Let's start with a question: Do you know anyone with a wonderful body image?
It's pretty difficult to love and be proud of your body when we live in a society where Jessica Simpson is mocked for being fat and wearing "mom jeans," - mom jeans she now says were a size 4.
Or when the New York Times wonders if size 2 types Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Kate Hudson have put on weight. Or when Howard Stern brutally eviscerates Best Actress nominee Gabourey Sidibe for being "the size of a planet" and says she will never have a real career in Hollywood.
But imagine how you might feel - and how others might react to you - if you truly loved and appreciated your body. No matter what size you are. If you were able to choose your body and love it and radiate that energy to the world.
Last month, on Valentine's Day, I issued a call to arms called the Chosen One Challenge. Your mission, should you accept it, is to start choosing you, start celebrating yourself and see what happens in the year leading up to next Valentine's Day.
For March, the challenge is to develop a beautiful body image. Great things happen when you put the focus on yourself in a good way and feel gratitude and pride for what you already have, as opposed to hating yourself until you drop those 10 pounds and find a way to banish the cellulite.
How do you do that? By writing a love letter to your body.
I am leading a seven-day online intensive this month for my clients and friends designed to help them love and transform their body on a cellular level. In the course I'll be teaching ancient body exercises of the masters, some of which I will tell you about here - to facilitate your writing that love letter to your body.
Now I understand how many of you look at your body and just see the negative. This is not your fault. You are at the mercy of intense conditioning by the media. These exercises will bring you beyond all that and allow you to see your body as a miracle which is the first step in allowing others to see you as a miracle.
Trust me and do your homework below, as much of it as you can every day for seven days. Not only can you try this at home, it's the only place you can try it. Take some time to develop a personal, loving relationship between you and your body. No one else allowed.
1. Get naked. Yes. The hardest assignment comes first. Stand in front of the mirror and just look at yourself. Go ahead and let yourself focus on your faults. Exaggerate them if you want. You can even say them aloud. Make sure you get all your criticism out there and out of the way. Then stop.
Then look at yourself again and focus on what a miracle of engineering your body is. Think of all the work your arms and legs do for you. Think of what an intricate instrument the heart is - pumping all that blood to your veins without giving it a word of instruction.
Visualize your lungs helping you breathe under your chest. You're alive. Wouldn't Farrah Fawcett give anything to be in your position? You're alive. Like the gorgeous, talented Gabourey Sidibe who will have a continuing career in Hollywood (suck it, Howard) you also have a body that works. Think of all the positives around your body - what it does for you, how it looks. Maybe some of you have cellulite in some places but gorgeous skin in others. Force yourself to find the beauty in your body and say it aloud.
2. Be a Canvas. Brush your skin every morning for 3-5 minutes. Buy a body brush with natural bristles, start at your feet and work upwards, taking care to brush your skin gently and treating it as if it were (pretend if you have to!) a precious canvas worth millions.
3. Act As If. Take a loving energy bath (or shower). In ancient times, baths were used to soothe, relax and heal. You can turn your bathroom into an energy spa by feeding your senses with delicious aromas, sensuous oils, soothing music and candles. During your energy bath, make a game out of focusing on the beauty of your body. Even if it feels forced, act as if and you'll be surprised at the end results.
After doing these simple exercises every day for just seven days, go to the stationery store and buy some of the loveliest paper you can afford.
Come home, choose a time when you can be alone and write a love letter to your body. Be as specific as possible and detailed as possible. And be X-rated if you want: this is for your eyes only. Keep the letter in your nightstand and take it out frequently and read during this year.
Good luck. Enjoy the miracle that is your body and enjoy being alive.
Follow Aleta St. James on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AletaStJames