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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Emotional Health

5 Ways to Love Your Body

Let Cupid Take Aim at You

-- By Carrie Myers Smith, Health & Exercise Expert
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While many of us have an easy time showering other people with love, we find that Cupid has yet to hit us with the "body love" arrow. Don’t wait for Cupid! Begin today to start appreciating, accepting and yes, even loving your body.

Stop picking yourself apart
Let’s face it: No matter how close-to-perfection body you have (and just what is the perfect body anyway?), chances are, there is something you would change about it if you could. Even celebrities and models who have been stamped with the media’s "perfect body" rating have parts they dislike – their feet, their hands, their ears – and they don’t necessarily have high self-esteem either! Rather than pick your body apart, look at your body as a whole (and read the next point…)

Consider the marvelous functions of your body
There are millions of microscopic functions that go on in our bodies every day, and you don’t even have to think about them. They just happen! Unfortunately, it often takes a crisis or a tragedy, such as a brush with death, a go-around with a disease, or a debilitating accident for some women to realize that their bodies weren’t so bad to begin with and that their body hang-ups were a big waste of time. Don’t let that be the case with you! How much time are you spending each day worrying about your weight, your body shape, the size of your rear? What could you be doing during that time? Maybe you’re supposed to be the first female president, but you’ll never know because you’re too busy obsessing about your abs!

Get real
Did you know that most of the images you see on television, movies and magazines aren’t even real? A model for a magazine cover goes through hours of professional hair and make-up, has professional stylists, top photographers who know her "best side," professional lighting, and that’s all before the chosen photo goes to a company where they remove stray hairs, wrinkles, blemishes and "extra" curves. Sometimes Model A’s head is stuck onto Model B’s body. What you see is totally made up!

And it’s not just fashion magazines that are creating a fantasy. Most of today’s "fitness" magazines are following suit. On top of airbrushing and computer generating their models, fitness magazines now need to audition their models to be sure they’re strong enough to just do basic exercises! Muscles are even airbrushed in! It’s time to get real! Find real role models who emanate the qualities you desire. Educate yourself about what really goes on "behind the scenes." And realize that no one naturally "glows" the way those models in the magazines do!
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About The Author

Carrie Myers Smith Carrie Myers Smith
Carrie Carrie is an ACSM-certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and health education. Her work has appeared in Shape, Fitness, Cooking Light and Energy for Women.

Member Comments

  • I did not know that even fitness magazines are doing touch ups on photos. I am disappointed but not surprised. I only use them as a source of information anyways. Sometimes though their workouts do work well! - 2/8/2014 11:51:07 AM
  • This is so true! I think about and blog about this topic on occasion. Check out beautyredefined.n
    et! (not mine but a blog I really like!) - 2/8/2014 8:07:07 AM
  • I know its time to get serious when I consider my initial weight gain (baby weight) is about to be 28 years old next month! No longer a valid excuse. I feel miserable, uncomfortable, and unattractive and it shows. I may never be the 130 lbs I was almost 30 years ago when that dip stick pregnancy test turned bright blue, but I can for sure be less woman than I am today! My new life begins now..... - 12/18/2013 11:10:47 PM
    I rewarded myself, back in the beginning, for stringing together a series of days on which I engaged in healthy eating and exercising behaviors. Jewelry, handbags, scarves - these ALL make great short-term rewards for laying down the habit-related building blocks that ensure not only weight loss, but successful maintenance, too. - 12/9/2013 5:44:33 PM
  • Even Leslie Sansone has been getting thinner and thinner on her DVD covers. They are even photoshopping her muscles away! What kind of an example is that from a leader in the fitness movement?

    My disappointment is worse for the fact that it's largely thanks to her routines that I've lost 46 lbs and are managing to maintain my goal too! - 11/7/2013 10:01:34 AM
  • If only it were that simple. - 10/26/2013 6:55:25 PM
    This is a struggle with me many times as I am so self critical. I do realize though that no one is perfect and I should just try my best to change what can be changed and accept the things I can not change. - 10/26/2013 11:33:19 AM
  • Good article. Thanks for sharing. - 9/14/2013 7:33:49 AM
  • I really appreciated the part about the marvelous way our bodies work;also that the way people treat us is a reflection of what we ourselves think about ourselves. Thanks so much for the reminders. - 9/7/2013 9:03:49 AM
  • What a great article! I was just reflecting on this notion of being "perfect" the other day. I don't think we should hold ourselves to ridiculous standards or judge ourselves because we can't fit some fantasy body that's been shaped by media representations. I fall into this trap sometimes, hating my double chin or fat in other places. But, since I joined Spark, I have been making great food choices and working out almost every day (yes, sometimes I overdo that too). I think she's on point on all the wasted time that goes on when we criticize our physical self or some other aspect of our lives that isn't reaching some Hollywood ideal. If I had spent that time reading, I would have a second or third doctorate. - 9/7/2013 6:16:24 AM
    Can I say that I am "In Love" with Carrie Myers Smith and her wonderful article?!! I go through such a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde conversation with myself where my body image is concerned!! On the one hand, I feel good about making more healthy choices, and on the other hate that I am not seeing "instant" results in the mirror!! (I know, I even tell myself that is unrealistic.) Or, I feel good about one part of my body, but then see another that leaves me totally defeated!! I am going to bookmark this article and read it the next time I start to put myself down or compare myself to Anyone else, airbrushed or not!! Thanks again C.M.S.!! You have really inspired me!!! - 8/13/2013 10:17:33 PM
  • What a wonderful article with a truly powerful and positive message for all that are trying to love their body! - 8/2/2013 7:01:32 PM
  • I read this a couple of years ago but...never hts to hear it again. - 7/29/2013 1:19:40 PM
  • I'm with all the others that really needed this today. Most of us have probably heard it before, and already know that media figures are staged, airbrushed, professionally trained into submission, and even surgically altered--but still we're bombarded by those images and force-fed the lie that healthy, beautiful people look like that. Then we judge ourselves accordingly. I know I do, even though I know better. Sometimes you just need to hear it at the right time, like right after you've stepped out of the shower and caught a glimpse in the mirror...or times like today! Thanks for the uplift. - 6/20/2013 8:09:30 PM
  • Thank you! - 6/20/2013 8:00:00 PM