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5 Ways to Love Your Body

Let Cupid Take Aim at You
  -- By Carrie Myers Smith, Health & Exercise Expert

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!

Change your inner dialogue
It’s been said that we teach others how to treat us. If we believe that, the message that comes across to others is that we are not worth being liked, loved, or treated with respect. Most of it comes from what we’re not even saying. Choose to believe that you are worth taking care of and that you have the right to be respected and treated with dignity – and act like it!

Take care of your body
Diets, pills, quick-fixes, binging, not exercising, over-exercising, all these things disrespect one of the greatest gifts you have been given – your body! You only get one per lifetime, so give it the respect it deserves. You will not only feel better, but you just might become someone else’s role model!