"My body will never be..."
"I hate my arms."
Think back on your inner dialogue today. If you're like the average American woman, you have 13 negative thoughts about your body each day. Well, guess what? Your self-esteem has been listening and internalizing every perceived inadequacy. Here's a question: do your thighs really make you unsexy and unlovable? Or does your negative perception of your thighs make you feel unsexy and unlovable? It's time to start treating our bodies with the same kid gloves we use on the ones we love—if not, it's not just our self-esteem that suffers, it's our whole sense of well-being, relationship satisfaction included.
Can't think of anything nice to say about your body? YourTango Experts have collected 20 reasons to appreciate and love your bod—try these on for size.
1. Think of your body as having ears because it is a part of your subconscious mind. By projecting negative thoughts on to your body, you are actually reinforcing the very root of your weight issue. The reason most people gain weight is because they fill themselves with food to make up for a lack of love. Showering your body with loving thoughts is the best diet you can go on. You feel better, your body feels good and with regular loving practice it becomes the body you truly love even if it remains the same shape or size. - Debi Berndt
2. Loving your body does not require you to be perfectly happy with every aspect of it. It simply means you are in rapport with your body, grateful for the amazing gift that it is, and appreciative for the many pleasures it offers. When you love your body you will feel good about who you are, and you'll feel more attractive, all of which will help your inner light shine more brightly. - Kara Oh
3. Four years after cancer, and at 58 years old, my body is in its wrinkly, dimply, saggy stages and I am 100 percent content with it. I dress to flatter my assets and certain parts of my body will no longer be shown in public, but I am not depressed about that. I am just glad to be here. I would say that a surprising benefit to cancer is the release from body hatred. I just don't think about it anymore. - Catherine Behan
4. Consider all that your body has done for you in the past and the present, and all that you are hoping it will provide for your future. Loving your body involves more than "how you look" and whether you should lose a few pounds. - Lori Kanat Edelson
5. From a marriage perspective, love your body because it supplies you with oxytocin (the "love hormone"). Oxytocin helps a woman combat stress, resist disease, calms her, balances her emotions, and causes her to want to make love! A husband's body is the chief "Oxytocin Dispenser!" Every time a husband gives his wife hugs, smiles, kisses, compliments and other loving touches, Oxytocin is released in her body! - Joel and Kathy Davisson
6. When you love your body you are more likely to nurture it in a way that is healthy for the body, mind and spirit. You exude a healthier, more accepting energy that allows you to be more playful, fun-loving and encouraging to not only yourself but those around you. It may take some practice to love your body ...but the investment reaps many physical and mental health rewards! - Carol Juergensen Sheets
7. When you're critical and judgmental about your body, it can easily attract other negativity into your life, including negative people. These interactions cause negative emotions which release chemicals into our bodies that often lead to illness. The good news is that the opposite is also true! The more you accept and love your body, the more you'll tend to create a positive environment. Positive emotions are wonderful for us both physically and emotionally. - Dr. Shoshana Bennett
8. It's important to love your body because it can act as your own personal wellness coach! When you love it by listening to it, it warns you when you are stressed, upset or angry. It helps identify when you are happy, engaged or at peace. This knowing allows you reduce what drains you and integrate more peace and joy into your life to feel like you are thriving again. - Tambre Leighn
9. Our bodies are an amazing source of intelligence and wisdom, not to mention sensual experience. Without them, we wouldn't be here. What's not to like? - Amy Marsh
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