Lovin’ your body

Hey everyone! How’s your morning going?? You’re probably thinking “wait, it’s not another guest post??”. Nope, it’s me 😀 With a very special post for ya’ll:

Today is National Love Your Body day….

image  (Source)

A day to appreciate, care for, and celebrate our bodies <3

About this time last year, I had an epiphany in which I realized that I only get one body, so it’s time accept it for what it is and be thankful for everything it enables me to do. I’ve found myself in so many situations where I was unhappy with the way I looked and would do anything to change it.

For years of my life, I sought a media-spawned perfection that doesn’t exist. Even after my weight loss success, which I did purely for myself to feel better, I actually felt like I could do MORE. I worked out like a maniac, counted calories every day, fawned over fashions, wore colored contacts, researched rhinoplasty surgery (and even had a consultation and started to save money for the procedure), and to be honest, it was exhausting. I felt like every day I worked so hard, it was never enough, and I went to bed many a night discouraged and frustrated about the things I couldn’t change. Why couldn’t I look like so-and-so supermodel? Why couldn’t I have legs like this girl (mine are short and far from Giselle’s long and lean gams), arms like this girl, abs like this girl (whose name is Jessica Alba, btw), and nose like this girl (I’ve always been uncomfortable about my “beak nose” as I like to call it.. I’ve broken it three times!). Randomly, after spending SO much of my time and effort (and my LIFE!), I finally sat down one day and realized that when I’m old, I’m going to wish that I wouldn’t have wasted so much time worrying about what I looked like. Life should be ENJOYED, not spent thinking about how things could be “better”. One can’t keep waiting to be happy and satisfied, or they’ll just end up an old unhappy person.

After my ah-ha moment, slowly but surely I learned to eat food I truly adore (rather than foods that had the “right” nutritional info but were laden with processed ingredients), stopped killing myself at the gym (I still work out a lot, but it’s the type of exercise I enjoy in lieu of past gym sessions I viewed as mandatory), and I started to understand that some parts of my body are going to have a little smush to them, no matter what I do and the “beak nose” is here to stay, unless I go under the knife which I’m really not down for. Instead of berating my body for not complying with what I wanted it to look like, I started to fully appreciate all of the things it enables me to DO. I can run, spin, Zumba, teach aerobics, train, yoga, play with my puppies to my heart’s delight, cook and have dinner parties, without physical limitations. Every morning, it really is a blessing to be able to get out of bed, get cranking on the day, and my body has never held me back from anything I wanted to do. And yet, I spent so much time abusing it instead of being so grateful for the freedom it provides me.

It’s funny, because the more I started to appreciate and be thankful for the healthy body I’d been given, the more it thanked me in return. I ran a half marathon and a myriad of other races (because I LIKED them! Who would have thought?!), started the Zumba program at our gym and taught quite a few spin and step classes, trained and educated clients on health and wellness, and was glowing from the inside out. My body actually started to look BETTER, the less I worried about appearance and focused on health and wellbeing in general. I’ve found that when you do what’s right for your body, instead of what you feel pressured to do or what you think others are doing, it’s amazing how well it will respond. Remember, you know what’s best for you, not what some book or silly blogger is telling you. Our bodies are always talking to us and it’s up to us to actually stop and listen to what they’re saying.

Of course, I am a human (not a robot) after all and definitely still have days when I don’t feel 100% or a little blah. I’ve realized that the more I’ve focused on health and what’s best for me rather than external pressures, the less frequently those days occur and most of the time, I feel pretty darn ahmazin’ 😀

This year, I think we should all take a second and think about how beautiful we are and all of the reasons why our bodies should be loved. And by “loved”, I don’t just mean accepting physical appearance, “loved” as in “nurtured”.

Not only do we need to be grateful for all of the physical beauty we each possess, but also take the time to take care of the one body we have. There are quite a few people out there, who look great externally but are unhealthy on the inside. They think “Dayum, I look good!” and then go outside and light a cigarette, skip the gym for the (insert number here)th day, ditch fruits and veggies, refuse to take time for themselves, and neglect the other healthy habits that nurture our bodies and give us the ability us to thrive.

We need to care for our bodies by not only appreciating them for all they enable us to do, but also by providing adequate nutrition and promoting mental health. Taking up yoga was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health- both physical and mental alike. It sculpts and tones and at the same time reminds me to stay in the present and sloooooow down my often frantic mind.

Let’s start (and keep!) healthy habits now to love our bodies in the best way possible: by taking care of ourselves mentally, physically and nutritionally. Hop on that yoga mat, grab an extra salad, hit up the gym, go for a walk and very importantly seek advice if you need help on your path to better health.

In celebration of Love Your Body Day, let’s list of some things we love about our body physically, and a step we’re going to take today to nurture our bodies and promote good health.

I’ll go first:

I love my calves! They’re muscular from years of dancing and look banging in heels.

Today, I’m going to do a yoga podcast and have a salad beast for one of my meals 😉

Your turn. 😀

Later today: another awesome guest post! Get ready!

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  1. brittney on October 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I love my teeny tiny waistline! I may gain weight on my hips, but my tummy is always trim. Hooray for that.

  2. M on October 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    What a great post, so glad we can all bond together in this world of negative body image and unhealthy thoughts/habits. I have an intestinal disorder that causes my body to rebel often and it’s not be able to digest food. Sometimes I have to go days, weeks, even months, not being able to eat anything at all (feeding tube), exercise, or even get out of bed. When I first came across blogs and saw all these girls show off what they ate, how much they worked out, and so on, but then putting themselves down or not appreciating that they CAN eat this or that and it doesn’t hurt them it sustains them– it would frustrate me so much! I wish I could share with all those girls what it’s like not to have the CHOICE to do these things- I think it really changes your perspective. I’ve come to a place now where I have accepted this is how God chose for me to live and I must be an example of Him through it because He allowed it for His glory. I love that you are encouraging others to think positive about themselves because if they only knew what it was like to loose that choice I think it would really change how they treated their bodies. Amen and amen! Share the positive body love!
    And I love my legs! The rest of me is usually out of shape and malnourished but God blessed with my long toned legs that always look nice is a cute dress or skirt!

  3. Nicci@NiftyEats on October 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Awesome post Gina,I’m going to love my butt today. It’s casual day at work and I’m rocking my apple bottom in some jeans.Haha

  4. Tracey @ TropicalHappiness on October 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Yay! I love this post!!! I think that it is soooo easy to think poorly about ourselves. But after a lot of training and coaxing (and maybe a few fake “i love myself” comments), you CAN retrain your brain to realize how beautiful you are!

  5. Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries on October 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Amazing post; I was grinning like a cornball through the whole thang 🙂

  6. stephanie on October 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I love my gorgeous green eyes. Since going raw the whites of my eyes are startlingly bright and now the green is even more vivid. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t get a compliment.

    Today I am trying hot yoga for the first time. Juicing up a storm: green juice (kale, swiss chard, cuke, celery, lemon, small apple, amazing greens grass mix), cullen (my variety is 2 small beets, carrots, zuke (good texture), lemon, pear), a salad beast is in my future along with another HUGE green juice and coconut water. YUMMY day 🙂

    Fantastic post. I put that pic on facebook for all my friends to see. Such a beautful day 🙂

  7. Gena on October 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks for such a great reminder, sweetie!

  8. Lindsay on October 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for the post!! I forget all the time what my body is capable of. I forget that without my strong thick thighs I wouldn’t be able to do the exercise that I love.

  9. Michelle in Alaska on October 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    thanks for reminding us this Gina!

    I would have to say the thing I love about my body are the random beauty marks I have here and there (look like dark brown freckles). What I love most is that I have passed them onto my 6 year-old daughter! We have fun finding them and pointing them out to each other 🙂

  10. Gabriela on October 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Such a great post…thanks for this 😉 Have a great day!

  11. Shelby on October 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I love my bootay! I’ve worked so hard to get it from flat to fabulous and don’t mind showing it off 😉

    This post is so beautiful Gina, I think it’s my favorite post to date!

  12. Yvonne on October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    OMG this was a beautiful post. I’m trying to say more right now about it but all I can say is that YOU’RE AWESOME. I’m kind of at a loss for words!

    I love my arms and shoulders. When I work out hard, they get very toned and I love wearing tank tops in the summer time because of it. 🙂

  13. Lori on October 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Wow. Probably the most touching and real thing I have read in a while. Thank you! We ALL need to live by those words!

    I am thankful for my strong legs which helped me finish my first full marathon 2 weekends ago… and then let me keep moving them to stay with my P90X routine. (You’re awesome legs!)


  14. caronae on October 21, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Such a sincere, honest, and inspiring post!

    I like my eyes.

    I am baking up a giant squash tonight to have throughout the week!

  15. Nicole on October 21, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I love this post! I like my abs 🙂
    i had a larabar today for a snack instead of a processed sugar filled snack!

  16. Michelle on October 21, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I linked back to this post on my blog, I hope you don’t mind!! 🙂

  17. Pure2Raw Twins on October 21, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    You have an amazing body!!! Hey we all do! LOL. I will honor my body today and enjoy every inch of it! I hope you are having a fun time in Cali… wish I could be there. Though, OKC was a blast too! LOL>

  18. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on October 21, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for the great post and I’m glad you found yoga. I just want to wish you nothing but the best as your practice deepens and grows. You will find that your yoga OFF the mat is more valuable than your yoga on the mat 🙂

    My body and what it can do? It can grow a perfect human being inside it, give birth naturally, and continue to nurse that little girl who’s almost 3 yrs old. The woman’s work of pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing is what I am proud of that my body can do 🙂

    Today to nurture myself I went and got my hair done…alone. Taking 2 hrs to be by myself and feel pretty was the best thing that I could do for my mind and spirit 🙂

  19. Tracy on October 21, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Awesome post! I needed this today – thank you 🙂

  20. Fit Vegan Girl on October 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Fantastic post!

    I’m not gonna lie – I love my butt! It’s round, but toned from being active. 🙂

    As for nurturing myself today, I’ll be attending a yoga class this evening, and I just finished a massive salad.

  21. Michelle@eatingjourney on October 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I am learning to listen to my body. For me..today I am throwing out the damn scale.

  22. Alicia on October 21, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    For me, I love what kickboxing has done for my legs. The definition I have from my knees down is pretty awesome in pair of good high heels!!

    The step I am taking to nurture my body and promote good health: I am going to listen to my body to tell me when I am hungry, instead of giving into eating out of boredom or anxiety.

  23. elizabeth on October 21, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    what a wonderful post!!!!!!!!! its something we all need to hear and remind ourselves of-the more we love our body the more it will love you back!
    i’m so glad you have turned around-you’re such an inspiration
    currently i love my feet. i put them through a lot but they still keep kickin!

  24. Amanda @ Panda Lunch on October 22, 2009 at 12:24 am

    What a fantastic post. I have often thought about this and it’s great to hear someone else discuss it in detail. I am so fed up with the hollywood obsession with size 0, I’m a size 2 and if I was in hollywood, I’d be considered curvy, that’s hilarious and absurd to me.

    Anyway, the body part I love is my butt, no matter how my weight might fluctuate it’s always pretty consistently perky LOL.

  25. Allie (Live Laugh Eat) on October 22, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Thank you for such a great post reminding me that I need to appreciate my body!! Here at school, I often fall into the trap of over-exercising and poor body image.

    I love my strong legs!! I also love how flexible my body is!

  26. Teresa on October 22, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Gina, if only you knew how much this post means to me… or maybe you do. You said it so well, it really is obvious that you DO love your body and are so comfortable in it. It’s a beautiful thing and I hope other girls (and guys) who read this and might not love their body are inspired by your honest testimony that you were so thoughtful to share with us!

    ps- I’m so glad you decided to forgo the rhinoplasty, b/c you just wouldn’t be you without it!

  27. Anna on October 22, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Wonderful, wonderful post Gina. I cannot tell you how much this spoke to me- I can tell this really came from the heart.

    I love my curves! I have a small waist and some womanly hips/butt.

    And today, I just finished a eating a veggie stirfry and plan on spending some quality time on the yoga mat. I will stay in child’s pose for as long as I damn please!

  28. Elise on October 22, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Hey Gina,

    I would love to love my body with some Kale chips. Any closer to a recipe you can share with us?

    p.s. I’m asking for a dehydrator for Christmas. Thanks for sharing your stories and educating me!

    I know this probably isn’t the ‘correct’ place for this comment but I couldn’t find the right place =(

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2009 at 10:32 am

      ahaha not yet, but i have to say that was a very nice try 😀
      the pure2raw twins posted a recipe on their blog, but it’s different from the one i use. still delicious i’m sure!

  29. angela on October 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Hi there,

    I have stumbled across your blog and this post. It’s so funny because I just started my blog the other day and my first post fits perfectly with this…I called it “Letting go of the crazy talk”. It’s amazing how much time & energy being negative takes up!!

    Can’t wait to try one of your breakfast cookies…I’ll let you know when I do (I’ll most likely blog about it too!)

  30. Laura on October 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Hey Gina,

    I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and I so appreciate all of the tips and recipes for adhering to a healthy (and happy!) lifestyle.

    I’m a day late for National Love Your Body Day, but this particular post totally hit home — its so easy to be way too hard on yourself and I’ve been beating myself up lately for not doing “enough” to get to that ever elusive state of perfection. Hit me pretty hard after reading this that I am TOTALLY MISSING THE POINT!

    Thank you.

    I love my biceps and shoulders. I was afraid to lift for the longest time for fear of getting bulky, but nothing makes me happier than seeing a pic and thinking that I look great in a tanktop! Going to hit up the gym tonight to keep that goin’ 🙂

  31. Veggie Booty on October 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you, as always, for sharing your life and advice with us. We all benefit. And you rock!

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