of my children that I frequently hear out of my 10 yr old that she is fat. I tell her over and over how perfect she is but because I’ve picked myself apart she has learned to do the same.

I’ve been trying to change my language from, “I’m so fat and out of shape,” to, “I’m working to be a better me so that can stick around to see my great great grandchildren.”  

It’s tough when you’ve spent the majority of your life being told by others and yourself that you aren’t good enough. I am trying though for the sake of my daughters, though.”

That’s real stuff right there.  That was very brave of Trish to write, and I have a feeling that she will continue to make positive changes and her daughters will benefit from them.

Here we are!  Day 12!

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(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Yesterday was Day 10 of the Love Your Body Challenge, and the reason to love your body was,

“Because you are (or should be) unapologetically strong.”

There was one transformation story in particular that really touched me:

“I‘ll admit that I am a bit surprised how this challenge has already changed me, since Day 1.

I went to a baby shower this weekend and was already faced with a compliment that normally causes my awkward to go into overdrive. Normally when someone notices my weight loss, I blush and blurt out something about how these skinny jeans must be doing their job, or how I still have a long way to go.

Not this time!

Someone said to me “Girl, you’ve lost weight! You look good!”

I smiled proudly and said “Thank you! I FEEL great. I’ve added rowing to my routine and I’m loving it.”

This led to a genuine conversation about what we’ve been trying that has us feeling good and strong. Another thing I noticed was my inner response to the improvements she has made since I last saw her…

I was honestly happy for her, not secretly jealous. I know that it is because I am finding new strength and pride and self-love each day. The more I’m loving myself, the more I’m loving others and my world around me. Something has clicked, and I’m not going to apologize for feeling fantastic about it.”

Wow!  Big changes in this woman’s life are not only affecting her, but rippling and affecting those around her.  So cool.

So let’s go! Onto Day 11.

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meme

(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 9 of the Love Your Body Challenge, and the reason to love your body was,

“Because it’s awesome.”

What was so cool about this was getting read all of your own personal definitions of what it means to be awesome.  Check them out below:

“Training to be awesome means learning to love my body exactly the way it is, flaws and all. I will continue to train by swimming, running, and lifting weights. And I will not punish my body when it doesn’t look the way I want it to after all that activity. I know that I’m treating it right, and all that matters is that.”

“Training to be awesome means constantly trying to improve how much I can lift, and never giving up in the face of an obstacle.”

“Training to be awesome means to get in a healthy mind set, to accept myself the way I am now.”

“Training to be awesome means working my body in ways that make me feel GOOD.”

“Training to be awesome means maintaining a healthy mind body soul combo… It means accepting this body yet not becoming stagnate in working toward continued health and continued strength, both mentally and physically!”

“Loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges. All your perfect imperfections. From John Legend – All of Me Lyrics
This artist’s lyrics are so very powerful! Never before did I ever imagine my body being awesome, but it truly is, all my edges and perfect imperfections! Wow! Thanks for day 9.”

So. Many. Awesome. Definitions.

With that said, on to Day 10.  I think you’ll love it.
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(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)

Recap

Yesterday was Day 8 of the Love Your Body Challenge, and the reason to love your body was,

“Because it can move.”

I discussed how grateful we should be for the movement we have, because it’s a privilege and we never know when we might lose it.  It sounds simple enough, but I think the kicker is when we picture what it would be like if we couldn’t move.  That’s what hit home for Dawn.  Here is her story:

“Visualizing not being able to move my body freely instantly made me cry.  I care for my 65 year old Mother who is paralyzed and wheelchair bound due to a stroke. I was so angry with her situation, but it only made me a bitter person.  I have learned to show her compassion and empathy and be grateful for my healthy state. I still get down at times, but I think about how she must feel and my anger disappears. I feel such a loss at times, but I know that I am a stronger person because of my experiences.”

I know that I’ve taken movement for granted in the past, and it’s definitely not something I take for granted anymore, and I hope you don’t either.

 And here we are with Day 9!

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