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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