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Loving Your Body

By Sheila Borgen, PT, Freelance Writer

Precisely what is the definition of love? If we peek in the dictionary, we see the definition of love as an intense feeling of deep affection. Others may describe love as an extreme fondness, a warm attachment, or sincere devotion. Of course, these descriptions may represent your feelings for another person or even a hobby, but would you accept these definitions of how you feel about your body? When you look in the mirror, do you confidently say to yourself, “Wow! I look amazing! I sure love myself!” If you do, then you are in the minority. Unfortunately, many people look in the mirror and see an abundance of flaws, often feeling overwhelmed and defeated at what is staring back at them.

As humans, we are typically harder on ourselves than other people. What we see as imperfections, others see as uniqueness and beauty. Our psyche can destroy our confidence in who we are and send us running to plastic surgeons, diet pills, or the doctor for anti-depressants. I will not begin to dive into the psychology of why most of us see our defects as outnumbering our admirable traits. Still, I will suggest that, to some degree, we can alter how we see ourselves in a positive light.

Let’s talk about three easy ways to change the negative outlook on physical bodies.

1. Take time to improve your appearance before heading to school, work, or the store. Add in a trivial 5 minutes to your routine to put on some mascara, make sure your shirt is wrinkle-free (let the dryer do this for you), use some hair gel to get those unruly locks into place, or trim your beard. When you make a small effort to improve your outward appearance, your self-confidence and how you see yourself will positively change.

2. Eat at least one healthy meal a day. Trade out your cheeseburger at lunch for a turkey sandwich. Swap out your fries for some baked chips or fruit. What you put in is what you get out. Putting healthier options in your body on does wonders for how you mentally feel about yourself and, most importantly, how you physically feel. Food choices laden with grease and sugar make you feel sluggish and negatively impact how you view yourself in the mirror.

3. Most importantly, add an activity to your routine. Consider taking a walk in the evening before dinner, doing 15 squats each time after using the restroom, trekking up and down the steps at work on break time, or joining a group workout class. The latter will afford you to exercise in a disguised manner and allow you to meet other people who are on similar journeys.

Each of these options, used consistently, will bring a positive mental mindset and physical change to your body. None of them will break the bank or take an enormous amount of time away from the busyness of life. Give them each a try for a week or two and watch how you see yourself morph into the beautiful human that you already are and get a glimpse of how others already see you.

Sheila is a freelance writer for physical health, mental health, and parenting. She has four exceptional children, one adopted from South Korea. She lives in Alabama with her husband and children. Sheila enjoys cheering her children on at archery tournaments, soccer games, and color guard performances. She has over 24 years of experience as a physical therapist with a special love for the senior population. Learn more about Sheila at

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