30 Ways SparkPeople Members & Staffers Work to Love Their Bodies

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In this age of constant comparisons, time-starved schedules and endless temptations, it's all too easy to slide into the trap of blaming, shaming and sometimes even hating our own bodies when they don't measure up to the standards in our heads. But it doesn't have to be that way. No matter how much it weighs, your body is nothing short of an amazing instrument—even if it has a little (or a lot of) ways to go before reaching its full potential.
Many of our members struggle with body image and self-esteem issues. They have setbacks and struggles. They take one step forward and three steps back, and then repeat the cycle, over and over again. There are days when they feel frustrated, lonely and maybe even angry.
But through it all, they find reasons and ways to love their bodies. Next time you're at a loss for how to appreciate yours, visit this list for some self-affirming inspiration.
  1. I've been strength training for almost two months now. I do four days of strength and three days of cardio. The numbers on the scale don't show much, but I am loving how my arms and stomach are looking. My arms are more defined and my stomach is not as round. - Amy Breaux
  2. I run/walk races, typically distances from 5K to half marathon. I think it's amazing that my legs can carry me with intention for 3.1 miles, never mind 13.1. - MLAN613
  3. On doctor's orders, as part of my brain surgery recovery, I've been doing more "grounding" outside, which includes laying in the sunshine on the ground, as well as being close to trees and the ocean. - SPARKGUY
  4. I am a big Diet Coke drinker, and something as simple as giving myself cold water to drink throughout the day…I realize that I am taking care of myself and always feel better than any of my other drinks of choice. It's generally how I set the reset button to self-care. - Rachael Keeney
  5. I appreciate that my legs and ankles are strong enough to support me as I walk, walk, walk. - Merle King, customer support specialist for SparkPeople
  6. I enjoy the strength I get from training for a race or lifting weights. I can see my progress and muscles more defined. I definitely have more energy for my child and events with my family. - MOMWANTSNOWAIST
  7. I can find plenty of flaws when I look in the mirror. Despite my best efforts, it will never look like it did just 12 years ago, but that's because I've had four kids since then. Looking at their faces and the cool little people they are becoming makes the tradeoff completely worth it to me. I try to keep in mind that I've asked a lot of my body (kids, running marathons, kickboxing, etc.) so good health is more important to me than perfection. - Coach Jen
  8. I view walking as a stress release, and a way to love my body—not as a punishment for overeating. And I truly love my body enough to have good snacks on hand rather than saboteurs. - Nancy Braegger Fuller
  9. I try not to focus on what I might consider "cosmetic flaws"—instead, I concentrate on what my body can do instead of worrying about how it looks. I'll admit that I am more critical of my body now than when I was obese. Like a lot of women, I nitpick my body parts. That's why I try to focus on what my body can do. There are things I can do now that I couldn't do when I was a teen, such as running 5K or 10K races, running an obstacle course and lifting weights. - ARCHIMEDESII
  10. Many people see eating healthfully or exercising regularly as a punishment (for past sins?) but I try to see it as doing something good for myself. I no longer reward myself (when I've had a tough day, etc.) with fattening foods, because weight loss and a healthier body are way more rewarding, in the long run, than having a vat of ice cream just because it's Friday and my week was rough. - Donna Schumaier
  11. I have learned to call my flabby skin (at goal weight) body ruffles. I cannot afford plastic surgery after losing almost 110 pounds. - Kay Larrabee Horton
  12. I've been going to water aerobics this past year. When I don't go, my body hurts. I love it. My advice is to love yourself enough to find something that you enjoy to help lose the weight and feel good. - Bev Cummins
  13. I keep a running progression of pictures and measurements to remind me of how far I have come. I also celebrate when I am able to accomplish a fitness goal that I have been working toward. - Sue Friend Robinson
  14. I work really hard to not "diet." Some days work great, others aren't as awesome. But this isn't something that I'm ever going to be able to stop doing. I need to listen to my body and my mind, and THINK about if/why/what I'm going to put in my mouth. So far, it's slowly doing what I need it to do. - Joan Leland
  15. I might not like how I look, but I know that everything I do today matters tomorrow. I like myself a whole lot better when I make self-care a priority. – RUNANDRUN
  16. I appreciate that my back got stronger as I lost weight and increased strength training so that everyday chores (like picking up sticks in our yard) no longer hurt my back. - Merle King
  17. I wear clothes that fit and show off my figure. I love seeing myself in the mirror. - MARTHA324
  18. Strength training helps me love myself. It is amazing to look in the mirror at your flaws and think, "I don't care how you look, you're a pretty amazing body. You can lift and carry your own body weight 100 paces." - STATSCAT
  19. I lost 172 pounds and I call my loose skin "battle scars" that I earned via weight loss. It makes me appreciate all of me." - Cherish Pletcher Patterson
  20. I make sure to get in daily exercise. Taking care of my body is my way of loving it. – MARTHA324
  21. I like to read articles on weight training and find new ways to challenge my muscles. I like to be a little sore the day after my workouts. The little bit of soreness is my body's way of letting me know it appreciates what we did the day before in the gym. - HAPPYCPA1965
  22. When I realize many are suffering from illness, although my body carries more fat than it should, I still am relatively healthy. For that, I must appreciate the gift of this body I've been given, and work to keep it healthy. - Jean Fritsch
  23. Provide the rest it needs to work its recovery and rejuvenation magic. -JEANKNEE
  24. Making good choices to eat well and exercise are empowering. I feel stronger both physically and mentally. Choosing exercise over binge-eating unhealthy foods makes me feel better. Before, I would have made poor choices. - Toni Hayden
  25. Buying a new outfit that shows off my good work. - CLMART3
  26. My chiropractor has been part of my life for over 15 years. His low-impact adjustments keep me aligned, and his expanded practice of other wellness techniques keep me mentally sound. - Billi Watland, SparkPeople's sales director
  27. My autoimmune disease decided to take a turn for the worse in 2018, with increased joint pain and swelling. I could have taken that as an excuse to cut the exercise. Instead, it made me more determined to keep moving, to push through the pain and make it happen. Adversity can defeat you or it can make you more determined to succeed. I made my choice. – Pamela Brown
  28. Move! Sitting around feels basically the same, whether I'm at goal weight or 45 pounds over, whether I'm fit or sedentary. But if I walk or jog or climb stairs or carry heavy objects, I can immediately feel the benefits of eating well and being active. - KRISZTA11
  29. Focus on what I can do versus what I can't. I'm 40 pounds overweight, but I am flexible and strong and can do yoga. - NDCAROL
  30. I make sure to eat a healthy diet—nourishing my body shows it love. - MARTHA324
How do you find ways to love your body, just as it is? Share your self-love tips in the comments!

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PAMBROWN62 6/16/2019
Good reminder to look for your best and forget the rest. Thank you. Report
Awesome...thanks... Report
I've had severe scoliosis since middle school. Due to that, I let it control what I do or don't do. As a self love technique, I'm not letting it control me anymore. I'm doing things at my gym in personal training that I never thought possible until I changed my mind set that my back problems aren't going to control my life. Report
Excellent reminders Report
So many inspirations here. For me it’s the strength I gain when I’m active & working out. I love looking good on the beach or on a date with my husband but being a strong powerful 65yr old is the best boost for self esteem ever. Report
We all struggle with body issues. I know healthy people that struggle with body issues...or self esteem...if you will Report
Good info. Report
I'm trying... Report
I'm about 100 lbs over weight! Wasn't always this heavy. One of my feet keeps swelling up, even though I have 2 feet. Been to 6 doctors no one knows why, xrays, blood work & alot of bills now, all good! I've decided that God knows what's wrong with my foot so I will wait on HIM to help me. However, in the mean time I do chair exercises with Growing Young Fitness. I've never allowed my kids /grandkids to say "fat" they have to say "chunky". One day my grandson who was 3 yrs old at the time said Nana you ate to much chucky soup! hehehe I will be 57 yrs old next month! Report
LOVE THIS... OMG- body ruffles- yes, so positive! Report
I love this! Report
Thank you all for sharing your positive comments! Report
Thank you for reminding me to focus on the positive! Report
Thank you for reminding me to focus on the positive! Report
We should all love the skin that we’re in and love ourselves enough to change it, SparkFriends. Report
Body Ruffles?? HAHAH I love that. I have also taken some strength training recently - learning to call my upper arms "Bingo Wings"... Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Flexibility is good at any age,. I'll be turning 60 this year. I'm so glad I've been working out for many years. Report
Inspiring Report
thanks Report
Thought provoking read. Report
Being flexible, not just physically, is important in making lifestyle changes. Report
Thank you. Well written and helpful! Report
Thank you all for sharing! Report
Thanks Report
Great article! Report
Great ideas, thank you Report
Awesome list! Thanks Report
so many great ideas! Report
Thanks for this blog. I would add that I buy beautiful workout clothes and quality shoes to support my changing shape....it is never too early to care about my appearance. Loving myself enough TODAY to wear what fits and look nice is powerful! Report
I need to stop using my body as a human garbage pail Report
Great. Report
Great article. Report
thank you Report
I liked this article a lot. Thank you Report
Thank you Report
I feel blessed that at age 45 I am in perfect health. Praise God for giving me the good sense to take care of myself and make healthy choices. Many people around me at my age or even younger are on chronic medication. I am fortunate to be in sound health and be able to care for myself and my son. Report
Thank you Report
Interesting reading that you’re just like the rest of us! Report
What a great blog Report
Thanks everyone for sharing your positivity! Report
I look at the scars on my knees from my total knee replacements with love. I have less knee pain now and can exercise with minimal discomfort from my knees!

Thank you for this article! Report
thanks for sharing Report