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25 Things I Love About My Body

I was having a discussion today with a friend about body ‘love.’  The concept of really loving your body.  My friend wanted to know how you change your mindset from one of dislike to one of love.  How to let go of the ‘fat’ kid story.

It’s amazing how much we hate on our bodies.  How we criticize and look for all the flaws.  Our bodies are the vehicle that carry our souls.  To thank these bodies for all the work they do lugging us around, we complain about the size of our thighs or the cellulite on our legs.

There’s got to be a better way.

To inspire a different way of thinking I spent some time reflecting on some of the things I LOVE about my own body.

25 things I love about my body

  1. I love that my body allows me to be active (paddle board, kayak, run).
  2. I love that my legs are strong & they’re always propelling me forward.
  3. I love that my body teaches me that I can do more than I know (like running 26 miles).
  4.  I love that I have big bones (they are strong and hearty and to be honest, they make me look thinner).
  5. I love being short.  I do.  Can’t explain it, but I do.  Good things come in small packages.
  6. I love that my arms allow me to pick things up (like my dogs).
  7. I love that my body provides the sensation of touch, the feeling of a soft blanket or my husbands hug.  My body allows me to enjoy this pleasure.
  8.  I love that I have great legs.
  9.  I love that I have a small waist and a nice stomach.  No six pack necessary.  It’s perfect just the way it is.
  10. I love that my entire body is the perfect size for me (how could it be anything but?).
  11. I love the mole I have on my back.  I’ve had it since I was a kid.  It’s like a special mark.
  12. I love that I have feet to stand on.  I mean how could we stand without feet.  I love that mine are wide to give me extra balance.
  13. I love that my body is healthy.
  14. I love that my body sustains me.  That it houses my organs and keeps me going.
  15. I love that when my knee was hurt it lead me to my dear friend and physical therapist (thank you knee)!
  16. I love that it supports me.
  17. I love that it tells me when somethings not working, either through pain or discomfort.  It’s a great signal to check in.
  18. I love my hair. Long or short.
  19. I love my smile.  There is nothing better than a stranger noticing my smile.
  20. I love that it is healthy enough to allows me to walk my dogs every day.
  21. I love that it ages with me.  It helps me mark the time and gives me grace in knowing there are things in my control and things beyond it.
  22. I love that it’s been with me my entire life.  It’s never let me down.  I may have thought it did, but I was wrong. It’s always taken me exactly where I wanted to go.
  23. I love that I can dress it up or down with the clothes I choose to put on it.  Let’s face it, dressing it is one of my favorite hobbies and I love that it gives me an excuse to shop.
  24. I love that it’s mine.  I get to say yes or no to what goes into it.  I get to decide how to move it, where to take it.  It’s all mine & I don’t have to share if I don’t want to.
  25. I love that it allows me to dance.  The freedom of movement is so joyful and powerful.  Without this wonderful body I wouldn’t have the joy of dancing.

Now it’s your turn.  What do you love about your body? Start a revolution in your life and put together a list of your own.  Write it down.  On paper.  At least 25 reasons. Post your top 5 in the comments section below.

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3 Reasons Being Selfish Rocks

1. You have a better chance of being rich
2. You take responsibility for you own results
3. When you take responsibility for your own well being, you have more to give to the world.

All of this based on an article from MSNBC.com with the provocative headline: The rich are different — and not in a good way. (You can check it out here).

The whole thing got me thinking. Selfish gets such a bad rap in our culture. We’ve glamorized the idea of being a martyr. Putting everyone’s needs ahead of our own. Giving the world, our families, our jobs everything we’ve got.

We often provide our services, knowledge and skills for less than they’re worth. We believe that to be good we have to be selfless.

We’re paying the price for it. Happiness levels are at all time low.

There’s a reason they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before putting it on your child. If you don’t, you might not have enough oxygen left to actually help anyone else.

When you’re running on empty from taking care of everyone else, you don’t have much left to share with the world. Giving starts to feel like a burden and a struggle.

All of life is that way. Including money. You can never be poor enough to make someone else rich.

What if Bill Gates was altruistic enough to give away all his products for free?

Would we still have access to the technology that’s changed the way we do business?

Would charities across the world have access to the $28 billion he’s given to make the world better?

What about Warren Buffet?

If he was empathetic enough to give away his knowledge for free, would the world still benefit from the $1 billion he’s given away?

I’m curious, what would your world look like if for just one day, you said forget being a martyr and did what made you happy?

How would the world be better if you embraced selfishness? Charged what you were worth without remorse? Took 100% responsibility for your actions without looking to others to help you out?

Would it really be such a bad thing?

I would love to hear your feedback on this topic! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Shampoo

I bought shampoo today for the first time in more than two years.

Sounds crazy right?

Back in the day, when I thought better shampoo was one of the keys to happiness I would buy shampoo regularly. It wasn’t unusual for me to buy 2 or 3 bottles at the same time. In fact, when I finally stopped buying it, I had enough to last for more than two years.

It wasn’t just shampoo, I also had years worth of face lotion, regular lotion, nail polish, tinted moisturizer and eyeshadow.

And I wasn’t happy.

So I kept buying more.

Trying to show myself there was enough and I could have it if I wanted.

Then I realized I am enough – even without 13 bottles of shampoo.

And I stopped needing to buy shampoo.

Until today – when I needed it. Not because it was going to make me feel better, but because I was out.

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Barefoot

Barefoot in the Grass

There’s a lot of talk right now about ‘barefoot’ running.  It’s a craze.  Some experts love it, some aren’t so sure.  That’s the problem with experts.  There’s rarely consensus.  Different experts, different opinions.  No clear path for the lay person.

I like running in shoes.  I also see the logic in trusting your bodies natural biomechanics.  Our bodies were meant to run.  We don’t need a stability shoe to make it possible.  Humans were running long before shoes were designed for pronation problems.  

The problem is our bodies weren’t designed to run on pavement, asphalt and the other hard surfaces that make up the majority of surfaces we runners spend our time (unless you are lucky enough to live on the beach).  Back before running shoes, I’m pretty sure most running was done on soft surfaces like the grass, in the forest.  

And on the grass is the perfect place to practice being barefoot.  When was the last time you took off your shoes and just walked in the grass?  Felt the blades between your toes.  It’s one of life’s simple pleasures.  Bonus points if sprinklers are involved. I can recall playing barefoot in the yard for hours as a kid.  Shoes were rarely on in the summer. It felt like freedom.  Until of course I stepped on a nail.  Then it was back to shoes for a while.   Yet even as adult there’s something remarkable about the feeling of being barefoot in the grass.  For no other reason than to feel that freedom again.  

As for running, I’ve comedown in the middle. I’ve moved to a less supportive shoe.  I’m checking in to see how my body responds. Ultimately my body is the only expert I trust. So far, I like what my body is telling me about this new way of running.  If the trend continues, I’ll move to less support.  Until then, I’ll enjoy a few moments of bliss when I take my shoes off after a run to feel the grass between my toes.

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You’re not a runner – Is that true???

You’re not a runner – Is that true???

It’s something I hear almost everyday as I coach people through life using running as a catalyst to change.  I hear it more than almost anything else. I hear it from marathon runners, I hear it from casual weekend runners.  I hear it from hard core runners who run all the time and from those who only run when they are late.  So you’re not alone when you say you’re not a runner.  But I challenge you to ask yourself if that’s actually true?

What makes someone a runner?

Is it the amount of miles they run?

The frequency they run?

How fast they run?

Is it the thoughts they think?

or is it because they don’t run it with headphones?

So maybe you’re a runner, just not a ‘real’ one?

Can you be absolutely certain that its true you’re not a real runner?

How many miles do you have to run to be a ‘real’ runner?

How fast do you have to go?

How frequently do you have to run?

What kind of thoughts do ‘real’ runners think?

Or is it because they don’t run with headphones?

When you think the thought you’re not runner or at least not a ‘real’ one.  How does it make you feel?  What actions do you take or not take because you believe the lie that you’re not a runner?

For one second, drop the thought.  Pretend it doesn’t exist.  Who are you without it?  What do you do differently when you can’t believe you’re not a real runner?

Consider some turnarounds:

  • I am a ‘real’ runner
  • My thoughts about running are preventing me from seeing myself as a runner

Do either of these ring true for you?  Do they feel as true or more true than the original thought – that you’re not a runner?

I’m going to give you some evidence that you are a ‘real’ runner:

  • Have you ever run – if the answer is yes, then technically you are a ‘runner’ or at least you have been at some point in your life.
  • Have you ever enjoyed running (as a kid chasing your brother) – if you answered yes, once again, you are a runner.
  • Do you have a desire to run, even if it’s for just five minutes at a pace so slow a snail can beat you?  Guess what, you’re a runner just by having the desire and going out and giving it a try.


That’s it.  No other magic criteria.

Challenge yourself to come up with more turnarounds that fell as true or more true than the original statement that you are not a runner.  Find the evidence that supports these truths.  Remember, you are runner.  It’s in you. It might not be on the surface, but I’d bet money it’s in there somewhere. Find it.

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What are you missing?

I almost ran into two huge geese while running.  They were walking along the river, right in my line of site and I almost missed them!!!  I was lost in thought.  In my head.  Focused on other things.  And I literally almost ran into two ginormous geese in the middle of my path. Luckily the geese started quacking or whatever it is that geese do and I was able to avoid a collision.

It reminded me of the selective attention test conducted by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris that asked people to count how many times a basketball was passed. In the middle of the video a gorilla walks in, pounds his chest and leaves.  Nearly half of the study participants were so focused on the passing basketballs that they entirely missed the gorilla.  

They’ve recently done a similar test (you can check it out here) that confirms the original findings.  It’s funny how we get so stuck in a routine, or a rut or a thought that we don’t notice what’s right in front of us,  whether it’s a gorilla or two ginormious geese.

“When your looking for a gorilla, you often miss other unexpected events.” -Daniel Simmons

What would your rather see in your life that you might be missing?  I’m curious to hear about what it is you might be missing that’s right in front of you.  Post your comments below!

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How do you want to finish?

“When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” — Edward Teller

The hardest race I ever ran was a half marathon that finished up a hill. There was  nothing about the race on the surface that made it especially hard.  Perfect weather, great conditions, great energy.  With one mile to go I felt great.  Then with 500 yards to go, I started to walk.

The problem was I couldn’t see the finish line.  I was tired, running uphill, so close to the end but unable to see my final destination.  

Even though I knew I was close, I let my feelings of exhaustion and doubt overtake me.  
It didn’t matter that the crowds were increasing, that I’d passed the last aid station a couple miles back that I had plenty of evidence the finish line just ahead.  I couldn’t see it.  A hard left turn 100 yards from the finish created a visual barrier between the race and the finish. I let one turn, 100 yards in front of me, cause doubt.

So I gave up.  Just before I got to the end I gave in.

I didn’t trust myself enough to know that I could finish.  I didn’t trust my body enough to carry me through.  Doubt overcame me.  It was hard.  I couldn’t see an end.  So I walked.  Then I turned the corner, there it was.  Right in front of me.  Just out of site, but so, so, close at hand.

What made it so hard was that I knew in my heart of hearts I could choose to finish strong.  Yet I gave in because I didn’t have the physical evidence I wanted to carry me though. I wasn’t able to visualize and feel the finish before I saw it.  Couldn’t trust myself enough to just hold on and finish no matter how close I was.

What barriers are standing in your way of a perfect finish in some aspect of your life?  Can you see past them?  Take a few minutes, step back and feel yourself crossing the finish line.  Really feel the relief, excitement, joy – whatever it is.  Hold that feeling and then ask yourself how you want to get there.  How do you want the last 100 yards to go down?  Run those last yards, up that hill, the same way you ran the first 12 miles.  One step in front of the other. Then Relax, and Enjoy the Unfolding.

“To travel hopefully is better than arriving.” derived from Robert Louis Stevenson via Jeanette Maw at Good Vibe University

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