20 Ways To Fall In Love (Or Least In "Like") With Your Looks

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"I'm fat."

"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 collected 20 reasons to appreciate and love your bod — try these on for size.

1. Shower your body with loving thoughts.

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. Know that you don't have to be perfectly happy with every aspect of your body.

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. Release the body hatred.

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, present and what it will do for you in the future.

Loving your body involves more than "how you look" and whether you should lose a few pounds. — Lori Kanat Edelson

5. Don't forget that your body supplies you with oxytocin (AKA the "love hormone").

Oxytocin helps a woman combat stress, resist disease, calms her, balances her emotions, and makes her 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. Nurture your body in a healthy way that will benefit your body, mind AND spirit.

You'll exude a healthier, more accepting energy that enables you to be more playful, fun-loving and encouraging to not only yourself but everyone 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. Banish negative thoughts. 

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 create a positive environment. Positive emotions are wonderful for us both physically and emotionally. — Dr. Shoshana Bennett

8. LISTEN to your body.

When you love your body 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 knowledge enables you to reduce what drains you and integrate more peace and joy into your life, which will leave you thriving again. — Tambre Leighn

9. Appreciate your body.

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

10. Know that your body is listening to you, too.

Your relationship with your body is not only vital to your overall health and well being, but also to generating everything you desire to create in your phenomenal life. Your body loves you and is doing everything it can to please you. What if every cell in your body responds to every thought you think? When you judge it for having too much here, not enough there, it gives you more or less of what you're criticizing. — Judith Joyce

11. Remember that your body speaks the TRUTH (and nothing but the truth).

Women need to love their bodies because their bodies know and speak their truths — even when their minds insist on another story. Those mysterious aches they experience, those sleepless nights, the sudden absence of sexual desire ... so many physical symptoms are signs that a self-told lie is eating away at their souls. — Delaine Moore

12. When you love your body, you love your life.

Because your body is a microcosm of how you feel about your life. If you love your body just the way it is, you probably love your life, your relationships, and who you are. If you love your body, you have discovered how to achieve WOMAN. Most of the men we have spoken with agree that a confident woman is indeed the sexiest kind of woman. — Sarah Baron

13. You are what you THINK.

Today's outstanding leaders in medicine don't deny the evidence of the mind's ability to create a "miracle". By honoring and befriending the original miracle — that body you were born with & temple of the mind —you will reap profound benefits in every aspect of your life. You will come to know profoundly that you are what you think. — Dr. Liz Zed

14. Remember that you can love your body without liking every part of it.

If you don't like a part of your body (and it can be changed), then change it. IF it is something you cannot change (i.e. width of hips or scar from c-section), work to accept (and eventually love) it. — Dr. Anne Crowley

15. Don't forget that loving yourself and your body will actually bring more love INTO your life.

You get back the love in life that you put out, and it only takes seconds to shift from negativity to self-love. You can start right now by embracing your negative thoughts about your body and then repeat to yourself, "I LOVE my body." This subtle shift in thinking will actually bring more love into your life ... immediately. — Linda Marie

16. Rejoice in the fact that you have a healthy body that lets you do everything you want. 

Cherish it, take care of it and — most of all! — love it! — Marla Martenson

17. Know the sexual benefits of loving your bod.

The benefits of sex for your mind, body, and spirit are incredible! From increasing self-esteem, relieving stress, to burning calories and helping you get a good night's sleep, sex, when practiced safely, is something you definitely want to improve your quality of life. (Not to mention strengthen the bond with your partner!) — Rachel Russo

18. Body positivity is contagious.

When you accept, appreciate and love your body, that radiant energy is a compelling aphrodisiac and makes it a delight for your partner to also love your body in every sense. There is a reverence that comes with loving your body, creating the possibility for more enjoyment and a deeper, more meaningful connection to yourself and your partner. — Amy Blake

19. Don't forget that your body is designed to survive.

Over millions of years, your body has evolved for survival. It is designed to protect you from danger and harm. Your body's desire to hold onto fat is a physiological reaction designed to keep you alive. Thank your body and appreciate the fact that you were designed to thrive. — Quinn Asteak

20. Remember that you are unique, and that makes you special.

There's not a single woman alive who believes she has the perfect figure, yet every single woman does have something she can be proud of — her hair, soft skin, eyes, smile, breasts, legs, fingernails, etc.. Discovering and appreciating what makes you special (and sexy!) lets your body respond and return the pleasure of living every moment fully. — Melodie Tucker

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