Body Love

This post has been updated in February 2020.

If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.

You’ve heard a million times that everyone has things about their body they wish they could change, but does it have to be that way?  What if instead we changed our minds to love and accept every single part of our bodies?  Instead of wishing you were taller, or skinnier, or that your smile or nose was different, we should learn to love these parts of us.  These are things that took a long time for me to learn, and it all started with changing my mindset.  Would you tell your best friend, sister, daughter, niece, etc that they were ugly or fat or disgusting?  NO!  Then why in the world would you say those things to or about yourself?

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.  It all comes back to gratitude.

My entire outlook on my body changed nearly overnight when I came to terms with the fact this is the only body I will have.  I will live my entire life in this body.  This was not necessarily groundbreaking information, but when I fully accepted what that meant, I could no longer hate any part of it.  I cried when I realized how much time I had spent disliking my body and vowed to try my best every day to care for it.  I started doing full body scans of gratitude when doing a restorative practice.  I go through every part of my body and thank it for the purpose it serves with specific functions that I appreciate the most.

Try it with me today.  Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths.  

Thank your mind for allowing you to think, process, understand, and learn.  Thank your eyes for allowing you to see colors, read these words, and look into the eyes of your loved ones.  Thank your ears for allowing you to hear music, a child’s laughter, and birds singing.  Thank your nose for bringing in breath and smelling your favorite meal.  Thank your mouth for allowing you to kiss, smile, and eat.  Thank your throat for giving you a voice, a song, a laugh, and a cry.  Thank all your internal organs for purifying, detoxing, and digesting. Thank your heart for pumping life into the rest of your body and for representing all your love.  

Thank your arms for allowing you to lift your cup of coffee, brush your hair, and give hugs.  Thank your hands and fingers for allowing you to write (or type or text!), pet your cat, pray, and hold your partner’s hand.  Thank your legs for literally lifting you up each day, for allowing you to walk your dogs and run around with your kids. Thank your feet and toes for keeping you balanced and for allowing you to ground down into the Earth by wiggling in the grass and sand.

Thank your eyelashes for keeping dirt out of your eyes.  Thank your skin for being your outer layer of protection.  Thank your bones for giving you shape, your spine for connecting them all.  Thank your muscles and joints for giving you movement.  Thank your entire body for allowing you to live this beautiful life.

Isn’t this the cutest reminder of how much your body loves YOU? Image found on Pinterest.

Fall in love with taking care of your body.

When you start appreciating your body, you’ll just naturally want to take care of it. And there are a lot of ways you can take care of it!

Slowing down to enjoy the meal.

Fueled mostly by my hunger, I used to inhale my food.  There was no time for my food to settle for me to even register if I was full or not.  I try to be mindful when I’m eating and pay attention to chewing and enjoying each bite.  

Limiting distractions.

At our old house, we didn’t have a table to eat at and ate in front of the TV.  Now we eat at the counter without the phones or other distractions, which has helped not only focus on our plates but is nice quality time together too!

Being more conscious of what is on the plate and viewing food as fuel.

Food is what fuels your body and keeps it going – give it what it needs to best do its job!  

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorites!

 If I ate really poorly every day (like I used to!), I’d feel pretty crummy.  However, I still enjoy my favorite black bean burger with fries & a craft beer, and I don’t feel guilty about that! I don’t believe in diets or cheat meals – I believe in balance and moderation to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  

It’s not just what goes into your body – it’s what goes on it too!

Your skin and nails are so absorbent.  It’s really important to know what is going on your body. 

Workout because you love your body – not because you hate it.

Same with food, you should view exercise as a tool to be able to do its very best job.  Exercise shouldn’t be viewed as punishment for what you ate or how you look.  You should be grateful if you have the ability to workout!  That means looking at what excuses you give yourself.  As someone who was never very active, I was much more comfortable coming home from work and not moving from the couch until bed, thank you very much!  I’d claim that I was too tired to workout.  Little did I know, working out was exactly what I needed to give me energy!

Find the motivation to move & an activity you enjoy.

You don’t have to practice yoga everyday or run five miles or spend your days in the gym.  But try to move your body every day.  Some days more than others, sure.  I do love me a lazy Sunday!  However, that “lazy day” normally involves at least a restorative yoga practice & a walk with the dogs.  My dogs are a huge source of motivation for me to move, even when I think I’m too tired to.  James & I come home from work, and we want to get them moving – they have energy to burn too and have been resting all day!  (It’s also another way that we disconnect and spend quality time together 🙂 )  Practicing yoga & being active outside are my absolute favorite ways to exercise!  Try everything you can until you find something you really love to do.

Moving throughout the day.

I am very blessed to have a job that I can exercise on my lunch break.  There are workout classes offered each day for free, but my favorite is taking a very long walk outside.  It really helps break up the day and feels good to get the blood flowing instead of sitting for eight hours straight.  Even if you are able to just walk around for five minutes here and there (maybe take a longer route to refill your water or take a lap around the building on your way back from the bathroom), it will make such a difference.

Layla & I after our second 5k together in 2016! She is my favorite workout buddy!

Learn to rest, not to quit.

If you miss a day or a week, don’t beat yourself up.  That doesn’t mean all is lost or that you have to wait until the next week or month to get back into it.  Pick yourself up and get back to it!  There are times that you are going to waiver from a healthy diet or exercise routine – it’s called being a human being!  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  If you are doing your best to show your body love, that is all you need to worry about.  

Image from Pinterest

Be your body’s friend.

I went from hating my body to honoring it and enjoying every day it allows to wake up.  I’m not saying there aren’t days that I’m self-conscious; again, I am human.  However, my relationship with it has really taken a 180 from what it once was.  These are the tips that I have used to love, appreciate, and respect my body, and I hope they offer some inspiration for you to feel the same.


  • MaryQuarterman

    December 20, 2017 at 12:17 am

    My sweet thing. To be so young and yet such a old soul. What great tips…isn’t it sad that we have been trained to hate our bodies as women. You and women like you will change the world. Thanks for all you do. Love & Blessings


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