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In honor of Valentine’s Day being this week, today I want to talk about loving your body. It might sound cheesy or really “self-helpy”, but the idea of loving yourself goes far beyond just making yourself feel good.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote from Jim Rohn: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”. It’s such a true statement! We only get one body and when our body is taken care of, it’s much easier to excel in other areas of our lives; our relationships, work, home life, etc.

I don’t want to just talk about loving your body when it’s in it’s peak state, I want to talk about you loving your body right NOW, as it is. You might not be as in shape as you’d like, or as healthy as you want to be yet, but your body has been good to you so far, hasn’t it?! You’re capable of reading this and you woke up this morning! Maybe you’ve been able to grow, develop and deliver a child, or you’ve run a 5K in the past, or you have been successful in other areas of your life. Whatever you’ve accomplished, you couldn’t have done it without your body.

What do you appreciate about your body RIGHT NOW? Take a second to think about it!

Instead of being upset for where it isn’t, be appreciative of where it is.

Moving forward, do you need to show your body a little bit of TLC? Are you nourishing it properly, moving it regularly, and being cognitive of your thoughts?

Here are some simple tips for showing your body some love:

1) Remember that food is fuel

I say this ALL THE TIME (I stole this quote from a nutrition book that my brother read in college): “The food you eat should make you want to conquer the world, not want to take a nap”

Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body, pay attention to how it makes you FEEL, and eat more of what will help your body to THRIVE. This is why we have our nutrition clients journal! It may be annoying and tedious, but saying “I know what I ate” isn’t enough. Writing it down during or right after you eat it & writing down how it makes you feel makes you much more in tune with your body.

Healthy eating isn’t just to help with weight loss and gut healt, it’s also super important for a healthy mind and to prevent disease. If you have a “diet” or a “quick fix” mindset, that can be detrimental to your health. It’s all about HABITS.

Ask yourself these questions:

– Are all of my meals balanced (do I get a protein, a good carb, and a healthy fat at each meal?)

– Do I over eat or do I eat enough throughout the day?

– Am I dependent on “convenience items” or pre-packaged foods?

– Are my portion sizes too big or too small?

Make sure to eat whole foods and stay away from anything that’s super “convenient” (pre-packaged foods, processed foods, snack crisps, boxed cereals, microwavable meals, etc).”Convenience” items have toxic additives that can cause disease and mess with your gut health.

2) MOVE your body!

Living a sedentary life is SO common in our culture that when someone wants to start exercising, they can feel scared to start or like they’re doing something weird or wrong!

How often do you move your body?! Even simple movement, such as going for a walk around the block or doing some basic stretching, is good for your heart and make your muscles & joints feel good. At 37 weeks pregnant here, my doctor told me the reason I haven’t had any swelling and that I feel good is most likely because I simply walk my dogs every single day!

Research has shown that men over the age of 50 who don’t exercise regularly lose about 1% of their muscle mass per year, and women lose about 2% of their muscle mass per year. To show your body some love and fight that loss of muscle mass, it’s recommended to do resistance training (with weights, bands, or even your own body weight) 2-3 times per week. It’s also suggested to walk daily, for at least 10-20 minutes at a time. This combination will strengthen your muscles and bones, help your heart to stay healthy, and make you feel great overall!

3) Get massages regularly

You may be thinking “who can afford to get massages regularly?!” It’s actually recommended, for vitality and overall well-being, to get massages once a month! If you can’t justify that, I would at least suggest maybe every other month or quarterly. Massages reduce anxiety and stress, enhance immunity, help your muscles recover when you exercise regularly, and they significantly reduce the effects of a sedentary career!

4) Surround yourself with positivity

t’s important to keep a positive circle of influence. Do you have friends and family that have healthy habits? If you don’t, it’s SO HELPFUL to find a healthy circle of influence that has the same types of goals that you do.

Find an accountability buddy that you can walk with, grab a healthy lunch with, and share your goals with! Often times, our clients at KW Fitness (even though they train in a private or semi-private setting) find people they can connect with outside of our walls to keep them motivated, inspired, and on track!

Loving your body and taking care of yourself makes a huge impact on everyday life. How can you show your body some love this year?! You deserve to be the best version of you, not just for your loved ones, but for yourself too.

Mandy Webb, KW Fitness