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Ways to Love Your Body

12 Easy Ways to Celebrate National Love Your Body Day

Oct. 18 is National Love Your Body Day, which we're not upset about because our bodies are worth celebrating every damn day, really. Since many of us are quicker to criticize our bodies than celebrate them, however, this is a great opportunity to be intentional about making an effort to show these bodies of ours some love.

  1. Take the Body Positivity Vow. Ever noticed how common it is to respond to a compliment by putting yourself down? Or how often we make meaningless small talk out of pointing out our flaws? Enough. Not only do we shape our thoughts and our self-perception by putting this kind of talk into the world, we can influence other individuals within ear shot. Several years ago, I watched some of my friends criticize their bodies. I noticed their young daughters listening, and I wondered how these young girls were learning to look at their own bodies in that moment. I made a vow to myself: I will never make small talk out of disparaging my body. I beg you to join me, and make this vow for yourself, too.
  2. Quit an Unhealthy Habit. Maybe it's that chemical-laden diet soda you have every afternoon. Or the late-night fast food. Or not drinking enough water. Don't beat yourself up over everything you're not doing perfectly; just pick one habit you know is bad for your body and kick it to the curb as an act of love toward yourself.
  3. Pick Up One Healthy Habit. If you're going to cut an unhealthy habit out of your life, you might as well replace it with something good for you. Show your body some love with a reasonable bedtime every night, eight glasses of water per day, making meditation a part of your daily routine, eating at least five servings of veggies every day, or trying your hand at a 30-day burpee challenge.
  4. Clean Up Your Social Media. You know all those impossibly beautiful #FitChicks and yogis you follow whose curated lives can make you feel bad about your body? Why are you doing that to yourself? Unfollow. Check out yogi Jessamyn Stanley and model Ashley Graham for your daily dose of body-positive messages; fit tea sales pitch not included.
  1. Pick One Body Part You Love. Maybe it's your eyes because they look just like your mom's. Or your legs because they carried you through a half-marathon. Or your belly because it once stretched to accommodate a growing baby. Or your arms because they look damn fine in a tank top. Whether it's because of how it looks, what it can accomplish, or what it's allowed you to experience, take the time to fall in love with part of your body today.
  2. Protect Your Skin. Did you know skin comprises the largest organ of our body? Show it some love by making sunscreen a part of your morning routine (yup, every morning).

A post shared by Anna Quinlan (@quinlananna) on

  1. Offload Your Ill-Fitting Clothes. Do you have a pile of too-small clothes somewhere in your house, just taunting you? Bodies change. Most women won't wear the same size at age 30 they did at age 18. It can take years to return to your prebaby size (six years separate the two photos in the above pic). If you're holding onto clothes that are unrealistically small, declutter your closet and your mind by donating them.
  2. Invest in a Pretty Bra That Actually Fits. Have you made peace with bras that pinch, poke, dig in, smash, or are just plain ugly? Make peace with yourself instead by getting a professional bra fitting, or with an online tool like Brayola if you don't want to get to second base with a stranger. Then find a bra in your actual, current size that makes you feel supported and pretty.
  3. Make Your Orgasms a Priority. Sexual health is an important part of loving your body, and nothing celebrates sexual health quite like a mind-blowing orgasm (or three). Whether with your partner or by yourself, set some time aside to listen to your body, and find the Big O.
  4. Make a Dentist Appointment. I feel like we need something superpractical and boring after number 10, and nothing is as boring as going to the dentist. Nevertheless, regular dental visits are key in detecting gum disease and oral cancer, plus all the cavity-fighting reasons your mom has been telling you about for years. Don't forget to floss.
  5. Write a Love Note to Yourself on Your Mirror. The mirror can be an unfriendly place for a lot of women who are quick to see only their perceived flaws and shortcomings there. Talk back to that negative self-talk by writing a love note to yourself in dry-erase marker (or lipstick if you're feeling sassy). Don't know what to write? Here's a list of 35 self-affirmations written by a psychologist to get your wheels turning.
  6. Reevaluate Your Workout Motivation. Having trouble sticking to a workout plan? Maybe it's because your motivation stems from punishing yourself rather than loving yourself, and no one wants to keep returning to something punishing. Try thinking differently about your workouts, focusing on the most rewarding aspects instead of beating yourself up.

Whether loving your body comes easily for you or feels nearly impossible, hopefully you can find at least one item from this list — or make your own list! — and make a point of putting body love on your to-do list today. And in case you need to hear it from someone else, your body looks beautiful, strong, and capable. I promise.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
Product Credit: TopShop Tops
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