With Valentine's Day coming up, we've all been bombarded with messages about love, romance and sex for weeks already. Fortunately, this isn't another one. February may be synonymous with "relationships" but I think it's a great time to think about your relationship with yourself and different, yet still important kind of love: self-love. This is important whether you're single, coupled or something in between.
Many of our readers are working to lose weight and have battled body hatred for a long time. Many who have lost the weight expected that to change, only to later realize that body love isn't about being a certain size: It has to come from within, and you can have it no matter how you look if you just cultivate it. The truth is that we are all worthy of care, respect, love and confidence, and we can all take steps to "own" our bodies, move with confidence, dress with style, and not let fear of what others may think stop us from doing what we want to do, whether that's dancing at that upcoming wedding, joining that gym, wearing a swimsuit, or asking for that promotion.
Exercise inspires that confidence at any size. While I listen to a wide variety of songs when I work out—some with embarrassing lyrics but great beat and others with inspiring messages—I really enjoy listening to workout songs that make me feel good about myself and my body. These encourage me to keep going with my workouts, and the whole thing becomes a virtuous cycle of love and health and fitness and confidence that feeds itself.
So what are these love-your-body songs? I've got 21 that'll make you feel strong, confident and sexy during (and long after) your next workout.
Aretha Franklin – Respect
Beyonce – Check On It
Black Eyed Peas – My Humps
Bodyrockers – I Like the Way You Move
Destiny's Child – Bootylicious
Fergie – Fergalicious
Fountains of Wayne – Stacy's Mom
India.Arie – Video
Justin Timberlake ft. Timbaland– SexyBack
LMFAO- Sexy and I Know It
Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes
Katy Perry – Firework
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
MIKA – Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)
Missy Elliott – Work It
Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing
P!nk – Perfect
Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls
Right Said Fred – I'm Too Sexy
RuPaul – Supermodel (You Better Work)
Sir Mix a Lot – Baby Got Back
Whitney Houston – I'm Every Woman
Do any of these songs boost your confidence? What songs make you feel strong and beautiful?