11 Ways To Love Your Body

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Could your relationship use a little repair?

The verdict is in: Bad body image has all kinds of detrimental effects on your life. The way we see it, you have two options: Sit on your hands and wallow or get up and do something about it, and we urge you to try the latter. With that in mind, here are 11 of our experts' best tips for how you can begin to improve your relationship with your body right away:

1. Discover your top five favorites. Spend some time thinking about who you are, and pick out the top five things you love about yourself. They don't all have to be about your body. Write these top five things down, and tape the list to your mirror, stick it on your dashboard or pin it to your purse. The moment you start to feel bad about your body, read your list. —Felicia Taghizdeh

2. Avoid the magazines in the checkout aisle. Fashion and gossip magazines can be a huge trigger for body insecurity. The moment we see how beautiful and skinny people look in magazines, we start to feel like we don't measure up and never can. While we might know that the images are Photoshopped, or that the models are anorexic, that might not be enough to stop the negative self-talk. The best course is to avoid those triggers completely. So resist the temptation to flip through those mags on check-out, and catch up on Facebook instead. —Felicia Taghizdeh

3. Compliment, don't criticize, others. This article is about loving yourself, so why does it matter what you think of other people? Well, if you are always judging others, then you probably expect other people to judge you. In turn, this might increase your concern about your body. And if your habit is to judge others, then you probably judge yourself as well. While judging others might give you a temporary feeling of superiority, constantly criticizing can have serious long-term effects for you. The kinder you are to others, the kinder you will be to yourself. —Felicia Taghizdeh

4. Monitor your thoughts. Be consciously aware of self-talk. Whenever you catch yourself with negative thoughts, switch gears and practice letting go of whatever limiting thoughts  may be drifting to and fro your mind. Only focus on the thoughts that fuel positivity and self-acceptance because your life is a mirrored reflection of your relationship with yourself. —Mika Maddela

5. Eat foods that nourish your body and mind. If combo meal number 4 is more your style, you're more likely to be someone who strives for instant gratification over long-term health. Chips, soda, fast food or other forms of "junk" may be pleasurable for a few moments, but it usually isn't too long before before self-judgement and guilt creep in. Rather than eating with the mindset of what sounds good now, focus on what will help you feel good afterwards. —Mika Maddela

6. Define your own self-worth. When you let people define your self-worth, you give away your power. Rebuild your self-esteem by letting go of all your past mistakes and low points you have experienced. Once you define your own worth, the need to prove yourself to the other people will dissipate as you blind the world with your most radiant and authentic self. —Mika Maddela

7. Focus on your uniqueness. Each body is as unique as a fingerprint. Spend some time thinking about what you do like about your body. Spend some time each day focusing on your uniqueness. As you become more comfortable with it, you will develop a confidence that will translate into a thriving relationship. —Teresa Maples

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Teresa Maples

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Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

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Julie Spira

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Julie Spira is a top online dating expert, bestselling author, dating advice columnist and coach, and media personality.  She's the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and is writing The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners. Julie's been featured and quoted over 500 times in the news for her expertise on online dating and relationships including ABC News, BBC, CBS CNN, Cosmpolitan, E! Entertainment, ELLE, FOX, Galtime, Glamour, iVillage, Los Angeles Times, Mashable, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, New York Post, New York Times, Psychology Today, WIRED and Woman's Day. Her dating advice has appeared on eHarmony, JDate, Match, and Zoosk. Visit Cyber-Dating Expert.com and share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and Like Julie on Facebook.

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