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Speak Up: How Did You Learn to Love Your Body?

The ladies over at Glamour asked a bunch of health and fitness bloggers how they learned to love their bodies. I was touched to be included in the group and this is how I responded:

The first time I saw my older daughter imitate me by scowling at herself in the mirror, I knew my relationship with my body had to change. No longer do I focus on "problem areas" when I look in the mirror. Now I revel in the miles my body can run, bike, and swim. By ensuring that my girls love their bodies, I learned to love mine. It was certainly an unexpected gift of motherhood.

Now it's your turn to speak up and share how you learned to love your body.

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bentley1530 bentley1530 7 years
I was born with scoliosis and grew up with constant physical discomfort from the treatment (back surgery at age 6 and a full body brace for much of my childhood) and the emotional pain from the teasing and stares from other kids and even adults who should have known better. It was a long, long road to first accept my body and then finally to love it. Now it my forties I am grateful every day for this body that is strong and flexible and responsive to regular exercise. I am just sorry it too me so long to get here.
nourhayaty nourhayaty 7 years
well lets say im learning to start loving my body i always see myself as fat person where people say i have a good body but i started to believe them after i know i have same body measurements as kim kardashian i always wanted her body and didn't know that i already have it i even have a smaller waist!
jessy777 jessy777 7 years
I was overweight my entire life. About 3 years ago I reached the point where I weighed over 300 lbs. I had always been active in high school, played sports and was a cheerleader but I was always the biggest person on the team or squad. When I went to college I lost a lot of weight my freshman year but then gained it back plus 100 lbs two years later. I hit rock bottom and decided I needed to change. I wanted to not just return to my weight freshman year but to finally get my body in shape and healthy. I learned to love my body when I lost my first 20 lbs. I realized that it is an amazing machine and is capable of recovering from this horrible mess I put it into. I saw that the endurance and muscle I built in high school where still there; buried under all the fat. My body remembered what it was to workout and I remembered what it was to feel strong. I have lost over 150 lbs and everyday I find new reasons to love my body. Whether it is a new jeans size, fitting into an airplane seat with an extension or running 3 miles without feeling like I am going to die, my body continues to amaze me. It is a long road but I learned the hard way that no matter how one might abuse their body it will recover and will always be there for you no matter what.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
When I realized how good I felt -- physical well-being. My body is well-conditioned -- sculpted, hour-glassy, strong heart and lungs, and because I dance, good posture, and I move well. I feel very good in my skin, and hence, I learned to love my body.
Advah Advah 7 years
It was thanks to an ex-bf. He wasn't complimenting me all the time, but often enough and when he did, I could feel it was genuine and caring. :) I never really hated my body but still had serious insecurities (I hated my legs!!); having a cute, attractive bf who literally wouldn't look at girls in magazines and told me I was beautiful while wearing lose jeans, sneakers and had a bit of a belly was the most confidence-boosting thing I've ever heard. It made me understand that people look at me for who I am, and not in order to compare my legs to a supermodel's. It felt incredibly good having someone directly tell me "you're so pretty" one day I couldn't button up my jeans - that's what I think of when I have a bad day. Heck I still don't think my legs are pretty, but I now have no hesitation about wearing short skirts and heels! Oh, and moving to the UK helped a lot too; here people couldn't care less about what I look like instead of staring at me in the bus because I have big hair or am short. And if they do, at least they don't tell me. :P
mamaspank mamaspank 7 years
I started to love my body when I was able to run for more than a couple minutes. My first half-hour running was amazing. I have always been an athlete but have a heart condition and so I always felt like I had to take it easy on doing long-distance running. I feel better than ever, am a fast runner around those bases, and picked up rock climbing. I feel strong and at 29, I love my body! My goal picture is of Lokelani McMichael. She is a triathlete/surfer. She is amazing and I love how strong she looks. I would say I am very close to accomplishing my goal.
telane telane 7 years
It has been a long road for me, and I still have my bad days, as others have said. But I agree with those who said that exercise is key. After I accomplish my distance goals, I can't help but be proud of my strength and my endurance, both mentally and physically. It truly is amazing what the human body is capable of. I started running to increase the amount of cardio in my days, and my body has changed completely. I have just recently started doing yoga and pilates to tone and shape things that the running has taken care of. I agree with one of the other posters who said that it is a great feeling to know that you are in control of your body and what it does.
margokhal margokhal 7 years
I'm just now starting the process of trying to love my body. I'm 22. My mother died when I was younger, and being raised by males, and especially being overweight...yeah, didn't really help with the self-esteem AT ALL. So I've been forced to start doing more for my body. I feel better, and more capable, but it's still a LONG road, mentally. Getting rid of the physical image is a lot easier than ridding yourself of the mental image and negative feedback from years of not feeling like you're worth much.
EllasMom EllasMom 7 years
I really admire you ladies. Thank you for your inspiration. My mother got on to me for not sucking my stomach in for the first time at age 9. I remember it perfectly. My whole life when I lose weight she and my grandmother have gotten on to me daily not to get "fat again" and when I put it on, they are completely humiliated. I have a therapist and am working on it, but I have to say I tend to hate my body no matter what kind of shape it's in.
traciepwns traciepwns 7 years
I started to love my body when I actually started taking care of it. It's still a learning process for me, but I've come a long way from where I was a year ago.
Elizabeth1981 Elizabeth1981 7 years
That was perfectly said, Spectra! I had the same experience when I started running. I'm 5'3", and always felt like I had stumpy chubby legs (and no butt). Since I've been running, they tightened up and became much more muscular and lean. My formerly nonexistent tush got a lift, too. It all started for me during the Beijing Olympics. I was watching the women's 5K with my fiance, and we were commenting on how long the race was (only compared to the sprinters we'd watched the day before, in hindsight). I said, "whatever.. I could do that." He laughed, and then I had no choice but to prove it. :)
syako syako 7 years
After a few reckless years in college made me 30 pounds heavier, and then I made the commitment to exercise and eat healthy and shed that weight, I started to appreciate the fact that I'm in control of my body. I choose whether I gain weight or lose it. I choose whether what I eats nurtures my bones and muscles or harms it. I choose whether running 4 miles today will help me be stronger or whether I'll sit on the couch watching TV. I learned to love my body when I learned that I'm in control and I'm the only one to blame if it becomes something I don't love, but also, I'm the only one who gets credit for it being healthy and strong.
syako syako 7 years
Fit, that's a beautiful answer. How inspiring!
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
Okay, i'm just going to quit running. Because after seven years of pretty steadily running, I don't feel even a quarter as the two posters above feel about it and it hasn't done a thing for my body or mood. I'm done. However, the three months I did pilates, was wonderful on my body and mood! Unfortunately, it's not free. To answer the question, I feel good about my body when I hear others complain about theirs.
VolleyJen14 VolleyJen14 7 years
I actually just forwarded this link to all my girlfriends....in the past year i've gotten so much better at accepting my body, and while we all have tough days, these are perfect things to remember. i had a tough day yesterday and this post corrected my perspective, so thanks
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I'm so uplifted by all of you who have taken such good care of yourselves and been KIND to yourselves and are feeling good!! i think my body image issues are a daily struggle, but I am choosing to be kind and forgiving of myself, and I'm just so happy to see that its not only possible but very attainable as a permanent, positive attitude. what a great way to start my day!!! :)
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily 7 years
Still learning.
LilyLyra LilyLyra 7 years
I'm in the proccess... I used to weigh 210 pounds at the age of 20 and I hated my body so much. I was going to my friend's wedding and couldn't find anything I liked in my size, it was horrible. I decided to change then. 52 pounds and two years later, I'm still working on myself and have begun to love my body. This is also because of my fiance's encouragement as well, he has been a great help. :-D
julea julea 7 years
I continue to learn to love my body-- sometimes I have setbacks, but then I realize what it can do for me and how fortunate I am to have a perfectly healthy, functioning body. I had an eating disorder when I was 14 and still continue to deal with "issues", but know that I am extremely lucky to have what I have. I don't always love how I look, but I don't hate my body. It helps that I do try to eat well (ha, sometimes I epically fail at that) and exercise almost every day (also sometimes a failure). However, the real key to loving yourself is forgiving yourself. Bumps and slip-ups along the road are to be expected, and are totally fine. :)
soapbox soapbox 7 years
I've yet to learn to love my body, but I don't hate it either. I'm content with it 80% of the time, which isn't too shabby for the fact I used to have an ED. With the exception of my arms, my body is lean and slightly muscular. And though I sometimes wish I had more curves (Like when I wear dresses/bathing suits) I don't think I would ever trade it in for another. I run everyday and spin occasionally along with some core exercises and that really helped my self image. Exercise is the key I think. Even if you're already thin, its a nice self-esteem booster.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 7 years
Attending bikram yoga class regularly has really helped me in the process of learning to love my body. After staring at my body in the mirrors wearing tiny shorts and a sports bra in all sorts of postures for 90 minutes everyday, I have learned to stop critiquing it and have started to appreciate it. There have been several times after the past few months, I have actually been in awe of my body and what it can do.
laellavita laellavita 7 years
I started to love my body when I realized all the amazing things it could do. I suffered from an eating disorder for at least six years, and am now in remission, but it's a struggle every day. Now instead of running to burn off the calories, I run because my body is able to. It's amazing what the human body can do, and I feel so accomplished after running 6 miles not because it means I weathered through the punishment, but because that is a feat in itself.
JessaG JessaG 7 years
I'm actually learning to love mine. I have been training with my well, trainer for several months now and she has not only help me with the improving my body by losing weight/toning up all of that amazing stuff but with the mental part of body image as well. it is still a work in progress, but i have a new appreciate for the human body and all of the work it goes into building it.
kty kty 7 years
i started loving my body at seventeen when i realized that i would never be as thin as kate moss,i had to accept that GOD gave me boobs and a butt,and that no matter how skinny i was it would never change...it was hard but i accept it and now that i'm a mom i love it more than ever and feel more sexy
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