One particularly hot September afternoon when my daughter was in the fourth grade, she invited a few friends to enjoy an after-school swim in our pool. They entered the house filled with laughter and excitement and rushed upstairs to change into their bathing suits.|
Passing her room while putting away some laundry, I overheard, ''Ugh, I look terrible. I shouldn’t be wearing this bikini. My stomach is like a bowl of Jell-O.'' ''At least you don’t have thunder thighs!'' ''What are you both talking about? I’m the fatty here!''
The giggling had been replaced with self-criticism and disgruntled voices. I was devastated. These girls were only nine years old. They hadn’t even reached double-digits, and they were already judging their bodies harshly.
I have always been fascinated by the lack of self-confidence and body image issues women struggle with. As a wellness professional, female, mother and friend, there has been no shortage of experiences when I’ve witnessed women, myself included, make derogatory remarks about their bodies.
We could probably have a heated discussion about the many reasons why this is so, but that’s for another article. I just want to share with you the many wonderful comments I have collected over the last several weeks asking female clients, family and friends, ''What is one body part you can feel grateful for, love and appreciate, no matter what size and shape it is right now, and why?''
Let us all stop the criticism and emphasize the positive. Let’s help ourselves and our daughters appreciate and value our bodies of all shapes and sizes. Read the responses below; they will make you smile, laugh or perhaps even bring tears to your eyes. I hope you will feel inspired, and begin to think of what you have to thank your body for. It’s time to focus on the amazing vehicle we walk around in, and proactively take care every day to give it the nourishment, movement and rest it needs to perform at it’s best.
Here are 58 reasons women gave me about why they love their bodies. After reading them, take a moment to think about all the reasons why you should feel awesome about your own!
What is YOUR favorite part of your body and why? Let's start a revolution and stop hating our bodies!
- ''I love my big, beautiful sparkling eyes because they are the windows from which I see the world.''
- ''I love my smile. People tell me I light up a room with it, and it makes others feel welcome and cared for.''
- ''I love my arms because they enable me to embrace my loved one.''
- ''I love my strong arms because they allow me to carry my children.''
- ''I love my hands because they fit perfectly into my daughter’s when we cross the street together.''
- ''I love my strong legs because they allow me to climb up and down the stairs in my colonial home hundreds of times a week.''
- ''I love my legs because they take me up the mountain when I hike near my home.''
- ''I love my hands because they let me hold the hands of someone else who needs my support.''
- ''I love my legs because they allow me to pedal my bike and feel the wind in my face.''
- ''I love my legs because they keep me moving quickly enough to return the tennis ball on the courts.''
- ''I love the relaxing feeling of my toes sinking into the sand when I get to the beach.''
- ''I love my finger because it lets me show off the gorgeous wedding band my husband gave me the day we married.''
- ''I love my neck because it is long and gracious. I show it off with fun necklaces.''
- ''I love my strong back because it carries my knapsack with my schoolbooks as my legs take me across campus.''
- ''I love and am grateful for my ears because they allow me to enjoy my greatest passion, which is music and sound!''
- ''I love that my body lets me lie in my hammock and enjoy the breeze in the summer late afternoons.''
- ''I love my hands and legs because I can use them to dance the waltz with a partner.''
- ''I love my stomach. It kept my twin babies warm and secure until they were ready to enter this world.''
- ''I love my long, slender fingers. Without them, I couldn’t play the beautiful music I love on my piano.''
- ''I love my firm hands, which help me chop and dice the ingredients for my home cooked meals.''
- ''I love how my calves look and make me feel sexy in high heels.''
- ''I love how my body cuts through the water when I swim, making me feel buoyant.''
- ''I love my lap. It gives my nieces and nephews a place to sit and cuddle with me.''
- ''I love my upright, straight back. Everyone says I have beautiful posture.''
- ''I love my strong, flexible shoulders because they allow me to serve and swing my tennis racket when engaging in my favorite sport.''
- ''I love my arms. Even at 65 years old, I still wear sleeveless shirts without feeling self-conscious.''
- ''I love my hands because they help me pick the tomatoes from my garden.''
- ''I love my hands because they floss and brush my teeth so that I can take care of my smile.''
- ''I love my ears because they let me hear children laughing, birds singing and music that fills my heart with joy.''
- ''I love my legs because although they don't look like anything special, they carry me through my days without fail.''
- ''I love my knees and my hands. Resting on a cushion, my knees let me bend down for hours in my garden. My hands let me plant the seeds that turn into beautiful flowers for all to enjoy.''
- ''I love my hands because they are soft and have a nice length to them, and I have strong, natural nails. I think there is a simple elegance in a natural nail with simply nail polish, so for me, I really enjoy my hands.''
- ''I love my ankles because they are strong enough for me to play hopscotch with my students. My kindergarten girls love it when I join in at recess.''
- ''I love my strong legs that keep me mobile...either through mundane daily routines or long walks with my family and dog.''
- ''I love my hands because they allow me to place a bite of nourishing food into my mouth.''
- ''I love my hips because although so many of my friends have needed hip replacements, mine are still strong and pain-free.''
- ''I love my eyes for being able to see the rainbows that cast their brilliance against the mountains after an evening thunderstorm.''
- ''I love and am grateful for my full head of hair that remains thick and healthy despite the passing years.''
- ''I love my legs for climbing up steep mountains, pumping me up the canyon on a bicycle, providing me instant transportation when I need to get away from life's worries and create a positive shift in my experience.''
- ''I love my hands and fingers because they let me play Pachelbel’s Canon in D on the piano.''
- ''I love my missing breasts because they were a sign of my womanhood and fed my newborns. Although I used to complain about them being big and heavy, post mastectomy, I miss them every day.''
- ''I love and am grateful for my entire body, with all of it's imperfections...because without this mortal vessel, I could not experience all the joy and pain of living, from a long-lingering kiss of my beloved to holding a new baby or puppy in my arms for the first or maybe the last time.''
- ''I love my eyes. Not only do they allow me to see all that is beautiful around me including the beautiful people, but they also allow me to express my love and feelings to others.''
- ''I love my waist because no matter how many years go by, I can still hula hoop like I did when I was a little girl.''
- ''I love my feet because they keep me super balanced whether I'm in chef shoes, 6-inch heels or in dance shoes stepping backwards while doing the waltz. Plus, they look cute with hot pink toe polish in summer sandals!''
- ''I love my hands because they enable me to type emails and turn the pages of a good book.''
- ''I love my hands because they let me have fun playing cards or dominoes with friends.''
- ''I love my hair because I have fun with it. I typically change it with the season and will often switch between keeping it straight and leaving it curly. Although I complain about it, and would love hair like Christina Aguilera’s, I'm truly fortunate to have hair that I can be so versatile with.''
- ''I love and am grateful for my arms, which are getting stronger every day. I have been strength training and doing barre classes and I can see the definition in them. And they allow me to carry groceries and shopping bags without trouble!''
- ''I love my eyes because they are distinctive and they serve me well. Others often comment on them and that makes me feel good.''
- ''I love and feel awesome about my whole body because it brings me great pleasure when I forget all my cares and worries and dance around the ballroom floor.''
- ''I love my nose because it allows me to smell the aromas of home cooked meals (and the occasional spoiled food hiding in the fridge.)''
- ''I love my long, slender waist because not matter what I weigh, it’s always slimmer than the rest of me.''
- ''I love my wrist because when I look at it I see the beautiful watch my Mom bought me when I graduated college. It makes me feel closer to her even though we live far apart.''
- ''I love my hair because it is low maintenance. It hasn’t grayed, and I can cut it myself, and it almost always looks good; to me anyway!''
- ''I love my feet with their three perfectly-designed arches that hold the foundation of my body. They add stability for movement, are great for running into the arms of my husband or greeting someone with joy. My feet let me dance and are still strong enough for me to do cartwheels.''
- ''I love my heart because it beats strong within my chest, and is filled with love and goodness for everyone I meet.''
- ''I love my body as a whole and think of it as a wonderful, yet mysterious moving piece of artwork. I can walk, talk, sing and dance. I can see, hear, smell and taste. There are so many people who cannot do these things, so I am grateful for what I have and that I can still do everything I want to do. I can hug my children, kiss my husband, eat with family and dance with my friends. It's all good!''