(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace!  Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started.  Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)


Happy Weekend Everyone!  Thanks so much for joining me here on Day 19 of the Love Your Body Challenge!

Yesterday’s reason to love your body was:

“My body is the perfect blend of masculine and feminine for me, and that feels good.”

I talked about struggling with my body image even as a very young girl because gymnastics had given me relatively muscular arms at a young age.  I felt like my arms looked “gross” and “like a boy’s arm” and I just wanted them to look normal.

These days I absolutely relish my muscular physique because it actually makes me feel MORE feminine.  Many of you agreed:

“I’ve commented before that I’m kind of built like a warrior, but with some balance, I feel like a warrior princess. My body is the perfect blend of masculine and feminine for me, and that feels good.

When I go to the gym, I go to sweat and grow. I do not wear makeup or prance around as if I’m really there to meet people. I’ve gotten some strange looks when I’m on the erg, rowing for my life, trying to improve my split. I absolutely love rowing and don’t mind that I’m a dripping sweat, hot mess after a session. I give it my all, even if it means “sweating like a man.”

Even after all that, there must be something girly about it, because I got asked out at the gym this week. I’m wondering if it’s a mere coincidence that since Day 1 of the challenge, I’ve purchased two dresses I normally wouldn’t have, wear more sleeveless tops and got asked out. I don’t think so.” – Kristie

“When I was in high school I was a sprinter and ran 200m and 400m, I was good and I LOVED it. Although I was embarrassed by my large and muscular legs. I would look at photos of women in magazines and think, why can’t I look like that???

Well at the age of 32 I’ve finally realized that I am a well built woman, the “ideal” that is portrayed to young women everywhere is rarely attainable. We do not walk around with our arms, legs, tummies, butts airbrushed to look smaller!

I’m so proud to be at a point in my life where I love my muscles but I also love to be very feminine. Wearing a fun dress or leggings and a cute tank top are some of my favorite outfits. I have to admit at one point in my own personal journey I thought, what if I get too muscular?

Now I see how far I’ve come and I am the perfect blend of masculine and feminine in my opinion, which is the opinion that counts the most!” – Stephanie 

Love it!  Now onto Day 19!

Reason #19 To Love Your Body

19. Because it’s surprises me regularly.

Back in 2005 when I had less than a year of serious weight training under my belt, I went tot he gym and met up with my then-boyfriend and a few of his friends.  They were all getting ready for a Powerlifting meet and were doing deadlifts from a 3 inch deficit.  I glanced at the bar and said, “I wanna try!” So my then-boyfriend set it up and I walked over and picked it up off the ground without too much trouble.

When he told me that it was 240 lbs. I was shocked!  I hadn’t done a lot of deadlifting, but was pleasantly surprised at my ability to do it so effortlessly.  I was then convinced to enter the Zanesville Classic Push/Pull Meet that was taking place a couple of weeks later. (I did, and I pulled 285).

While deadlifting decent amounts of weight shortly after getting into strength training was a pleasant surprise, it’s just one of the ways my body surprises me regularly.

There were countless times in both college and grad school that I would pull all-nighters for tests, and by the morning I was just sure that I was too fried and my mind would go blank and I would fail.  But every time, my mind surprised me and carried me through.

In this critical time, my body came through for me.

In this critical time, my body came through for me.

I can also remember preparing to speak at my Father’s Celebration of Life.  I was petrified to speak to the standing-room-only crowd at The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

I walked up there, butterflies in my stomach, mouth dry, preparing for my voice to shake and crack — and yet I was able to deliver the exact message I wanted to deliver.

Our bodies and minds surprised us in all kinds of ways.  Coming through for us in the most difficult and dire of situations (just ask anyone who has been through natural childbirth!)  And for that, we should be grateful.

Mantra:  “My body reveals wonderful surprises to me all of the time, and I am grateful for that.”

Repeat this (to yourself or out loud) 10 times right now,  10 times during your action step, and 10 times before bed.

Action step:  Take a couple of minutes to write down at least 3 ways that your body has surprised you in a positive way recently. Whether the surprise has been physical, mental, or emotional, it doesn’t matter. Just write it down and replay these memories in your mind for the remainder of your 5 minutes.



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